I signed up for the Kansas City Half Marathon in October. At first glance, that might not seem like that big of a deal. In all reality, it isn’t I suppose. I have run two half marathons in the past. Signing up for a third should not have been life changing for me.
But it was.
I was scared. 13.1 miles is a long ways. My last race hurt. It didn't help that my last race was 13.5 miles! It would be hot to train all summer. Humidity. Enough said. I don’t have the time to commit to running. How will I fit training into my schedule? I might lose my toenails. If this is foreign to you, google “running toenails” or ask your favorite runner.
Then I went out for a run and the last thing that Bryan said to me as I walked out the door was, “do you want a bottle of water to take with you?” I will get to that question a little bit later in this blog.
While on my run I listened to Lauren Daigle’s Grammy Nominated Album, “How Can It Be”. Track #10 is a song called “Come Alive (Dry Bones)". I have listened to this song numerous times before but the lyrics smacked me head on this day.
God of endless mercy God of unrelenting love Rescue every daughter Bring us back the wayward son And By your spirit breathe upon them Show the world that you alone can save You alone can save
As we call out to dry bones Come alive, come alive We call out to dead hearts Come alive, come alive Up out of the ashes Let us see an army rise We call out to dry bones come alive
In the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37, God brought Ezekiel to a valley full of dead bones. Bones that were VERY dry. There was no life in them. God told Ezekiel to tell the bones that He (God) would piece the bones back together by attaching tendons and cover them with flesh and skin. He would breathe His own breath into the bones. Once Ezekiel began to talk to the bones, they began to rattle, bone on bone. The flesh began to appear.
God breathed and they came to life…an army rose from up out of the ashes.
WE are that army. We are the dry bones sitting in the valley with no life in our lungs without the God of the universe breathing life into us. He loves the wayward sons. He rescues the daughters.
It was during that run that my dry bones would come alive. It was in that moment that I made the decision to dust off my dry bones. I was going to sign up for the half marathon and I was going to raise money for Team World Vision.
Why? Because we live in comfort.
Remember that question that Bryan asked me before I went out for my run?
“DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A BOTTLE OF WATER WITH YOU?”
We had a CASE of water in the pantry. Plus, we have two; yes TWO, faucets in the sink. One is just the regular water that comes from the city. Oh, it’s clean…crystal clear actually. There are no particles floating in it and it doesn’t have a tint of brown to it. Yet, we have a filtration system that cleans the clean water and then goes to a separate faucet for drinking water. This “cleaner” water also dispenses from the fridge.
We have clean water through the house at so many locations. Then we can go outside where we have THREE additional faucets. This is not to make you feel bad about having clean water. This is to make all of us aware, myself included, that we are comfortable.
WE LIVE IN COMFORT. This isn't news to anyone reading this but do we take this comfort for granted when human beings around the world die everyday because they were born into a different part of the country?
Often times, we must get uncomfortable in order to make a difference.
1,600 children under the age of 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene.
1,600 per day!
Clean water frees children from deadly disease. It frees women and children from a life spent gathering dirty water. It restores health and opens the doors to education, a promising future, and a full-life.
But too often, these are just stats that we read and it doesn’t matter because the stats happen THERE…not here where we can see it happen. Well, Bryan has been THERE. He has seen it with his own eyes in the bush of Africa, children scooping water from a ditch. He has seen families walk for miles just to get a jug full of DIRTY water.
[Photos taken by Bryan in Togo, West Africa]
Can you image if 1,600 kids under the age of 5 died every day in the United States? Change would happen.
So why not take the change to where the problem is?
I have committed to raise $1,310 for clean water. Bryan has signed up to run the Chicago Marathon the week before my half marathon. He is committed to raise $1,310 for clean water. But we need help. We need YOUR help.
We do not like asking for money. But as we prayed about it, this isn't about asking others for money; it is about asking others to partner with us to provide life to those who are less fortunate. How do we partner together? We can partner together simply by raising funds to provide clean water. Having access to clean water is something that we can do at any moment throughout the course of a day. For communities in Africa, they are not as fortunate.
You can find the links to our fund-raising pages below. We ask that if you cannot decide who to support to take your donation and split it in half to support both of us.
This is not a sales pitch. We are providing an opportunity for you to get involved and to make an impact.
It’s time to raise the dry bones. Dust off your dry bones and join the army. We cannot be silent. We cannot sit back and do nothing.
We must do something. Will you join us?
Water is life.