Several months ago, I felt as if God was challenging me as a pastor to begin to live out my faith with action. I do a lot of talking and teaching, but know from experience that people learn more when they have a visual to go along with what they are being told. Therefore, I'm following the prompting of the Holy Spirit to go on an adventure that will bring a tangible element to my faith.
During one of my morning runs I heard the Lord say very clearly that He wanted me to pray a circle around the state, but I didn't know exactly what it meant. It was a time when I was teaching on defining moments in life and asking people to connect the dots between them to determine what God is speaking. In my own life, I felt God pointing me towards using my love of endurance sports with raising awareness for those in our community who have great need, but how?
After some back and forth for additional clarification, I realized He wanted me to literally travel around the perimeter of Washington and cover its people in prayer. It was to be done in a multi-stage journey beginning on a bike to cover the northern and eastern side of the state, a kayak down the Columbia River for the southern edge, and on foot, running and walking up the west coast to complete my loop. The next question was who was this for?
I repeatedly heard the term "orphans and widows" and began to study what Scripture had to say about them. James 1:27 wouldn't leave my mind, "Religion that God or Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." I knew this was to be taken literally and would be the focus of the endeavor.
As the following weeks unfolded, so did the idea of the Mended Orphans and Widows Fund (OAF). It was to be a pool of resources that would immediately begin to meet the most basic needs of those in distress - primarily children without parents and those who have experienced the loss of a spouse. My journey around the state will act as just the beginning, and my hope and prayer is that it will be a catalyst to draw support and spark a fire in those watching that with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
Below is a video outlining the three main main purposes for this journey beginning summer 2017,