I ran with Mrs. U, the mother of two of the children who come to our English school. Back in September I sent a note home to parents inviting them to run with me and only she signed on. It was her first time to run a half and we encouraged one another along the way. As we moved into the final 5 kilometers, she was slowing down. With just 3 kilometers left, she told me to run on ahead. I said, “No, we started together and we’ll cross the finish line together. Let’s do it” The final kilometer was awesome as we saw the finish line in the distance and we picked up speed to finish well. Our times were exactly the same!
I was reminded of how important it is to have someone along on the journey, and that we can accomplish much when we are there for one another. This is just what we do in ‘Church Planting Networks’ across Japan. We bring together churches that already hold a similar vision to start a new church, and then run the race together with them.
The race route came right by our house, and I was looking forwarding to seeing Wendi and the kids at the 16k mark. It was amazing to get there and find not only my family, but a number of co-workers and friends. They were awesome, and the encouragement I received was out of this world. I can say without any doubt that their cheering was the loudest I heard anywhere on the course. By far! It rocked! Even Mrs. U was encouraged. It reminded me of how I can encourage those on the church-planting journey. Simple words of blessing and encouragement can cheer on those in the race and keep them focused on the prize! The cheering I received was a huge boost and what I needed to finish well.
As we wrap up 2010, we are staying the course. Arm-in-arm, we run with you to bring the Good News of Jesus to our friends here in Japan. Thanks for cheering us on! Thanks for running the race with us!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!