Somehow June melted into July, which gave way to August and it, in turn, dissolved into September. I would be lying if I said that I was where I want to be in my training, but the important thing is we are still out there running, training and raising money for Samaritan’s Purse.
June was hot and we somehow managed to stay on track with early morning runs before the sun came up to scorch us. Saturday mornings saw us move from 6 to 7 to 8 miles. We are getting stronger and building endurance.
Then came July. It was unbearably hot it seemed. Even 5 AM runs left us soaking wet. But something happens when you push through the hard mornings. You learn that your sacrifice is really pretty small. You can make it big in your mind if you want…. but really? Getting up at 5 am to run a few miles on hot Georgia summer morning seems pretty miniscule next to the reports of Amal and refugee families like hers that are displaced. Except for Samaritan’s Purse they have little hope of food or even a clean place to sleep. On those early morning runs I thought many times about Amal. I wondered if it was safe where she slept. I wondered if she would have breakfast when she wakes. Has she been forced into sex slavery?
In July, Jamie and I both went on mission trips. You don’t have to go to a Syrian refugee camp to share God’s love. I spent a week in Brooklyn while Jamie built houses on the Georgia coast. We both learned a lot about mission that week. Mostly that it’s not really about us, and that God will use whatever we are willing to give Him. And we kept running. Because well, we promised Amal we would.
August was a hard month in our training. Long runs grew from 8 to 10 and then 12 miles. We both had things happen in our lives that made us want to just stop for a bit. But we kept on running. Sometimes early in the morning. Sometimes later, after work. Sometimes the heat made us want to puke. Sometimes we just stopped running and walked the rest of the miles out, but we didn’t stop. Because we promised Amal we would run. And in August something happened to me. When I found out I was going to have a grandbaby, something changed inside me. I felt the stirrings of urgency inside me. I started to feel bolder, less worried about hurting feelings and more concerned about what God thought about things. One Sunday evening I heard my preacher tell me how very dangerous it is to sit in my blessings. I realized that was where I was, just sitting there in the middle of my blessings, forgetting there was a war I should be fighting. I feel and urgency to do something. I am not content to just sit by and watch things go to hell a day at a time. Maybe its my destiny to stand up for unborn babies like my Little One. Maybe God is asking me to keep running for Samaritans Purse until my legs won’t run anymore races. Maybe God is telling me to rock the boat because it’s actually a sinking ship. Sometimes clarity comes at mile 9 when you are exhausted and the only sound is His whisper.
September brings us some relief from the oppressive heat…… we hope. We keep beating out the long runs on Saturday mornings. Please join me and Jamie any time. We start at 5. We always love company. You can run with us, pray with us, listen to a little Toby Mac. We would love for you support us on this journey that is not actually our journey at all. Its a journey to help Christians that face real live persecution from ISIS. Do you ever watch the news and think there is not much you can do? Well, there is something you can do……you can run with us, you can pray for Amal and you can give to Samaritan’s Purse. Thanks to so many of you who have already given….keep praying for us and for Amal.