Bleach was left in the water cooler at work the other day — I needed to swallow a few pills so I drank quickly, without realizing. (I’m fine.) But did you know if you had a question about something like that you could just call poison control? We live in an amazing country.
Sure, you can complain about America, that’s an American pastime, and I’m happy to keep that unproductive freedom. But if you are born with AIDS in the US, you have a chance. In places like India, there are stigmas, ignorance and superstition surrounding the disease. You become an outcast.
If a father has AIDS in India and he is approaching his death, he leaves to “go look for work” in another town and dies alone on the street. This is a mercy, because if the neighbors find out he had AIDS, his family would be shunned. If both parents die while the child is young, no one will knowingly take them in.
Originally, our pastor went to India to start churches. But people kept dropping off these helpless little ones. Some are even found discarded in trash heaps. Here is a video about the Homes of Hope set up in India.
Several years ago, a gal from our church, Dottie, came up with the idea to run and earn money through sponsorship for the Homes of Hope in India.
Last year, we joined them. Here are some of my posts about the experience. And here is a video about Run 4 Heaven’s Gate. (You can see my daughter and me at minute 1:50.) I thought — since we’d done it — we’d always do it. However, this year I got scared. Frankly: I didn’t want to hurt. I hate running. The only thing I’ve ever liked about running is when I get home it is something off my checklist for a day or two.
But, I hated it and hurt last year. Thinking about what the money does instead of myself is a huge motivator. Probably the only way for a non-runner to get through 13.1 miles. It’s so much of a motivator that my 17-year-old son decided to join my 15-year-old daughter and me this year. Only, we could never get the money together to pay for the races. I simply couldn’t afford it. I kept hoping we would have enough next week…
Instead, it got worse. I told the kids two weeks ago that it wasn’t happening. In fact, we’d missed the cut-off to sign up for the races at the discounted rate. I hadn’t sent out sponsor letters — and even if I could sign up — we still didn’t have the money.
My daughter prayed. She kept telling me that if God wanted us to do it, he would provide. She kept smiling in faith. Shrugging in faith. Tearing-up in faith. My youngest son got upset last night and said “Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t have enough?”
I told him that is the blessing of being young, no worries. “It isn’t your burden.”
He said, “I could have prayed.”
Well, I wish we had told them sooner. We are running! The farthest I can run right now is 6 miles. That is all I have been pushing myself to do for about 5 weeks. Really, this is the eleventh hour because we run four 1/2 marathons starting in two weeks.
Plus, there is a weird blanket of smoke over the treasure valley right now. I have no idea how we will do it. I’m scared. Two weeks.
We are committed though, and we will run 52.5 miles in October. Two weeks.
The majority of the $128,000 which has been raised over the last four years has come in small donations. Not huge, gifts — just a lot of people giving a little. If you would consider sponsoring me, Hilarey Johnson, my son: Doyle Johnson or my daughter: Naomi Johnson. It would bless us beyond expression.
And if you can’t reach me, I’m probably running.