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Chad Dykstra - 2014-06-03

Comrades is Coming!
Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29

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Chad Dykstra - 2012-10-03

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Comrades is Coming!

Chad Dykstra - 2013-04-29
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During our adoption process, Lora and I were looking for ways to make a difference in Ethiopia while we waited to be matched with our boys. It was during this time that we were introduced to Team World Vision. I hadn’t laced up running shoes in almost 10 years, but immediately knew that this was the way I should get involved. I started running again, and we were matched with our boys shortly thereafter. Just weeks after that first race, we were on a plane to Ethiopia to meet our boys.

While in Ethiopia, Lora and I witnessed first-hand the impact that water, or the lack thereof, has on a community. While visiting World Vision area development programs, we were taken to a river where World Vision was in the finishing stages of an irrigation canal to help local farmers. While at the river, we saw livestock drinking, women washing clothes, people bathing, and drinking water jugs being filled to carry back home. All in the same place.
This is personal to us. Last summer, I was out running with the kids. Abatu and I arrived at the bridge over the Rabbit River, and he explained how this was like the river that they used to walk to and collect water. They had to walk over a big hill to get to the river. His older sister wasn’t able to go to school and had to collect water.
 
Drinking contaminated water has awful repercussions. In the time that it takes you to read this letter, over 20 people around the world will die from a water-related illness. To make this even worse, the walk is often far to collect contaminated water. Women and children are primarily responsible for collecting water. This affects more than just health. It prevents kids from going to school and keeps communities in poverty. It breaks our hearts to think of Zinabu and Abatu’s family struggling with this daily.
 
While in Ethiopia, we were also able to visit a community where clean water had been made available through a World Vision water project. We were able to see a water tower that is filled from a nearby well and pump house which gravity-feeds water to several distribution stations in the community. In this way, water is available to the community even without electricity. We were able to talk to a woman who used to have to walk a long distance to carry water, but now was able to fill her containers right in her own community, and saw children in their uniforms carrying books on their way to school. What an amazing difference!
 
Last fall, I set out to once again run the Chicago Marathon with hopes of finishing strong and healthy as a jump-start to a greater involvement in this worthy cause. Over the past few years I have felt a desire to run the Comrades Marathon with Team World Vision and to have an even bigger impact on providing clean water to communities in Ethiopia and Kenya. After much prayer and consideration, this is the year!
 
The Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon. It is a road race between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the country of South Africa. The race has a total distance of 54 miles – over 2 marathons - with a total elevation climb of over 7,000 feet (and 4,000 feet of descent) throughout the course. There are 16,000 total participants each year, but only around 150 Americans will take on the challenge. I will be numbered among them.
 
Over the past several months, I have been training and preparing my mind and body for this challenge. As I post this blog, I’m still sore from running 57 miles in the just the past two days - that's more than two marathons! As unbelievable as it is to go out and run 26.2 miles on a Saturday, it takes a special kind of crazy to run 31 more the next day! Of course it isn’t just running either – there’s a myriad of other strength training to prevent over-use injuries (and rest to not get burned out or over-trained.) It’s been a busy 2013.
 
I leave for Africa on Wednesday, May 22 and will be undertaking this epic challenge on Sunday, June 2. While in Africa I am going to have some pretty amazing opportunities. I will be visiting four of the children that our family sponsors in three different countries. If that weren’t enough, Lord willing I am also going to once again be able to visit the birth family of our adopted children and hopefully allow them to video chat with Zinabu and Abatu. Lora will hopefully be able to travel with me to Ethiopia for the first 5 days of the trip, including two sponsor visits and the family visit. After the race I will spend time in Kenya to view more of the work that World Vision is doing in communities there, as well as a few days to enjoy the Kenyan wildlife and wilderness.
Along with big fitness goals, I also have big fundraising goals. First and foremost, I need to make clear that my fundraising does not provide me with plane tickets, race registrations, or any other benefits related to this trip. This cause is important to me, and I will be paying all the costs associated with the trip myself. Any money raised goes to provide clean water to communities that need it the most. I have a very aggressive goal of raising $500 per mile, which can provide clean water for 10 people. If I reach my total goal of $27,000, we will be able to provide clean water to 540 people for life.
 
I can’t do this alone.  I ask that you consider how you might be able to help me reach this goal. I’ve been praying that individuals and businesses would be able to step forward and make a big impact. It would be awesome if you were willing to provide $500 to support me for an entire mile…or maybe even more than one! Maybe there’s a way that you can contribute $50 to provide clean water for 1 person. 
 
To celebrate that my biggest weekend of $57 is behind me and to personally show our support for this cause, Lora and I are going to match $57 for every contribution of at least $57 Through the end of April, with NO LIMIT. Please make us tap into the emergency fund.
 
If you are able to help, please visit http://support.worldvision.org/goto/chad_dykstra to make a secure online donation. If you would like to pay by check, please make a check out to World Vision and send it to me at the address below. Your donations will be tax deductible.
 
Chad Dykstra
3669 36th St.
Hamilton, MI 49419
 
Together we can make a big impact on our world. Thanks for your support, and God bless!
 
