10 April 2015

Rift Valley Marathon

Soooo... my phone crashed without reason.... then my computer keyboard is not working fully (which might be from an unexpected 2 year old banging on it.... who has the nickname "baby hulk" for a reason) and Bud's computer screen going out due to some damage done when he took it to Turkana to show the Jesus Film annnd.... life happens.  But I have good intentions of finding a way to get updates on here more.  Turns out, there's no running to the local at&t or apple store here, so i'm not making promises :).

I've been eager to share about our recent race though!  So here it is...

A few weeks ago, our first running team here at Mattaw Children's Village went and ran our first half marathon.  We started with a large group but eventually narrowed it down to a smaller team of 10.  Everyone is considered on the team still, they just run shorter distances.  We are looking for some cross country meets to be a part of.  We found a Kenyan coach who has ran several half and full marathons and because of the crazy intense competition in this country, he hasn't made it big.  But his times are unbelievable.  So we were thankful to bring in a well trained coach.  Bud and I also ran it.  It was an incredibly hard course.  I realized how nuts we were once I hit mile 6.  And I began to wonder why I chose to run on the training ground of olympic athletes.  Then we spent several miles going up hill on what felt like a mountain.  Several parts of it felt like I was climbing, not running.

It was t-o-u-g-h.

But the best part of the whole thing was having trained with our children for several months and then getting to get out there and run with them and see them finish something they started.  It reminded me  of a part in the bible that says:

"I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in truth" 3John 4:3.

It's like that parent/father/mother heart bursting with joy to see their children doing right, thriving and in this case; finishing what they start.  God always brings so much symbolism to each run I train and do.  And this one, the focus was our children.  Seeing them accomplish this race was like in their spiritual walk how we see them lay hold of truth and run with it and endure through the hard times.  The times they feel they're climbing a mountain but hang on to the truths of God's word to push them through.

One of our girls, Mary, was one I have to highlight.  They all did amazing but this girl.  She rocked it.  She wasn't the fastest, and we knew that from training.  But the best part is, she finished and she did her best.  Even when she didn't feel like it, she would get out and run during training.  She was one of my biggest motivations in this race.  There's a part at mile 9 on the race course where you have to turn down a road and run to the end of it for a few miles, then people write down your race number confirming you made it to that point.  Then you turn around and run back down that road and turn down another path and run like 1/2 a mile to the finish line.  So back to that mountain we climbed at mile 6.... I walked.  And everyone that was behind me on our mattaw team passed me.  You bet I was cheering them on in between gasping for air and then eating their dust.  But I kept my eye on several of our girls and would manage to slowly start running again each time I felt I would stop seeing them up ahead.  Mary was one of them.  So when I got to the point of turning down the road and passing a lot of our team that had already turned around to run up to the finish line, I was able to high five them and keep cheering.  And I realized at that point that I really wanted to finish with them.  By the time we were 1/2 a mile from the finish line, I made it back up to Mary.  It was some crazy endurance that came out of nowhere that got me back to her.

And together.... we finished.

Rebecca was there to help with our kids and cheer on the team.  She also has taken on photography so was able to snap some shots at the finish for us.  She snapped a picture of Mary and I and it speaks volumes to my heart.  It also made me super hesitant to post it because I'm looking ROUGH in this picture.  It slightly shows how I was feelin, ha.  But we are keepin it real here.  To me it symbolizes how the ministry we do here isn't always easy and attractive when you are in it for the long run.  Like when we are enduring the parts that feel like we're climbing a mountain :).  On the inside though, I was full of great joy as we joined the rest of the team that had finished and enjoyed talking of how tough it was but we all finished.  Mary, of course, is glowing and beautiful as always.  

Completing the race.
Finishing well.

It's all mentioned in the bible and refers to this life we are on.

So since I've brought up Mary, I want to also share that we have our full length documentary completed!  It has three kid's stories featured in it and one of them is Mary.  We didn't prepare her for what to say, but she spoke her heart.  She gave her testimony and was very real in it.  When we watched it with our Mattaw Leaders, we were all left speachless.  In a good way.  Her story is one that comes from much brokenness.  But how God picked up all the pieces and has made her whole.  She knows she's a daughter.  And knows what it means to endure and finish well.  Our prayer is that every child that comes into Mattaw would grasp this revelation.  We are full of joy to know she will be an example and leader for years to come.

Bud is hoping to travel back to the states the end of May for his sisters wedding.  During that time he will go around speaking in places and sharing this documentary.  If you would like to have him come speak to a church, business, sunday school class, or any group interested in hearing more about Mattaw, please let us know!  Email: bud@mattawchildren.com.  We also have some short films about Mattaw and some of its branches that we will be posting OH SO SOON!

We are also SUUUUPER excited to share that the Race2Rescue is also officially launched!

You can click on this link below for more information and how to sign up!!!  More to come on this but just wanted to get it out to those that don't know yet!  Maybe you aren't a runner, but you could walk.  Either way, these children can also be your motivation!

(you can also take note of the shirts our team is wearing in the first picture posted above and how this year, the shirts you get for signing up will match them!)


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