Finish The Race

By:  J. Lucarelli

“I run with purpose!!” That is what I and more than 1,400 other people that are running for water in the Detroit Marathon are saying to ourselves and others as we train with Hope Water Project. It is even plastered on the back of our jerseys.

Why do we run and why do we subject ourselves to near constant pain and invest the time it takes to train for a marathon? I have asked myself that question a number of times lately and have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really have any to do with the race.

For me, I run because there are people that need Jesus and they need water and if I run, I can be a voice for those people and help raise awareness and funds so that they have an opportunity to see the love of Christ lived out through the love and compassion of me and my teammates. I run so that clean water wells can be drilled and churches planted in areas that need them.

It hasn’t been easy and a number of people are battling injuries. Other people who wanted to be involved in the initiative weren’t able to run, so they raised money and came out to support and encourage those that are able to run.

A community has formed as a result of this initiative – one that I am even able to be part of living several hundred miles away. It is a community that loves and encourages one another – and holds each other accountable. What a great example of the body of Christ in so many different ways!

The community has gone international, too. The community of Kodich heard what was happening in Michigan and that so many people were running for them, the Pokot. So, they hosted a run of their own. In August, more than 300 people gathered in Kodich to show their support of and appreciation for the Hope Water team and ran in the Great Kodich Chicken Run.

Doing something for someone else makes it easier for me to press on, even when I want to quit. I have learned a lot about myself during this training process. Preparation is key, laziness catches up with you, and you can’t fake-it-til-you-make-it through a marathon or the race of life. Sorry to be cliché, but it is true.

Not many people saw the “I Run With Purpose” slogan on the back of my jersey the day of the Chicken Run because I was one of the last to finish, as will likely also be the case in Detroit. However, I have resigned myself to the realistic position that I will not win the Detroit Marathon, but with God’s help and the encouragement of my teammates, I will finish the race. We have all realized that it is not an individual initiative. We are all working together to provide the hope of a better future through the love of Christ to hundreds of thousands of Pokot that still need to drink of the physical and spiritual water to save and sustain them.

Please pray for me and the other members of the Hope Water Project team who are trying to finish the race. Their efforts are already making a difference in the lives of thousands of people both here in the U.S. and in Pokot. If you would like to follow what’s going on with the initiative or feel led to give, please visit