One year ago today, I was crawling across the finish line of my first marathon. It was the most invigorating and miserable experience in my entire life. Despite the constant downpour and 40 degree weather, I loved every second of it and I’m ready to do it again (Ok, “every second” might be an exaggeration… There were quite a few seconds in that race when I was fairly certain that I was close to my death, but the final satisfaction of finishing and supporting Samaritan’s Purse made it an amazing experience). You can read more about this experience here. Last year, my family and friends contributed over $2,000 for Samaritan’s Purse’s HIV/Aids program “Be the Virus” through supporting my marathon running. This year, I’m teaming up with Team Samaritan’s Purse again and am raising money for their Turn on the Tap water projects in Uganda. We’re shooting big this year and the goal is $3,000.
SP (Samaritan’s Purse) lists some facts regarding water sanitation that I just couldn’t ignore:
Every 20 seconds, another child dies from a lack of life's basic necessity... Providing clean water, coupled with health and hygiene education, is perhaps the most preventative measure we can take in keeping our world from infectious disease. Every day, 6,000 people—most of them children—die from dirty water. It's a staggering statistic when we consider how vital clean water is to our daily existence. That's why Samaritan's Purse works to provide a thirsty world with clean water. Whether it's drilling freshwater wells in Bolivia's highlands or teaching health and hygiene education in a Honduras slum, all of these efforts aim to point people to the "living water" found in Jesus Christ. Samaritan’s Purse engages a multifaceted approach by providing, purifying, and protecting water.
The reality that there are thousands of people dying every day from the lack of a resource that I have an almost endless supply of shakes my very core. It is something I can’t ignore.
Sometimes I feel plagued by a sense of helplessness. I see these HUGE world problems and want to fix them all. After hours of hashing out new ideas and solutions, I typically end up flustered with the realization that A. I can’t save the world and it’s extremely arrogant of me to think that I can AND B. saving the world isn’t in my job description. That responsibility lies on the shoulders of someone significantly more capable than me and I am confident that He will restore everything in His time. So the question that I face is not “What can I do to save the world?” but rather it’s “What can I do to be a part of the greater solution?”
What can I do? Right now in the current phase of life I'm in, I can run and I can raise awareness for organizations that I believe in. In light of the grand scheme of things, it isn’t much but it is what I’m able to contribute. A year ago today I finished my first marathon for Samaritan’s Purse, 6 months from now I hope to finish marathon #2. 12 months from now, I hope that a community in Uganda will start to see the fruits of a successful WASH project implemented in their community.
What can you do? You have a couple of options.
1. You can keep me accountable. Running is a discipline that doesn't come naturally. I tend to "bend" my training schedule and if I'm not careful I could "bend" a little too much and end up unprepared for the race. All words of encouragement and checking in making sure that I’m running are appreciated. Basically, this is an open invitation to nag me… seriously, jump on it.
2. Become knowledgeable and partner with organizations that are working hard to stop tragedies that are plaguing the greater world around us (Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, Hope International to mention a few).
3. Pray for the people in Kuhuura, Uganda. Pray that through literacy programs and through Samaritan’s Purse WASH Project (Water and Sanitation and Hygiene education) that this community will be able to self-sustain a clean water system. Also, pray that their hearts will be softened to the message of Jesus Christ and that through these water projects, they will find a water that causes them to thirst no more.
4. Join me by making a donation to raise money for the WASH project in Uganda. The easiest and safest way to make a donation is through my firstgiving website: www.firstgiving.com/brittanysalmon.
5. Pray for me as I start this journey today. You can keep up with my training and other random thoughts on this blog.
Today, I start my training with a 3 mile run. It is weird to think that last year at this time I had just finished 26.2 miles, especially when running 3 miles today seems like such an overwhelming burden. But today a new chapter in running begins. Regardless of the outcome of these next six months, I keep reminding myself of a quote on SP's Be the Virus's webpage: "Every action, no matter how small, can bring about change."
Will you join me?