In the spring of 1996 a close friend asked me to do him a favor.  He was turning 39 and his doctor said he needed to work on his health.  He decided he was going to start running again and asked if I would be his accountability partner.  I easily replied, “Of course, I can check up on you.”

He said, “Oh no, you don’t understand. You have to go with me!”  And I said, “Oh no, YOU don’t understand. Even though I played sports, I HATE to run!”

Mark and I ran together for five months.  Sixteen years later, I am still running.  For many years, I ran for me.  I ran alone to strengthen myself physically and it has been good for me.  But for the last 15 years, I’ve learned to run for others.

At times, I still hate to run.  At times it has been hard, long and costly.  At the end of the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in San Antonio a few months ago it was painful.  But, it is still rewarding!

2013 has been one of those years: hard, long, costly and, at times, painful, yet it has been extremely rewarding!  As we close out this year with so many incredible highlights, we have yet to cross the finish line.  We had lofty goals, and through God’s help and your faithfulness, we have achieved every goal less one: to Finish Strong.  

We don’t want to limp across the finish line. We want to finish strong and to reach our goal of $1.2 million in giving this year. We don’t want to check off the goal just to say we accomplished it, but to set us up for the next race…2014.

See, we are not going to rest on our laurels. We are going to hit the ground running January 1. We expect tremendous things in 2014 with our core projects, but we have set some major goals and plans in place to see if we can do more.  In 2014 we want to see if we can feed more, give back more, repair more and love more.

Please consider a year-end gift to help us finish strong. 
The only way we can do this is if we run together – if we run to win. 

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me….Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize”  Philippians 3:12-13

Scott Sheppard
Executive Director

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