Run with Ann
Posted by: Pastor Noel Dionson January 31st, 2014
Ever since I came to know the Lord it has always been my prayer that God will use me for His kingdom. An ambitious thought once crossed my mind that if only I am a millionaire, I will acquire a parcel of land and build a church so that Immanuel Fellowship will no longer be renting in Ayala Center Cebu. Reality check: I am still far from being one and my personal funds are almost always just enough to get through everyday.
Considering my means, I found myself with these lingering thoughts: “What have I to offer in order to help my church? I’m not a singer so I can never be a worship leader or be part of the worship team. Teaching kids is also not my cup of tea so I don’t see myself being in Sunday school. But I want to help! I don’t want to just warm my seat every Sunday and settle on just being a tither. I want to be involved.”
My love affair with running had me become an ultra marathoner in a matter of four months. People have to understand that I was never the athletic type. I would never have imagined myself accomplishing such feat. Fortunately, I have learned not to limit myself and went for it all-in – blood, sweat, and tears. Fun and exhilaration were always constant companions. To add, I’ve been in my best shape ever! But it was not all that. Little did I know I was in for something greater — the sport became a passion and a sense of purpose was birthed.
I believe this great transformation is God’s way of preparing me for His greater purpose.
So the day came when Ate Maleigh presented to me ‘Run with Ann’, a fundraiser. The idea was to run 25 kilometers for IF’s 25th anniversary. I thought it was very doable and I immediately signed up. It was an answered prayer right before my eyes and I remember feeling very honored that, of all, I get to do it.
December 15, 2013. From Kilometer zero at the Capitol Grounds, the group assembled and gathered for prayer and instructions. We set off at 5 a.m., cold and drizzling. Some runners and I were nursing the flu; some were even recovering from injury. It went smoothly running along the streets of Escario until we reached the uphill roads. We struggled; to say the least, as pains here and there started to become bothersome. It was getting very difficult. At Kilometer 10, we wanted to stop and just get in the van and ride our way to the top. There were nagging voices in my head making me doubt I was going to reach the goal. Despite this, we chose to carry on. We did not let physical and psychological walls get the best of us. While at it, I was reminded WHY I was doing the run in the first place. I was reminded of purpose. Even with varied paces we kept moving. We kept going until we were at the last stretch. Kilometer 25 was now within sight and just a stone’s throw away. Finally, we took our last stride. And we finished strong!
Upon setting foot on the 25th km marker, the only words I could gather were, “Thank You, Lord!” I recount my journey in becoming the runner I am today and I’m amazed that he can turn one’s passion into something that would proclaim His kingdom.
Thank You, Lord! And to all who have supported in prayer and pledges, thank you! It is a privilege to serve as God’s hands and feet alongside each of you. We’re all in this together. Happy 25th Anniversary, IF!
Author: Anne Cenabre