Aid stations are the periodic points along a running race course where the racers can get some water, electrolyte drinks or energy gels, and perhaps some Vaseline or band-aids. You can always get some encouragement as well. As a marathon runner, I count on these aid stations to get me through the races. You, the readers and comment-ers of my blog, are as aid station workers to me along my journey. I want you to know how much it means to me to know that you are not only reading what I write, but taking the time to write back! Love you guys!
I’ve just rounded out eight months in Shenyang. It took about six months to get through some culture shock (yes, field veterans still get culture shock) but I’ve come through it richer in perspective, insight, and faith. Having moved here without knowing anyone, I now have a rich community of brothers and sisters. The work here continues to evolve and the network of working relationships continues to grow, which is very exciting! On the other hand, it can be hard to maintain focus of what I am to do and what is not for me to do.
Speaking of aid stations, I’ll be returning to the States this fall to participate in a number of conferences and workshops as well as run the NYC Marathon on 1 November! I qualified to run this race last year (others have to enter by lottery) and I’m so glad that the speaking engagements came up around the same time so that I could run it. Training is going well and I am so pumped!
My time in the States will be divided between the East coast (NYC area) from 17 Oct – 1 Nov, and the Midwest from 2-20 Nov. West coast people will have to wait until next year. I’ll be attending conferences and giving workshops on health and human trafficking throughout the duration of my trip. If you are going to Louisville for the GMHC 12-14 November then I hope to meet you there! I’ll be spending most of the midwest time in and around Ft. Wayne, getting as many snuggles with nieces and nephews as possible. I’ll also be making rounds with the several supporting “Aid Stations” in the area. Details of where I’ll be and when are pending and I’ll keep you posted, or contact me for specific information.
Although I’ll be back in the States 30+ days, I’m sure will still feel like a short pit stop on the run. I very much look forward to seeing many of you in person and soaking up as much of you as I can.