Archive for October, 2008

We recently went camping in Bayfield Wisconsin. We had a great time and were pleased that it wasn’t too cold and that lots of leaves were still on the trees. Our camp site was nestled right next to Lake Superior with a sweet view of Basswood Island. One day was spent wandering around a bunch of apple orchards, testing a wide variety of apple flavors and even picking a bag of our own. Our favorite orchards was the Sunset Valley Orchard. The owners were extremely friendly and generous with his apples.

I haven’t really had time to play with the pictures at all, so below is a slideshow of pictures.

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I can’t say how thankful I am for everyone of you who supported me through the marathon and especially through my fundraising efforts for Team World Vision. It was a humbling honor to run on behalf of my African friends and to share their stories with you over the last months.

It really has been fun to combine two of my passions into such a powerful event. Thank you! I am excited to announce that as of writing this post, we have raised $2,086 for Team World Vision!!! This exceeded the $2,000 goal!! Thank you!!

Below you will find a list of the posts where I shared about my passion for Africa and my experiences there. You can also read all of the posts by clicking on this link. In the order they were published:

That pretty much sums up Team World Vision. I’m not sure when/if they actually close down the fundraising page, but you still have the opportunity to give today. Thank you!!

Team World Vision

Team World Vision is a fund raising arm of the organization which uses ordinary people like me, to get ordinary people like you involved in ending poverty and injustice across the world. I have decided to commit the 26.2 miles of my first marathon to the memory of and in honor of the children I have met during my international travels. I can’t remember all of their names, but I have many pictures and stories.

On the right side of my blog there is a widget that will allow you to support me during this race or you can visit this secure page. I have set a goal of raising $2,000 which will help children have a chance at living to become adults across Africa.

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On Weds I wrote about Blog Action Day and some ways that Christy and I are working to end poverty. I was really happy to see that over 20 of the blogs I read on a regular basis posted something for Blog Action Day. So below is a list of their posts:

As you can see my reading list is quite eclectic, but it is awesome to see so many people willing to take a day and blog about something so important as poverty. It is really cool to see some of the creative ways that individuals tied poverty into their blogging niche.

One action you can take that will help children in Romania is purchasing some Christmas cards from Word Made Flesh’s Valley House!

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If you didn’t know today is Blog Action Day around the world!!!

Thousands of bloggers are writing about poverty today and offering radical ways to end poverty. It is an interesting idea and has produced some great posts. My BAD post is simply a wrap-up to the Team World Vision fundraising!! I am so super excited that my family and friends were willing to donate over $2,100 towards World Vision and supporting my marathon. You can see my official BAD post here.

I know World Vision will put that money to great use in eliminating poverty in Africa. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

A quick thought about ways that I’m involved in eliminating poverty:

  • Working for an inner-city school with a large immigrant population – trying to find ways to enhance the learning environment and educational experiences for 400 kids.
  • Tutoring Somali adults so that they can learn English and obtain US Citizenship.
  • Providing another peaceful presence on our block and being involved in the neighborhood.
  • Being involved in a church that is focused on show the love of Jesus to our neighbors.
  • We support a child in Ghana through World Vision.
  • We partner with several friends who are working internationally trying to bring peace and justice to the communities they work in.
  • We recently made a small business loan through OptINNow a Christian micro-lending organization. Our loan helped a Kenyan man expand his retail outlet.
  • We haven’t done this in awhile, but shopping at a Goodwill or Salvation Army store gives you some great deals while supporting their job training programs.
  • We actively advocate for the end of Genocide and other issues related to international and local poverty.
  • I blog a lot about social justice and poverty!

This is just a start… what are you doing to end poverty? Here is a list of 88 Ways to Do Something About Poverty.

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It has been almost a week since I finished my first marathon!!! Yes I made it the entire 26.2 miles!

It was quite an adventure as the rain pelted down on us for at least 4-5 miles of the race. But it was very thrilling to reach the finish line and to know that I had accomplished such a large feat. My finish time was 3:25. My Dad asked, “What does that mean? Is that fast, slow, really fast or what?” He’s not a runner so that’s understandable. Most of my running friends know what that means – I finished in the top 10% of all the finisher’s in Sunday’s race. I didn’t quite make the “gold standard” of a Boston Qualifying time, but for my first marathon I am quite pleased with the effort!

I have already posted two reviews of the race, so I would encourage you to check them out. The first is Grading the Race Plan and the second is a more traditional Race Review.

On a similar note I am very excited to say that we have surpassed our $2,000 goal for Team World Vision!! Isn’t that awesome. So thank you to the many of you that donated and supported this effort. It was a pretty amazing and overwhelming feeling to know that my running a marathon changed my life, but also lives of children and families in Africa. Thank you for being a part of the journey with me.

As I write this today, pretty much all of the soreness is gone, but you can ask Christy and she will tell you that I kinda hobbled around Sunday and most of Monday! The truly insane part is that I’m already thinking about running another one sometime next year (maybe I am a little nuts!)

I wanted to give you an update on the marathon and thank you for your support. If you were planning to make a donation you still can! Tax-deductible and secure donations can be made at www.firstgiving.com/teamcross

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I haven’t had a chance to write up the entire marathon report. But here are my initial thoughts:

I just woke up from a short nap following the marathon debut. It was a cool pretty much perfect start at 8am that turned miserable with a deluge of rain for 4-5 miles starting around 7. I hit the wall shortly after 20 and finished in 3:25.

I finished and am now a marathoner!!

I’ll have a more in-depth review later this week but wanted to let you know. Thanks for all the spectators who endured nasty weather this morning and for all those who cheered me on!

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Each month seems to fly by. It is hard to believe that it is already October and fall is here!

In case you missed it, my marathon is coming up Oct 5, that is a few short days away. Training is going well and I’m pretty much set. You can see all the training details and running related stuff at Team Cross Runs. You also still have a chance to make a donation on my behalf for World Vision. You can make your secure, tax-deductible donation here.

September started off with the Republican National Convention being held here. We didn’t go to any of the official festivities though we did get to see Cindy McCain and Laura Bush at a ONE/World Vision event. We also took part in a protest of sorts related to the ongoing genocide in Darfur. This has also been a pretty tense campaign season already so I reposted Jim Wallis’ list of ideas for Christian Civility. I actually took offense to Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani’s remarks about community organizing. Amidst all of the RNC chaos school started back up.

A quick personal update. And September was actually the Muslim month of Ramadan. I posted two posts about Somalia, one informational and another was a testimony. Last year I gave a more detailed explanation of what Ramadan is.

Last Year
I talked about loving prostitutes, advocated against a prison book ban (1)- and we saw the advocacy work. Do you think the Bible is true? Last year my church tackled that issue and I presented some related research. I also looked at a couple of questions about Africa. Can money really solve their problems? Do celebrities really help African causes?

One of the blogs I read is Martin Dugard‘s he is an author, runner, and all around endurance athlete.

Hope you have had a good September!