For our staff team, it has certainly been very encouraging to us to know that even those who are far away are still praying for and supporting this ministry. In a previous blog post, we mentioned that one of our graduates did her own version of the Race for Hope in the United Kingdom. She has given us permission to share her story of this exciting adventure with you along with the life lessons learned. It so thrilled Pastor Shaw that he asked that we feature it in a 3-part blog series. We especially enjoyed the parallels to Vision of Hope that she shares about how God used this adventure to draw her even closer to Him:
“I wanted to do something for Race for Hope that would serve as a physical representation of the emotional, mental and spiritual battles residents of Vision of Hope are faced with. This challenge is the biggest physical challenge I have faced and much like Vision of Hope, before facing the challenge I had to consider if I was geared up for it. You can’t be half committed or you won’t last.
Our Lord tells us this parable: ‘which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?… So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple’ Luke 14:28 & 33.
However, the night before the race I had that familiar feeling of I can never be prepared enough. I had planned and rehearsed the route and although I had done all I could to ensure safety and success mountains are not predictable places. I will never feel ready to step out into so many unknowns.
I felt the same way about preparing to go to Vision of Hope. I knew there would never be a time where I felt fully prepared to face the challenge, but I knew that God was pointing this was the way for me to go. To inflict my biggest fear upon myself: Life without anorexia and a life without control.
Before setting off on the race God blessed me with an amazing team of people who were supporting me in prayer and on presence. I had my own support bus (‘the Yellow Peril’) An old church bus driven and occupied by my friend Matthew who was ready and prepared with full safety kit and a portable radio so that we could communicate as I ran. 2 other friends Katherine and Nick were up walking on the mountains with extra supplies of food and water. It would have been intimidating to do such a big challenge where so much could have gone wrong on my own but this support gave me confidence! My parents and family provided the same encouragement and support as I applied to VOH. Moreover I had the assurance and security (whether I believed it or not) of God watching over me even when man couldn’t
‘Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.’ – Psalm 121:4-5
So I was code named ‘Sky Runner’ and radio, map, compass, energy gels and water on my back I was ready to face the challenge – running up and over 7 of Snowdonia’s mountains all in one go.”
How awesome to see how God uses physical challenges to remind us of His strength for both the physical and spiritual challenges in our lives!
Stay tuned to hear more about Sophie’s adventure, and how God used it to grow her in her walk with Him…