Thursday, April 27, 2017

Standing at the Finish Line

Wayne Hester blogs from Cambodia, where staff members recently ran in the Angkor Wat Half-Marathon and 10k to raise money for projects in the country through Team Samaritan’s Purse.

Participating in the Angkor Wat Half-Marathon and 10k in Siem Reap was an amazing experience. It was a beautiful, cool day. Right before the race, I took note of how wonderful it was that God brought together 47 people, ages 5 to 55, from Cambodia, Thailand, India, Germany, England, and the United States to run together as part of Team Samaritan’s Purse.

The Cambodia staff work in different Samaritan’s Purse offices throughout the country, but that day we were all together cheering each other on as one team.

Before the race, everyone shared what the experience of getting ready to run had done for them. These were some of the comments I heard:

“My legs, ankles, and feet used to swell because of bad circulation. Running has made my circulation better, and my legs don’t swell as much anymore!”

“Running with other people in the office has helped us become better friends.”

“People who are running are feeling healthier.”

“I lost weight.”

“I have made friends with some of my neighbors because they saw me running and asked me why. Now we talk to each other more.”

These stories made us all realize that the race was worth all of the hard work and preparation. We are so thankful that people donated to Samaritan’s Purse Cambodia projects to sponsor us as we ran for families in need.

As we looked back at the last year, we saw how the Lord has used Samaritan’s Purse to bless the lives of the children and families we are serving.

One of my favorite moments was seeing a big, blue crowd of Team SP supporters at the finish line, cheering every person on as they finished. Of course, we were comparing times and seeing who beat whom, but I was just relieved that I was able to come in somewhere in the top half of the group!

As we all joined together to celebrate at the finish line and to take a group picture, I was reminded of Psalms 133: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! … For there the LORD bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.

The Angkor Wat Race was not only a day to enjoy being together, but also to rejoice in what God does when we unite to fulfill His plans and purposes.

I am proud and thankful that the Lord has blessed me to run and work with such an incredible team!

You can still donate to Cambodia projects by going to the staff’s fundraising page.