Tag Archives: Hope Water International

Looking Back on the Run

I don’t know if I’ve recovered yet. Over the weekend, I participated in the Detroit Free Press Marathon, running the half-marathon. But, it’s not a physical recovery that I’m talking about.

The morning of the race, I was up at 3:15, running by 7:15 and crossing the finish line by 9:20. But, I didn’t leave that finish line until 4 hours later as I greeted my team members as they came through and was struck again and again by how many personal accomplishments were reached that day.

I put in over 500 miles in preparation and ran a solid race, but for me it wasn’t about the race, it was about the sweat, the smiles, the pains and the victories of other people that just encouraged me beyond belief.

When you train with people for 26 weeks, you pray together, you cry together, you sweat together, and you ask the question together: Is this all worth it?

And you find that, yes, it really is worth it.

Some people ran, some people walked, but either way they were raising money so that people they don’t even know can have clean water. They ran so that people in Uganda and Kenya don’t have to be as concerned about diseases, birth defects, or abnormalities caused by dirty water brought from sources miles from their home.

Here’s what’s been accomplished so far (as of Oct. 18th):

  • $340,000 raised
  • 16 wells funded in Kenya and Sierra Leone
  • More than 18,250 people will receive clean drinking water
    • 5 wells will be drilled in Kenya bringing clean water to 10,000 Pokot, and 11 wells will be drilled in Sierra Leone bringing clean water to 8,250 people.

And, the wells being built are providing opportunities for people to be in those communities who know Christ and to establish churches.

So, yes, they are being given literal water, but also spiritual water.

This is an Emotional Recovery

To see the people who have made all of this possible by being disciplined, by working out, by being faithful, by raising funds and to stand at the finish line and watch them come across, I am still recovering from THAT emotional journey.

I cried, I hugged, I said, “well done,” and I am still reeling from being part of the team that is making an impact that we may never see the fruit of, but God calls us to do something out of our comfort zone and make a difference.

That difference is impacting people in Kenya and Uganda, but it has also impacted our team too. People lost weight, people are eating differently, people are more disciplined and the list goes on.

It was a hot, holy, special day I’ll never forget and I never want to forget, because I was with an unbelievable group of people committed to Christ, committed to a cause, committed to making a difference, and their lives changed my life. I am a blessed man.

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It’s finally here! For those who have trained, been in pain, and developed calluses where they didn’t think possible – we made it to the starting line.

We have runners, walkers, joggers, people who will do the 5k, the half-marathon, or the full 26-mile marathon in the Detroit Free Press Marathon this Saturday & Sunday.

For those running the half and full marathon, it’s been 26 weeks of training. We started the week of April 17th and haven’t stopped since.

I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: We are running for a cause.

We are running so that those without clean drinking water, in Kenya and Uganda, so can have wells put into their communities and provide the water that is so desperately needed.  

We’ve grown closer to Christ, we’ve connected, there’s been community and we’ve gotten in shape by conditioning together.

I just want to say: Well done Hope Water International Team!

This Sunday we will run together, sweat together, smile together, and cross the finish line together.

To those of you who have carved out time, worked out when you didn’t want to, and are now accomplishing more than you ever thought possible: Lives, yours included, will be changed forever. Isn’t it incredible that we can be part of something that helps us personally, helps others have a healthier life and all of it points us closer to Christ? That is an unbelievable, winning combination.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7

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Another Season of Life Groups

At Venture Church we’re starting our Fall Life Group season! What are Life Groups? Well, some places call them small groups, but we choose to call them Life Groups so that people will feel connected, feel part of something bigger, and go through life together. Life Groups provide community on a more intimate level so you have people around you for the highs, the lows, the exciting, and the mundane.

Life Groups have always been meaningful in my life, but the Life Group that I have been in for many years is not just seasonal but ongoing that is through Hope Water International. Through Hope Water, we are running to sink wells in Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda – places where they do not have clean, viable water like we do.

What makes our Life Group so meaningful is we stretch each other mentally, spiritually, and physically – when you run with people long distances they see you at your best times and your worst times (especially when the temps are upwards of 95).

But it’s through that exercise and being in community together and working toward a cause that we talk about Christ. We are conditioning together and when we’re not training we’re studying God’s word together and learning how we can be better leaders and better people. There’s tears sometimes, there’s sweat a lot of times, there’s achy bones and achy muscles, and there’s real sharing that takes place in this group.

I think of one person in particular, Cindy Housel, who went through a total spiritual and physical transformation when she became part of Hope Water International.

“At a Christmas Experience a few years back, we had people on stage with candles explaining how Jesus had changed them. After hearing these stories time after time, experience after experience, I was convinced that I needed a change,” describes Cindy. “I knew I needed to get myself healthy. At the time I weighed 253 pounds, so I had a big mountain to climb, but I knew I needed to change. And I kept praying that Jesus would change my life and that I could have an experience like those people on stage.”

Cindy decided to respond to this calling by joining with Hope Water and, fast forward 2 years later, she is 113lbs lighter and an accomplished runner – having finished the half-marathon from having barely run at all.

“Had I not been backstage listening to that Christmas message over and over and over again, I don’t think I would have ever risen up to the challenge of changing,” says Cindy. “God has a funny way of meeting you where you are – and I think He knew I needed to hear it nine times for the message to sink in.”

Cindy is now an integral part of our Hope Water International Life Group and I couldn’t imagine her not being a part of this amazing group. And I just say, if you’re not doing life with other people at a real deep and meaningful level – would you just try it? I’m not trying to say that to be in your grill or to be in your face, I’m just saying that it gives life a whole new meaning and if you’re not in that kind of camaraderie and connectedness then you’re missing out. I want you to experience, just like myself and just like Cindy, all that God has intended for you.

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