Grace Team Hope -- Rayonna's story

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 a woman named Rayonna, who despite a traumatic injury to her foot which almost resulted in an amputation, is training for the run because of the love God has put in her heart for the children at Wooster Grace's Asia's Hope orphan home. Praise God!

God has laid this on my heart in such a way I did not have a choice but to be involved and I've never experienced anything like that before.

I was involved in a very bad car accident 6 years ago where they were down to the wire in amputating my right foot. Dr. Gesler came to me right before and asked if he could try something - I think all the drugs I was on made me say yes because in my heart I was ready for amputation. He saved my foot, I spent a year in a wheelchair after multiple surgeries to my foot and left arm and here I am. I used to be a runner and he did tell me my running days were completely over and up until now I believed that. After massive weight gain I really didn't think I could ever run again, not because it would hurt what the surgeries fixed but because my foot is fused & there is a ton of metal in there, many days its all I can do to walk on it without tears.

After hearing Pastor Ivanildo speak of his trip to Cambodia and how the children were being offered to him it struck a cord in me and my heart exploded. I cannot even imagine a child not feeling the love my children feel everyday, let alone having to face a day without food, shelter or the fear of being sold -- and I wanted to do something.

My husband and I signed up to sponsor a child, knowing that our finances were a mess. We are in the restaurant business and our once thriving business is suffering financially due to the economy & a business deal going sour. We did not know for sure if we could even afford the $35/month but knew we had to do it. After doing that, I began to pray for the children and God started working with my heart to do even more. At times, out loud I asked Him, "What can I possibly do, the finances are not there?" See, I've heard of people saying 'God spoke to them" but always kind of thought hmmmmm...does that really happen? God spoke to me, completely took over my thoughts and prayers and I know I can do something.

I may not run completely through this marathon, but one thing is for sure, my Lord and Savior will be running and walking right beside me, maybe carrying me at times, and I will focus on the faces of those babies in Cambodia. I will see through my goal.


John McCollumComment