May 18, 2023

The London Marathon: How God Used 26.2 Miles

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Show Notes

This week Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, discusses running a marathon, creative giving, and how God can use challenging circumstances to open our eyes to how He is at work all around us. First, Kristy sits down with Melissa Strickland, who recently completed the London Marathon with our affiliate office in the UK to raise money for Samaritan’s Purse projects in Iraq.

Melissa has worked for the ministry for 17 years—dedicating her career to serving hurting people around the world with the hope of the Gospel. However, this race inspired her at a deeper level as she considered what she was personally willing to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. Melissa chose to raise money for Yazidi women in Iraq, and this kept her motivated as she set out on long, arduous runs.

“I would have to really think about [Yazidi women] and what they’ve gone through. Running a marathon is nothing compared to that. Training for a marathon is nothing compared to that.” – Melissa Strickland

The day before the race, Melissa suffered a severe calf injury. Once again, she was forced to dig into her reserves and challenge herself beyond what she thought was possible. During the race, she relied on her faith in God, her passion for the projects in Iraq, and the community around her to keep her going.

The Samaritan’s Purse team cheered her on at tough spots along the course, and their love and support helped her stay motivated mile after mile.

“That’s another thing I love about creative giving—it engages community. It creates community.” – Melissa Strickland

Kristy Graham relates the process of training for and running a marathon to our spiritual walk with the Lord.

“There’s a verse that says physical training is of some value because it requires perseverance and stretching yourself and pushing through mental blocks, but spiritual training is of so much more value because it is eternal.” – Kristy Graham

Next, Kristy speaks with Sophie Munro, who serves with Donor Ministries at the UK affiliate office. For years, runners have participated in the London Marathon to raise money for Samaritan’s Purse.

“By having someone who’s willing to run a marathon for you, they’re effectively standing up and saying, ‘Yes, I believe in this charity. And yes, I believe in what they do.’” – Sophie Munro

There are so many other ways to have the same effect. Creative giving is not limited to marathons. You can bake cupcakes, host a car wash, or bike across your home state—the options are truly endless. Samaritan’s Purse is grateful for every person who chooses to partner with the ministry whether it be through gifts or even more importantly, prayer.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)