The Impact of 13.1 Miles

*I wrote this post Sunday, June 10th, following Alice's big race (June 9th).

This is my take on Alice's race for AS OUR OWN, an INCREDIBLE organization that you will want to check out, 'like' on Facebook, and follow what they're up to. 

Rescuing little girls from India's traffiking world is what they do and is such a beautiful picture of how God wants us to step in and care for those that can't care for themselves. I'm blown away by what this organization is doing. Blown.AWAY.

They ARE making a difference. 
One little girl at a time. And when you have your own daughter that falls into the age category of what these little girls are being rescued from, you can't help but weep at the tragedy and then jump up and down for joy at the beauty of the impact that As Our Own is having. 

Over the years I have thought, "How did so many people just stand by and let the likes of Hitler take over and do the evil that he did? Why didn't they step in earlier and do something to stop his madness?" And then I have to stop myself and say, "And what are you doing, Alysa, to combat today's injustice and horror and tragedy and brokenness?"

And so, Alice's run was to raise awareness and funds for As Our Own. 

They ran for AVISHI and here's my take on the impact of 13.1 miles.

*written June 10th
It ought to be required driving every day for Chicago folks. South on Lake Shore Drive. I accelerate up the ramp and instantly breathe a sigh of relief and relaxation. Not sure if it's because I lived over by the lake for years and it brings back warm fuzzies, or if it's still just the fact that it's what I consider beautiful about Chicago -- trees and green next to a body of water. Lake Michigan. 

And then, to top it off, yesterday it was if God's very face was smiling down on what was about to happen on the South Side, by putting His huge red ball of fire called the sun, on the horizon. 

{Try digging for your camera while going 70 - sorry for the "less-than-stellar" photo.} 

The same sun that was setting over India's little innocent girls was rising over a group of adults in Chicago that opted to make a difference. Hopelessness meets hope by way of a half marathon campaign. To raise awareness. To raise funds. To rescue little girls from a life that was never meant to be.

Friday night, as I was packing my camera bag I jumped over to As Our Own's website {} and was brought to tears, yet again, over what this incredible organization is doing for little girls in India.

Little girls that get caught in the cycle of poverty and the brutal evilness of mankind. Those little girls that are sold into prostitution at the age of 6, 7, 8.... YOUNGER THAN OUR MADDIE. If that doesn't make me weep I'm not sure what would be wrong with my heart. It's just so evil, so broken and so wrong and so heartbreaking and so sad. Makes me weep as I type.

No little girl should EVER, EVER have to know that life as her daily life. 
Her hourly life. 
The rest of her life.

And so "As Our Own" steps in.  
They said enough.  
They said "we CAN do something." 
 They said, what if we raise awareness and funds to continue taking these girls out of this life and give them a better life? In their home country, but in a safe environment where they are learning and growing and safe and being loved on and supported and cared for.

Their mantra: 
  •  Rescue. We rescue children from certain enslavement and exploitation. 
  •  Aftercare. We provide lifelong aftercare for the rescued in our family environment. 
  •  Prevention. We prevent high-risk situations for children and grow new patterns of hope. 
I had taken the time to get up super early yesterday and actually put some make up on, on a Saturday morning, and yet by the time I was flyin' south on LSD, it was all smeared because I was praying and crying and smiling and rubbing my eyes trying to see so that I didn't take out the car in the lane to my right.

AVISHI is her name. Every one of the runners that signed up to run this half marathon to raise awareness and funds for As Our Own was doing it for one reason. AVISHI, and girls just like her.

Some had never run before, like my dear college friend Alice. And by never, I do mean NEVER.RUN.BEFORE.

And others have been running for years. And a bunch in-between.

And yet to see this many people up before 6am on a Saturday morning, to run THIRTEEN POINT ONE miles, for a little girl on the other side of the ocean. That's powerful. That's moving. 

That's God at work.  

That's a bunch of individuals saying, "I might be only one, but if I join up with another 'one', and she joins up with another 'one' and he joins up with another 'one', pretty soon we're a bunch of 'ones' that could be God's hands and feet in India, for some sweet little girls that deserve the opportunity to live outside of poverty and brothels and prostitution and profound evil.

See how that whole "one can make a difference things works?" It does. It really works.

Sharpies and tape. Check.

Arms and legs ready to boldly share AVISHI's name. Check.

Photos to help spread awareness and HOPE for AVISHI. And PASHI. And ... Check.

{Alice and Jennie right before they hit the pavement. And if you've known Alice for any length of time, you know this is her, "I'm a little wee bit nervous right now smile. I love it!}

For AVISHI. And others like her. 

Through heat.

Through hurting legs. 

Through long hard miles. 

 They did it. 

I went knowing one runner and her dear friend Jennie, and I came away feeling so proud of every single runner that represented As Our Own.

What I loved most was that they really weren't in it for themselves. They were in it for her. AVISHI.

May Saturday's half marathon be used by God in super powerful ways to radically change the lives of many, MANY little girls in India. 

May those little girls in India, perhaps for the first time, feel loved and cherished. 

As they should. 

As our own. 

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Alice ROCKED the half marathon. Here she is, just steps from the finish line. 

I can't even begin to tell you how proud I was of her. 

She got her very own medal and everything. 

Oh, and if you haven't read Alice's take on her 13.1 mile journey, jump over here to do so. 
Have kleenex in hand.


alice said…
Thanks for this, my friend. I'm so glad you're involved, too!! And I get a little teary-eyed seeing our pic at the end--friends for 25 years. Thank you, Jesus!!

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