A year ago we went to the Cleveland Clinic and continued the painful journey with Chaia.
The Church responded with an outpouring of support. Cards from the nations. Prayers from the saints. Visits from friends. And the always effective strategy of throwing comfort food at suffering.
When my dad died, we received 8 meat and cheese trays.
When Chaia ended up in the hospital, so did every baked good, casserole and other delicious 'go-to' comfort food item from our Church.
And while the next months were sit and wait...All I did was sat and ate.
30 pounds and some really bad habits later, I find myself jiggling more than I ought. My pecs have become boobies. My chin has a chin. And I'm tired of it.
So I run for a change in my personal life. I'm not where I want to be.
But that's not why I run.
I am crazy busy with planting a church and I cannot convince myself to run just because its good for me. I need something bigger.
That's where Shirley comes in.
When I was in Ecuador with the Stadia/Compassion Church Planting Initiative, I was missing my girls. Then we went on a home visit to a mother who was in the initial phases of Compassion's Child Survival Program. And there was this little beautiful chunk named Shirley. I got to hold her. She's just a bit younger than Chaia and because Stadia church plants like us were coming along side Church Planting agencies in Ecuador, as well as Compassion International, Shirley had a fighting chance to make it to her fifth birthday. The mom teared up something fierce and shared how all she wanted for her kids was a better chance at life.
All I could think is how I wanted the same thing for my little girl.
A better chance at life.
A better future than the present.
A better way forward.
And so while God is giving us that opportunity with Chaia...giving us more days than we were told we'd have...I know He is also blessing us to be a blessing...And we get a chance to be the answer to prayer that Shirley's mom and many others like her are waiting for.
The Church gets planted. The Compassion Center gets started. The kids get sponsored. The mothers get resourced. Children get a future.
That is why I run.
To be changed. And to be change.
There has been an incredible initial response to the benvsben campaign (although I'm getting killed right now in the total giving!) We thought it was a long shot to reach $2000. We've reached over $1500 in three days!
God is reminding us that He is bigger than our dreams and greater than our goals.
So we're going to up the stakes. Our new goal is $5000. And if we hit $10,000, we'll BOTH run 13.1 miles in fairy costumes!
Because Shirley and the hundreds of other children in rural Ecuador should have a chance at a future.
Change Starts Here.