Team World Vision - Zambia Trip

In Sept 2010 I decided it was time to get back into shape.  Paula and I joined a gym and my running journey began.  I started out on a tread mill and I don't think I was even able to run 1 mile the first time I tried. That November I decided to run my first race, a 6.23k for our school district.  I had to walk a lot of it, but finish it around 40 minutes.  We continued to go to the gym and as spring rolled around, I realized for me to keep running, I needed to register for races to keep motivated.  At the time we were sponsoring 2 young girls in Mozambique with World Vision.  I happened to notice on our Church's Web Site a running group called Team World Vision and their mission of bringing Clean Water to communities in Africa that did not currently have access to it.  I decided it was time to run my first ½ marathon and signed up with Team World Vision.  You may have sponsored me that first year.  After all the training, race day came and I ran a fairly good race.  I had to walk along the course, which totally bummed me out, so the next day I signed up for the Monster Dash ½ Marathon. 
Fast forward to 2013 and now with 5 ½ marathons under my belt, I decided it was finally time to run my first full marathon.  Once again I teamed up with Team World Vision and began training.  I also had the opportunity to captain a team from my work, and 2 other co-workers joined me for the marathon as well as 8 others joining me for the Monster Dash ½ marathon.  As I trained for the marathon, I could see my life changing, I was getting healthier, more dedicated to my training, but I also felt a deeper commitment to the lives I would be changing in Zambia by my running.  Every time someone made a donation, a new picture of an individual that would be receiving clean water would show up on my donor page.  Those pictures were a constant reminder that lives are being changed because of me running.  As I ran the Twin Cities Marathon and my legs started to tighten up, I would pray for those that would be getting water and that they wouldn't need to walk 6-9 miles daily any longer to collect their dirty water for the day.  Those faces carried me to end of the race.

In November of 2013 we also participated in Operation Christmas Child, not affiliated with World Vision, and filled 3 shoeboxes for children somewhere in the world.  Since we registered our boxes online, they sent us an email after the boxes where distributed, with where they ended up.  Guess where our shoe boxes ended up.  If you guessed Zambia, you guessed correct. 

Fast Forward to 2014.  In June I have the opportunity to actually go to Zambia with Team World Vision and see Water Projects like the ones you helped provide with your donations in 2013.  While there our team will also compete in the Victoria Falls ½ Marathon.  It actually feels like a dream that I will actually get to go to Zambia and see the lives that have been changed because I decided to run.  None of this would have happened without you.
  • Pat Grans 
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Scott Stauffacher 
St. Paul, MN
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