Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dishwashers, Dunkin Donuts, and Distance Running: reflections on 24 hours without water

So what does a dishwasher replacement have to do with me signing up to run a marathon?

Good question.

It all began this past May.  We wanted to replace our very old (like as old as us) dishwasher and found a good deal during an Earth Day sale.  Dave insisted on installing the new dishwasher by himself.  We estimated that it would involve some minor inconvenience and limitation on our use of the kitchen for one Saturday afternoon.  No big deal.  As Dave pulled our old dishwasher out from the wall, he discovered that there was no water shut off valve to the dishwasher.  We would have to turn off the water to the house for a couple of hours, tops.  OK...most house projects turn out this way...a little more inconvenient than we initially thought.  But we are flexible!  We can make this work!  Again no big deal.
As Dave delved into the project, he discovered more and more issues.  I was getting very anxious.  When could we turn the water back on?  I still hadn't showered after running in a race that morning.  I had a pile of dishes waiting for me in the sink from a post-race get together.  The kids would need baths before church.  We would need to figure out what to do about dinner. 

How could I get a shower and some drinking water?

I swallowed my pride, called some friends, and asked if I could use their shower.  They of course said yes and even sent me home with some water.  Awesome! 

But the next morning, I had another pressing question...where could I find a toilet that I could flush?  I drove across town and found an open Dunkin Donuts and was able to use their bathroom.

I am blessed.  While my mind was consumed with coming up with ways to gain access to water and its associated conveniences, which was uncomfortable, I had some options.  And my problem was short-term.  Others are not so privileged.  There are many places in the world where there is currently no access to running water.  Some walk miles and spend hours to gather water that is not clean, healthy, or life-giving.

I recently signed up to run the Philadelphia Marathon this November to raise money for Team World Vision.  This money will be used to finance clean water projects in Kenya and Ethiopia.  Please consider becoming a part of the Team by donating money toward the clean water projects.  Visit my fundraising website for more information.

Back to my dishwasher story, a couple of hours after my visit to Dunkin Donuts, Dave successfully installed a water shut off valve, and we were able to turn on the water to the rest of the house.  I arrived at church just in time to hear a couple talk about their water projects in Bolivia.  They began their message with a question: have you ever thought about what it would be like to go without water for 24 hours?

What about you?  Have you thought about what it would look like to have your water turned off for just 24 hours?  Maybe some of you have experienced this and have a story to tell.  I would love to hear from you!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Lori! I'm really proud of you! I think it's really awesome that you're using this marathon to not only fulfill a dream that you've long held, but to also help people. I'm excited because I'm sure God has a lot to teach you through this process.