Natalie Lau / @whenshesawake
It’s strange to think that a natural disaster on a Caribbean island could have an effect on the daily schedule of a 21-year-old living in New York, two years later.
This spring I am reminded and humbled that no matter how much we try to protect our lives from the darkness and poverty that exists off of our shores, it affects us anyway. And just as much is broken here as it is on the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. The infrastructure of our buildings may be more sound, but our hearts are not.
In light of all this, I’m training for my second half-marathon, for many reasons—to get in shape, to raise money for the provision of clean water in Africa, and to prove to myself that I can stick to something and see it through.
Before my sophomore year in college, I had never run more than a couple miles at a time. I was one of those nerdy musician kids who went to piano camp instead of playing sports. When I tried to run in high school, shin-splints flared up in both my legs. In the words of Edward Bloom, “I’m not one for pain, really,” so I stopped.
And then in 2010 that earthquake toppled over everything in its reach. I have a friend who was in Haiti when it happened, who saw her mother’s home country collapse under the weight of the frail buildings. She wrapped and bound the wounds of the sick, and she came back with a bursting passion to bring healing and hope to that nation.
Then all around me were these fearless college students wanting to make a difference. I decided to do what little I could, and ran a 5k with a team that my friend coordinated to raise money for earthquake relief. Those three miles were life-changing, for me just as much as for the people the money was intended to benefit.
A year later, I wasn’t running a 5k any longer, but a half-marathon with World Vision. What amazed me even more than the fact that I was able to finish the race in a decent time was the generosity of my friends and family. With their help, I raised more than $200 for the provision of clean water. In kingdom terms, that’s a fortune.
Because I so enjoyed the first, and because I know that it’s possible to do more, here I am running a second.
To be frank, I cringe at the idea of fundraising, and I hate asking people for money. But I have come to learn that seeking funds through causes like these gives people the opportunity to rebuild what’s been demolished. This money will be stewarded and used to provide clean water to communities in Africa. It will prevent children from dying and will allow kids to use their time attending school instead of looking for water. World Vision will use your money well. Amazingly, a few clicks on a computer screen will drastically change people’s lives thousands of miles away.
So I am going to simply ask you to think about it, and to please give. The goal is to raise an ambitious $655.00. Click here for the link for my page. If you know of anyone who might be moved to give, please forward the link around.
We can’t reverse what happened in Haiti. We can’t wave a wand and suddenly solve the problems of countries and continents stunted by failing political, economic and health systems. But we can start where we stand and begin to run.
“And what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8