Tom Kragt wrote -
35 years ago I was riding in a car with three friends after Sunday evening services at our church. All three of us were sports junkies and self-proclaimed experts on any competitive event. On this Sunday night, for some reason, our conversation turned to running the Boston Marathon. All three of us made a promise to each other that we would run Boston. Well, my friend Bill actually took that commitment seriously. Bill has become a very good runner and has long since qualified for and run Boston along with several other marathons. Every time I run into Bill, which isn’t often, he really enjoys reminding me of the promise I made 35 years ago.
As the years have passed, I pretty much resigned myself to the reality that Boston would not be in the cards for me. Six years ago my perspective on running began to change. My son, Tim, and friend, Howard Van Mersbergen convinced me to run the Fifth/Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, MI. The 5/3 is a great event, which has grown into the largest 25K in the world! Greg Myer, who is the last American to win at Boston, is the founder and still a major player in making it a great event for runners and fans. After having completed 6 years of the River Bank Run, Howard informed me it was time to fulfill an old promise…run Boston.
Running Boston, which is “the” marathon, is a dream come true. Howard’s encouragement and help in training has been huge. My son Tim’s helpful motivation, chastisement, and support are really cool. The members of Team EGM who run the 5/3 River Bank Run in Grand Rapids always inspire me.
The really important part of running Boston for me is the opportunity to use this event to benefit Project 32K, which is the Building Program for EverGreen Ministries in Hudsonville, MI. The name 32K was chosen because there are 32,000 people in our area without a church home.
EverGreen is an exciting community of faith that was founded 17 years ago by our Senior Pastor, Larry Doornbos. The size of the church has grown to over 1300 people in attendance at our worship services each Sunday. But, there is far more to EverGreen than large crowds. Our mission is to create passionate followers of Jesus. Amazinglyover 400 children participate weekly in our educational and youth ministries, and they are out of space. During the average week hundreds of people make their way through our doors and more space is needed for all of them. Fourteen 12-Step Groups that focus on recovery provide meeting places for 350 – 400 people. Area artists learn about God’s beauty and practice their craft. Small Groups, Discipleship meetings, area schools, and various ministries contribute to the dynamic sense that God is alive and healing people at Evergreen. Currently all of our ministries are running out of space and need more room to grow and continue the mission of making passionate followers of Jesus.
I am running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Project 32K;our building program that we believe will have a profound effect toward healing our community and world. I would ask you to prayerfully consider supporting me by making a generous donation. Your gift will pay huge dividends in God’s Kingdom. As you and others give, our new building project will become a reality and we will continue to share the good news of God's Kingdom. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
For more information about EverGreen Ministries go to www.egm.org.