Well I survived the Jerry Can challenge. But the experience instilled in me even more motivation to do what I can for these people, because believe me I would not want to have to do that every day! Ever since I got involved with World Vision, I have had sympathy for the people we support—I now have empathy and am moved more than ever to take action.
Bear with me, but I want to share a K by K (kilometer) account of how I remember this experience:
1K – Like any race my adrenaline was pumping! Three of us were doing this challenge, we were fresh and excited. Our group had just prayed for us and cheered us as we got our Jerry Cans and took off first. This was about strategy: “How do I best carry this can and what pace should I take?” It was a trial and error time; I quickly learned no technique made it any lighter and even a slow jog was not an option.
2K – I was already feeling the physical effects and asking myself why I made the decision to do this. Most people driving by looked at me with a “what is this idiot doing?” reaction. Team members were passing me and giving me encouragement and that was very welcome.
3K – My muscles were on fire and my arms were screaming and then God appeared. He appeared in the form of three men who I am pleased to say are my brothers in Christ. They not only offered encouragement, they offered physical help—I took both!
4K – These three men were steadfast in helping me. One of the “rules” of the challenge was that I had to keep my hand on the Jerry Can even when receiving assistance—I did that but these men were basically carrying me at this point—my body and mind were depleted—but not my faith and determination to finish!
5K – I was basically in survival mode at this point. This had been the most physically and mentally demanding event I have ever done. But thinking of the people who do that every day literally for survival motivated me and with my brothers continuing to walk every step with me gave me strength. Then a couple people who had already finished the race came back to us and offered me a clean bottle of water. I almost felt guilty but took it and it was the best water I have had in my life. It not only hydrated me, but it truly represented the Living Water – Jesus.
6k – The brother and sister who brought the water also stayed with us and helped carry the Jerry Can to the finish line—we ran the last 100 yards with it!
Post Race: I thought I was going to pass out. But people came to me with water, bananas, and other items to help me. I doubt if those who carry that can daily get that. It was a horrible and wonderful experience at the same time. I celebrated with all those around me because all of us showed not only sympathy, or empathy, but we took action. I wanted to start this blog that afternoon, but my hands were so cramped, I could not.
This October I will be running the Kansas City Marathon (26.2 miles just so you know how crazy I am). I am running it to raise funds for World Vision so that maybe some people around the world won’t have cramped hands from carrying a jug of dirty water. I would certainly appreciate your support, but more importantly those children and families suffering would appreciate your support. https://www.teamworldvision.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.participant&ParticipantID=198566
The scriptural motivation for today’s blog is found in James 2:14-20. Please read it and listen to what God is saying specifically to you. “14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder. 20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?”