Happy New Year! This week, I’m back at week Zero. I start up a whole new 12 week training plan next week now that I’m down into the double digits on days until my half marathon.
There’s a countdown clock on one of the walls on my office. It’s not mine, it’s actually the team countdown clock to our next big trade show, which happens to be only days after my big race. Every day I walk up the stairs and turn the corner to my office, I see one more day gone and I’m starting to worry about silly things. Will there be port-a-potties on the race route? Do I need to be training as if there aren’t? What about water stops? Will it warm up for my training runs? Does anyone actually get out and run in wintry mix or negative wind chills? Will the roads be icy for my long training runs? Certainly by the time I’ve worked back up to 8 or 9 mile runs, the weather will be better, right? Boy let me tell you, I’ve never fixated so much on weather patterns and average temperatures and rainfall in my life. Daily I check what conditions are looking like. Perhaps that’s a lack of faith that God will give me the perseverance to push through my training. I’m not sure, but I know we’ve all been at a point of obsessive observance (of something) at some point in our lives.
For the Dominican Republic right now, it’s the weather. One of our sweet church families spent their Christmas break in the DR. They went right down to Bateye 50 (one of the communities our mission trip will serve) to spread love. Bateye 50 is in a drought. They need rain badly as many of the families there make their money cutting sugar cane. Our sweet church family reported that normally, the cane cutting season would begin in November. They are so deficient of water, they won’t be cutting until the end of January. That’s no snow day or a free pass at training on a long run for them. When the folks of Bateye 50 aren’t cutting cane, they aren’t making money to put food on their tables and in the mouths of their children. They have no weather.com on their smartphones, but rest assured, they’ve been observing those skies for some time.
I don’t really have an answer for whether or not the people of Bateye 50 question God. I don’t know if they struggle in faith for his provision. I want to know. I want to witness these people joining a bunch of crazy Americans who come down to work hard for one week in God-Adoring praise on a Sunday morning. It makes my “weather problems” sound a little foolish next to the notion that a whole community of people could be without work for months. And it’s foolish to think that by going there, I’ll bring enough to fulfill their needs until the next group comes. I’m hopeful for something like the story of of the loaves and fishes; Jesus feeding the 5,000. Wherever we gather for fellowship in the name of Christ, he will feed us all. For the folks in the D.R. it might look like one thing, and for the Crazy Americans in bright t-shirts and sneakers it might be another, but we’ll all walk away full.
If you would like to find out more about the Mission Trip to the Dominican Republic or Donate to my trip, follow the “About Me and My Mission” link or the “Donate” link. You can also check out the great team at drmissionteam.org. And if you’ve never heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000… Google it. There are links that will take you straight to the bible verses that tell the story… a story that starts with 5 loaves of bread, 2 fish, 5,000 hungry men, and 12 baskets of food leftover at the end. Tell me Jesus isn’t about provision.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” John 6:35