Grace Team Hope is a group of individuals raising support for Asia's Hope while simultaneously training for the Cleveland Marathon May 17, 2009. This is the story of Diane Tirakis, a founding member of the group. As you read this story, be encouraged! God is working in the hearts and lives of people just like you to help answer the prayers of orphans in Asia.
“Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for me.” These words of my Savior and Lord Jesus echo in my soul. Who are the least? Have I served and loved those? For the last 5 years I have been a runner with no apparent purpose other than physical fitness and weight management after having children. I am a full time mom, I love God with all of my heart and I desire to serve and bring glory to Him. A few months ago I was sitting in church listening to our Pastor of Outreach speak about the last and the least of Cambodia. He spoke about the poverty, the forced prostitution, the hunger and the danger for all, especially the children. He laid out a plan for our church body to sponsor an orphanage through Asia’s Hope. Something happened in my soul. I began to weep and ask God to let me help, to allow me to be part of His plan. That day my husband and I signed up to sponsor a child, but it wasn’t enough. All week I wrestled with what else could be done. What more could I do?
As I ran one morning, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “why don’t you run for me? Why don’t you run for these?” I prayed fervently and asked if this was what the Lord wanted that He would bring along those to help, that He would open doors and that He would bless it and it would bring him glory! He answered and Team Hope was birthed. At the first meeting a goal of 20 participants and $10,000 was set. Now, with the Cleveland Marathon only 2 months away, over 60 people have committed, thousands of dollars have been raised and God is not done yet! I keep asking, “Who am I that you would allow me to be part of your plan?” I am thankful, grateful and loving every minute of walking in the ways of the Lord around the world. My prayer is still that the Lord alone is glorified and that more and more children can be rescued from a life of horror and hunger to be brought into a relationship with Him. I know that my life will never be the same because of the work that Asia’s Hope is doing.
Wooster Grace Brethren