As most of you know, Jeremy and I have begun training again to run our 2nd half marathon, 13.1 Miles. We signed up to run with our church for the orphanage that Woodside Bible Church formed, built and funds in Thailand called Akha House of Light. When they showed the video clip for the race and introduced the concept of running for a purpose last spring, Jeremy and I felt like we should sign up. But we didn't right away, because we thought we couldn't run that far. Well, God gave us His strength and helped us push through thanks to all of our supporters and people praying for us. One of our favorite songs right now is by Matthew West and it's called, "Do Something." In this song he talks about how upset he was that God would let so much devastation on earth happen and wonders aloud why God doesn't do something. It continues with God responding, "I did, I created you!" We can do something instead of shaking our heads and being disgusted with the way things are here in the US and abroad. So we decided to run, donate and raise money for the Akha orphans again.
Thailand does not offer free education to the hill tribes. Without education these children have very little hope for a future as their parents cannot get jobs. Recently Thailand has made it illegal for them to even farm in the hills. Parents are forced to give up their children and often they are kidnapped off the street or sold for human trafficking and other horrible things. The average age of human trafficking victims is 11 in Thailand with some being as young as 6. The top human trafficking slavery is in the sex trade (75-80%) with the second being slave labor. According to research there are now more slaves in the world than any time prior in history. Brazil and Thailand are considered to be the worst areas in the world for this. The statistics go on and on and literally make you feel sick and just want to cry for what these kids are forced into. Thankfully, the orphanage was formed to protect these children and give them a loving environment, education, a future, hope and to show them the love of Christ. We heard a testimony just yesterday from a 12 year old little girl who has been at the orphanage for 7 years now. Prior to that at 5 years old she was in prostitution. My heart was shattered hearing this. She asked for prayers as her heart is still healing from the abuse she suffered. We are so blessed to live in America, for Jeremy to have a great job, 2 beautiful kids and a house. Not everyone is born so fortunate.
Jesus often talks in the bible about orphans and helping others. A verse (Matthew 25 35-45) we have come to love is, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mind, you did for me." In the context of the verse Jesus talks about being hungry, homeless, thirsty, poor, without clothing and states that what we do for others we do for Him. Reading through another great book recently by Jen Hatmaker she states, "It simply will not be enough to stand before Jesus one day and say, "Oh were you serious about all of that?" We are answering a call for help to these beautiful orphans. You can see them if you go on youtube and type in the Akha House of Light name in the search box. We have enjoyed doing that throughout our training when miles get tough. To think about what these children are forced to go through, we can certainly train and endure the miles. This has been a blessing in our lives as we have donated our time and money. "For where your treasures are there will be your heart also." (Matthew 6:21) As we have come to learn much about these kids, what they are up against, what we can do for them we have come to love them. We have decided to personally support monthly 2 of these precious kids named Pailin (7 year old litle girl) and Nuttawut (11 year old little boy). Nuttawut shares a birthday with Ginnie and our son Austin.
We are asking if you feel lead to donate to these children, to please partner with us as we run. Our goal is for each runner to raise $1,000 for a total of $100,000 to help clothe, feed, educate, house and love the new and existing children that have come to the orphanage. We know it's a big goal, but we also believe that "through Christ, all things are possible."
There are two ways you can donate: You can go to https://www.crowdrise.com/fundraiser/edit/woodsiderundetroitmarathon2015/jeremyandginniewade
Or you can mail a check to us written out to Woodside Bible Church with Woodside runners and one of our names in the subject line.
What I love about the fact that this is our church's orphanage is that every penny raised goes straight to these kids. There are no administrative costs attached. It is also 100% tax deductible.
We also want to thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement, watching our kids as we train and anything else you have done to help. It means so much to have so many behind us as we train. Race day is October 18th when all the training will hopefully pay off! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we train for strength, endurance, health and no injuries for us and our team. That we can cross that finish line and meet our goal!