I love running, and many in my hometown can attest to me running the streets and logging the miles. I’m not great at it, but I’m determined. I’ve finished several marathons and for those of you who have run distance, you know that finishing a marathon, 26.2 miles, is not an easy accomplishment. Every marathon I’ve entered, I have wanted to die at mile 22, or at least lay down and cry. My body always starts to cramp down and every part of me hurts. In my head, I begin to question my sanity and decision making abilities. My internal dialogue tells me this is probably not one of my best choices for spending my day off and then to add insult to injury, it throws in that I actually paid someone money to allow me to do this. But, then I look around and everyone is still going and you can almost taste the finish through the salty sweat, boogers and tears. The painful chafing in areas that I did not know rubbed together starts to fade in the background and my heaving breath is not as loud. This is because I look around and I see that I am not alone. Mile 22 is when you know you can’t run another mile, let alone 4.2 more, and then you reach deep and you do. And running with you is your crazy best friend and a whole bunch of new crazy friends.
I’m at mile 22 with this adoption. I can see the finish line. I can picture the day we carry our son out of that orphanage. He will leave with the clothes we provide him and that’s it. Yes, 4 years of life and not a single belonging. We will take him back to our hotel and give him a bath and put on brand new pjs. Here’s a child that has never played in a bathtub and never owned a pair of pajamas. That wonderful baby soap will lather his fine, red hair and he will be wrapped in a big fluffy towel. Oh wonders, the joy of hugs after a bath and new pajamas. But, I’m still at mile 22 and the distance seems so long. My heart hurts as days pass and a little boy has no mommy and moments are lost and tears fall silently.
Mile 22 is where I have decided to look around me and run this race strong. I have found 8 children who are in need of help. So Darren and I decided to create Orphan Ornaments. We purchased over 100 ornaments, enlisted the help of friends and hand-crafted them to sell. We then created little information sheets to go with each ornament. These have a magnet and can be placed on the refrigerator so that we are reminded to pray and encourage these families in their marathon.
I’m inviting each of my friends to choose an orphan ornament and donate to the ransom and rescue of that child. Each of these orphans has a name and a story. Let us help them run the race. All ornaments will be made available at Camp Verde Calvary Chapel beginning November 22nd. We will be setting up a beautiful Orphan Tree and you can drop in anytime during the week, or come listen to Darren and I speak at church November 22nd to learn more. If you live out of town or state, I will be periodically posting different orphans on my Facebook page and you may use Facebook to message me.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.