The Tough Mudder is North America’s largest and toughest obstacle course. It is 18 km long with a variety of obstacles ranging from climbing over 18 foot walls, swimming under submerged logs in ice cold water, running through mud fields, working your through electrified wires etc. It is NOT for the faint of heart!
This year, a group of crazy, determined and compassionate men are competed in The Tough Mudder in Whistler, B.C. on June 21. They participated in this event as a fundraiser for Fe Viva World Missions in what is being called: The GOOD Mudder.
The name of their team was “Team Esperanza” and their goal was to raise funds to build a soccer pitch and out building (Rancho style building to host community events/seminars/training) on the new land Fe Viva purchased a few years ago beside their existing property. They had a great time.
I (Matt) experienced an amazing moment in my life this summer that I would classify as one of the top 5 impactful moments of my life; and it came as a HUGE surprise. We were home this summer from Guatemala; resting, working, finding out 3 of us have Celiac, enjoying Canada, prepping for a bunch of push ups and generally processing through the inner workings of the soul. I would call it a good summer and a hard summer. The summer of 2013; which also happens to be my 40th year on the planet.
The day was Wednesday August 13th. My lovely wife Kerry and our friends Loren and Cathy Jespersen were organizing a small golf tournament for Fe Viva. They had worked hard getting it ready and yet there were still problems leading up to the day. One problem was me; I am not a fan of golf and I mentioned to Kerry that I was planning not to go, but attend the BBQ afterwards. She said that I could not skip it because I have to represent Fe Viva that the tourney. So I went, had lots of fun and then at the BBQ received one of the biggest surprises of my life. Towards the end of the BBQ it was revealed to me that this whole day was all a guise for a 40th birthday party. I was not going to be in Canada to celebrate with friends there, but Kerry and Cathy planned a great big one for my.
It was an amazing experience. At the end of the night, friends and family spoke of blessings, prayers and encouragement over my life. I cried the whole time. The words people spoke over me were so powerful that I would say that it was one of the top 5 experiences of my life. Those blessings were huge and they will remain with me for the rest of my life.
Now during this time I was preparing for another big event, because I like to do big, crazy events, and the power of this night created something that blessed many people. I call it the Power of the Blessing. I was preparing to do 10,000 push ups in one week. (Another crazy idea that I always seem to come up with.) I had a few people who were joining me, but that night I found out that there were many others that were going to join me. I had not promoted this event that much; I was tired all summer and just wanted to stick to my word that I would do these push ups and hope that we would raise a few thousand dollars. That night I found out that people were going to sponsor a good amount and as it turned out we raised over $72,000 that week.
I strongly believe that this all came about because of the blessings that people spoke over me. These words created something incredible. It was not because I had a good idea, or was an incredible promoter, but because of the love, power and blessings of people and their belief in me. I would like to thank everyone for blessing me, encouraging me and believing in me. One thing that God has spoken again and again this year that I will use for the rest of my life is this:
After visiting Fe Viva and Casa Esperanza 3 years ago, Jessica Lee, a high school student from Pennsylvania, decided to do something. She started a fundraiser for Casa Esperanza. For the past 3 years, she and her classmates, especially in her Spanish class, have been selling cupcakes to support Casa Esperanza. They have also written the children in Casa Esperanza many times.
This year they decided to join with Casa Esperanza, as they participated in The GOOD Run in March, and donate the funds raised selling cupcakes to Colegio de Fe Viva in Nicaragua.
Here is an excerpt of a letter from Jessica:
“We just finished our final sale of the year. It’s fantastic to look at how much God has supported us through the years. We will be able to send Casa Esperanza $1000 to support The GOOD Run and the school in Managua, Nicaragua. I’m so glad that the children were able to raise so much money through their fundraiser, and I pray that our contribution will be able to bless them as well.
Our club plans to continue running even after I graduate this spring. Our church will be returning to Guatemala this summer. Our team will personally bring the check and the cards to you at Casa Esperanza.
Thank you so much for allowing me to have the opportunity to continue serving Casa Esperanza. I have truly grown through my experiences, and I’ve seen God’s amazing work. My only hope is that I’ve been able to return even the smallest bit of love that the Casa kids showed me three years ago.”