UPDATE: This weekend, I ran 57 miles and have officially started to "taper" my mileage down! I'm very happy about this! To celebrate and show our support for this cause, Lora and I are going to match $57 for every contribution of at least $57 Through the end of April, with NO LIMIT. Please make us tap into the emergency fund.During our adoption process, Lora and I were looking for ways to make a difference in Ethiopia while we waited to be matched with our boys. It was during this time that we were introduced to Team World Vision. I hadn’t laced up running shoes in almost 10 years, but immediately knew that this was the way I should get involved. I started running again, and we were matched with our boys shortly thereafter. Just weeks after that first race, we were on a plane to Ethiopia to meet our boys.
 
While in Ethiopia, Lora and I witnessed first-hand the impact that water, or the lack thereof, has on a community. While visiting World Vision area development programs, we were taken to a river where World Vision was in the finishing stages of an irrigation canal to help local farmers. While at the river, we saw livestock drinking, women washing clothes, people bathing, and drinking water jugs being filled to carry back home. All in the same place.
This is personal to us. Last summer, I was out running with the kids. Abatu and I arrived at the bridge over the Rabbit River, and he explained how this was like the river that they used to walk to and collect water. They had to walk over a big hill to get to the river. His older sister wasn’t able to go to school and had to collect water.
 
Drinking contaminated water has awful repercussions. In the time that it takes you to read this letter, over 20 people around the world will die from a water-related illness. To make this even worse, the walk is often far to collect contaminated water. Women and children are primarily responsible for collecting water. This affects more than just health. It prevents kids from going to school and keeps communities in poverty. It breaks our hearts to think of Zinabu and Abatu’s family struggling with this daily.
 
While in Ethiopia, we were also able to visit a community where clean water had been made available through a World Vision water project. We were able to see a water tower that is filled from a nearby well and pump house which gravity-feeds water to several distribution stations in the community. In this way, water is available to the community even without electricity. We were able to talk to a woman who used to have to walk a long distance to carry water, but now was able to fill her containers right in her own community, and saw children in their uniforms carrying books on their way to school. What an amazing difference!
Last fall, I set out to once again run the Chicago Marathon with hopes of finishing strong and healthy as a jump-start to a greater involvement in this worthy cause. Over the past few years I have felt a desire to run the Comrades Marathon with Team World Vision and to have an even bigger impact on providing clean water to communities in Ethiopia and Kenya. After much prayer and consideration, this is the year!
 
The Comrades Marathon is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon. It is a road race between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg in the country of South Africa. The race has a total distance of 54 miles – over 2 marathons - with a total elevation climb of over 7,000 feet (and 4,000 feet of descent) throughout the course. There are 16,000 total participants each year, but only around 150 Americans will take on the challenge. I will be numbered among them.
Over the past several months, I have been training and preparing my mind and body for this challenge. As I write this letter, I’m still sore from running 48 miles in the just the past two days. As unbelievable as it is to go out and run 27 miles on a Saturday, it takes a special kind of crazy to run 21 more the next day! Of course it isn’t just running either – there’s a myriad of other strength training to prevent over-use injuries (and rest to not get burned out or over-trained.) It’s been a busy 2013.
 
I leave for Africa on Wednesday, May 22 and will be undertaking this epic challenge on Sunday, June 2. While in Africa I am going to have some pretty amazing opportunities. I will be visiting four of the children that our family sponsors in three different countries. If that weren’t enough, Lord willing I am also going to once again be able to visit the birth family of our adopted children and hopefully allow them to video chat with Zinabu and Abatu. Lora will hopefully be able to travel with me to Ethiopia for the first 5 days of the trip, including two sponsor visits and the family visit. After the race I will spend time in Kenya to view more of the work that World Vision is doing in communities there, as well as a few days to enjoy the Kenyan wildlife and wilderness.
Along with big fitness goals, I also have big fundraising goals. First and foremost, I need to make clear that my fundraising does not provide me with plane tickets, race registrations, or any other benefits related to this trip. This cause is important to me, and I will be paying all the costs associated with the trip myself. Any money raised goes to provide clean water to communities that need it the most. I have a very aggressive goal of raising $500 per mile, which can provide clean water for 10 people. If I reach my total goal of $27,000, we will be able to provide clean water to 540 people for life.
 
I can’t do this alone.  I ask that you consider how you might be able to help me reach this goal. I’ve been praying that individuals and businesses would be able to step forward and make a big impact. It would be awesome if you were willing to provide $500 to support me for an entire mile…or maybe even more than one! Maybe there’s a way that you can contribute $50 to provide clean water for 1 person. If things are tight, maybe you know someone who might have a heart for this that you could share the opportunity with. 
 
If you are able to help, please visit http://support.worldvision.org/goto/chad_dykstra to make a secure online donation. If you would like to pay by check, please make a check out to World Vision and send it to me at the address below. Your donations will be tax deductible.
 
Chad Dykstra
3669 36th St.
Hamilton, MI 49419
 
Together we can make a big impact on our world. Thanks for your support, and God bless!
 
UPDATE: This weekend, I ran 57 miles and have officially started to "taper" my mileage down! I'm very happy about this! To celebrate and show our support for this cause, Lora and I are going to match $57 for every contribution of at least $57 Through the end of April, with NO LIMIT. Please make us tap into the emergency fund.

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Comments


Posted by Gwyn on 2013-04-29

Great article Chad.  It shows your heart for this cause.  So proud of you!  Praying that God does great things through you.

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