~ ~ where some see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope ~ ~

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

i RUN for orphans

I was never a runner.  I never wanted to just ‘run’ as a hobby.  
And then I signed up, and finished, two half marathons.  Well, little did I know, those half marathons would be stepping stones, very symbolic events, that would be played out in years to come...
As I’ve seen myself do with things in life, after I finished that first 1/2 marathon in San Diego in 2004-- I said, “There.  I’m done.  That was insane, tough, brutal, and ... hard.  And I don’t EVER want to do it again.”  And I was finished.  I had my heart set on quitting the running world....
And as life has it, the road between then and today was the bumpiest, curviest, most challenging journey I’ve faced.  And almost 7 years later, I felt the emptiness creep inside as my heart tugged towards the pavement.  I was to be out on those early morning training days, and I knew it, but thought I would never be there again.  The training was hard, but I was at such a low place in my life that running was like therapy to me.  It got me through some pretty muddy water and some really tough times, and crossing that finish line for the 2nd time was even MORE victorious for me than the first.
But something was still missing.
As I crossed that finish line at LP Stadium last April, running 13.1 miles around Music City with 35,000 other runners and even 25,000 more people cheering me on, there was still an emptiness inside me.  One that said I needed more.
I wanted to keep going.
So, here I am, another year later and wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD I have gotten myself into as I start the long training season for my very first, very long, Chicago Marathon in October.  Hundreds of miles of rough terrain ahead of me.
But instead of wanting to quit, I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this world again.
THIS is what it’s about.  This feeling.  The nerves are there, the adrenaline.  You feel the encouragement from fellow runners.  The high after hitting certain mileage.  How all your conversations usually revolve around which trail, which shoes, which shot block, Gu, or mileage you’re at.
They say it’s a lifestyle, and now i know why...
I meant it about that 1st and 2nd half marathon being very forth-telling in how my life would be in the years to come:
Just like committing to the 1st, and then the 2nd half, I NEVER thought I would ever go to Africa.  I didn’t even think I would ever work for an organization that deals with orphans oversees.  But after moving to Nashville and working for this amazing ministry, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.  I went to Uganda and Ethiopia last summer.... and like the first half, it was hard.  It was tough, insane, brutal and .... Life Changing.
And when I got back.....something was missing.  Like that 2nd marathon, I knew I needed more.  
I wanted to keep going.
And so here I am, about to take on yet another trip, only 9 months after coming home from my first trip.  Leaving the end of May, I get to experience Rwanda for the first time and journey down this road... AGAIN.
My heart is beating.  I’m scared and nervous and anxious and excited and overwhelmed--just like training for a marathon.  But my heart is beating.  This is what makes me feel alive.  Like pounding foot to pavement in a race, we pound foot to dirt on the mission field.  My heart beats.
I get to visit over 600 orphans in Rwanda this year, telling them how important they are.  That they have a purpose, a destiny.  That they have been forgiven, or that they have a place in this world.  I get to love on them.  And when it’s said and done, it’s probably more therapy to me than them.  And my heart beats.
They say it’s a lifestyle, and now i know why...
Because of this, a running team called the Roadkill Surfers and I have committed to raising money for Visiting Orphans when we commit to running an event.  Each time we cross that finish line, we want to remember that we’re running for a Cause.  There are 163 million orphans in the world.  The finish line for the Orphan doesn’t look like it’ll ever draw near, but at least we can run the Race.
I’m asking you today, to remember every race, triathlon, or competition you’ve ever run.  That feeling you get crossing the tape.  The excitement you feel with each accomplishment.  The overwhelming joy you receive as each step gets you closer and closer to the end.
That’s how I feel when I get to visit these children, and I’m asking for your help in getting me there.
As a “Roadkill Surfer”, we have opportunities for businesses AND/OR individuals to Sponsor us, establishing your brand to say YOU CARE.  That you’re part of this world, too.
We have opportunities for individuals to sponsor a lot, or a little.  But it doesn’t matter.  I need to hit $3,800.  But anything will help.  Any contribution will get me closer to that finish line...
**There are many ways to sponsor if you’re able.  The easiest, and I like to think, most convenient way is to go to our DONATE page on the website.
You’ll be asked which FUND CATEGORY:
-Drop the menu to RWANDA (MUSIC AND MISSIONS)- May/June 2012
*Amount to Donate
*Repeating Donation (you can click NO)
-Click Team Member or ministry and type my name, AMANDA HERDINA in the box
And there ya have it.  You will be well on your way to helping change and inspire an orphan’s life forever.  You’ve already inspired mine....
Run ‘til the end,
Amanda Herdina

1 comment:

  1. awesome! so proud of you! we can't wait to support you!