Running for Water

From World Vision:

A former Chicago church pastor plans to run across the United States at a rate of 35 miles a day for more than four months in a bid to raise $1.5 million for clean water.

Steve Spear, 49, will begin the herculean effort in Los Angeles on April 8 with an estimated arrival in New York in August — a distance of 3,243 miles.

He plans to run six or seven hours each day, five days a week. During the course of the event, he will run the equivalent distance of more than 120 marathons. Along the way, he will speak to churches and civic organizations, encouraging people to support the cause for water.

Meanwhile, Steve has quit his job as a Willow Creek Community Church pastor to devote himself to preparing for and completing the big run.

Steve says the decision to embark on the run follows a growing conviction that God was calling him to run to change lives. It’s a surprising turn of events, given that for many years he had a strong aversion to running.

“If you had told me five years ago, when I was a complete non-runner, that I would be doing something like this, I would have said you are completely out of your mind,” he says.

Things changed in 2007 when Steve was asked to join Team World Vision and run the Chicago Marathon to raise money to help millions of children and families who have no ready access to clean water.

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  • Andrew

    Reminds me of this fellow who did something similar across Canada.

  • Joe

    Ok, I love this idea and what he is doing. I think it is wonderful that he is able to raise money this way, even though I don’t understand the economics of the fundraising( I assume that this money wouldn’t be available except that he is doi g this novel run). What I really like is the massive running effort.

    But, I have a question:

    “Conviction that God has called him to run to change lives”

    What are we supposed to do with statements like these?

    The language we use to declare we have heard God and have been called speaks of an authority at work in our lives. That authority is not subject to the church or tradition. It can only be contradicted by a direct statement in scripture.

    It also seems to be damaging to those who are looking for guidance from God in their lives but not supported by a robust understanding about how God works in our lives.

    Again, I’m not questioning the work but the language we use regarding how God is at work in our lives. Thanks for any thoughts