missions, ragnar

Running Ragnar To Help Kids In Need

No Comments 07 August 2012

Can you run Ragnar and make a difference? You absolutely can!

I just got back from the Dominican Republic, and shot this video of what our Ragnar team was able to do:

In a nutshell, last year, Servants Heart Ministry‘s donations were down, so they had a tough decision- do they A) still serve chicken, rice, and beans for their meals, but stop feeding as many kids in Santiago, Dominican Republic, or B) feed as many kids, but cut out the chicken. Rob (my good friend, SHM co-founder, and one of our runners) told me the story of the time he had to be the person at the end of the food line, and had the difficult job of telling a grandmother that they didn’t have enough food for her grandchild- basically, that they had to turn her away and the child would have to go hungry. So the decision was made- the kids would lose the chicken, but at least the same number of kids would have something until donations came back up.

So, we set a goal of raising $2,675 (the cost of chicken for one month for the kids in the program), so all the kids can have chicken (and the much needed protein it provides)- and we hit it!

One of the most moving times came when the food was served. It’s hard for us to imagine, but if you have food for 93 kids, you don’t have enough food for 94. Kids from around the neighborhood came by, and even though I’m sure they were hungry, they said, “no program, no program”. They wanted to be honest and not take the food that was meant for kids who had been sponsored. My wife had to go inside the house for awhile because that was so moving- both because it was so sad the kids couldn’t eat, and so moving that 8 and 9-year-old kids were honest despite their hunger. Luckily, we’d gone to a store the day before and loaded up on a rare treat- Oreos- and were able give those to the ‘non-program’ kids. It wasn’t as nutritious as the chicken, rice, and beans, but at least it was something. (If you do want to help sponsor that 94th or 95th child in the village of Esperanza, you can do so here).

If you’d like to donate to our team’s effort, you can donate online here.

Running 196 miles overnight through the mountains is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do for yourself, and doing it to help others makes it even more amazing.

missions

Our 5 And 6 Year-Old-Girls’ International Mission Trip

2 Comments 12 July 2012

I’m back from the Dominican Republic, and I miss it already!

For the Cliff’s Notes version, my wife Krista and I took our two girls, Brooklyn and Sydney (ages 6 and 5), down to the village of Esperanza in the Dominican Republic, just outside of Santiago.  My friend and Servants Heart Ministry co-founder Rob Dublin and his wife, Kyna, led the trip, and brought along their two girls, Baylor and Addison (ages 5 and 7).  Their daughter Baylor had been on a mission trip before, but their other daughter and our two daughters had never been.  We not only wanted to help the people of Esperanza, but also we wanted our kids to be able to experience another culture and the mission field first hand.

L-R in grey- Brooklyn, Baylor, Sydney, and Addison, with Marlaney, Elizabeth, and others.

Since we brought young kids, this was certainly more of a ‘mission-trip lite’. We stayed in a hotel. We only spent two days in the village, and the good side of that is that the girls were left wanting more. Syd almost started crying, as she really wanted to go back and meet all her friends for a third day. Servants Heart has a food program in three areas of the DR, and Esperanza is the closest to a major airport, and also the safest.

In Esperanza-

Day One- Fun!

The first day was a bit of a party atmosphere for the kids.  In the weeks leading up to the trip, friends and family had graciously donated flip-flops, crayons, toy cars, sun glasses, and money for purchasing those popular string back-packs.  The flip flops and string back-packs were more on the practical side, and the rest was more for fun.

The second day was the food program day, and I got to hang

Talking baseball

out with some of the boys there.  On a whim the day before we left for the DR, I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and got a case of baseballs, which turned out to a bit a hit (har, har)- baseball is the biggest sport in the country (Dominican stars include Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Big Papi, etc). Through my broken Spanish and a mutual love of baseball, we went over which positions each of us played (I’ve played about every position, but could only remember the word for ‘second’, which is ‘segundo’.), our favorite teams (I tried to convert them to the Reds), and the best ways to hold a slider and a circle change-up.

The Hardest Part-
There are 93 kids in the program, and there was exactly enough for 93 meals of rice, beans and chicken. (in that area, kids get a glass of milk and some fortified bread at school, and oftentimes, that’s all they get to eat).   However, word got out (especially with the goodies given out the day before), and probably 20 more kids showed up.  What impressed me the most was that kids who weren’t in the program would tell the workers “no program, no program” and didn’t try to take the food.  That was probably the hardest part of the trip for Krista- seeing hungry kids and not having food for them. It’s hard for us in America to conceive, but if you have food for 93 kids, you don’t have enough food for that 94th kid, let alone the 113th. Luckily we’d gone to the DR’s version of Wal-Mart the day before, and picked up mass quantities of cookies- so the non-program kids were able to have something to eat, even if it wasn’t as nourishing.

Speaking of which, if you want to sponsor that 94th kid, you can do so easily online here at www.ServantsHeartMinistry.com.  Every single kid matters!

We were able to meet the little boy we sponsor, Michael, and also were able to meet and pass along letters and some gifts for 7 kids who our friends and business sponsor.  It meant a lot to our girls, but all of us were changed for the better in this amazing trip.  You can also see more pictures my wife took on the trip here.

Have you ever gone on a mission trip?  What impacted you the most?  Comment below!

missions

How To Be Indiana Jones and Save The World- Seriously

No Comments 13 June 2012

Have you ever wanted to be Indiana Jones? You know, go on an adventure on the other side of the world worthy of those maps with the red lines, and help people in dire need? Well, here’s your chance. Hope International (you know, the organization headed by a Harvard guy that helps people in need all over the world- not by handouts, but by figuring out what those people do well and investing in them) has started the Adventure Capitalist campaign in Rwanda.

You have a chance to invest there- but not only invest- you can go.

As a refresher, this is the country that inspired the movie Hotel Rwanda with Don Cheadle

By the nature of what they do, Hope International is the perfect non-profit for entrepreneurs, corporate executives and investors, because they understand and appreciate capital and business growth (vs. handouts) as much as anyone.

One of those is a guy named Chris Ordway, a 20-year corporate veteran who moved his family from Chicago to Rwanda six months ago to work on this project

This Adventure Capitalist campaign is pretty cool, as it gives you a chance to

On the bottom right hand side of the page is an incredible opportunity for someone who really wants to make a difference, or even some successful corporate executive or entrepreneur looking for a positive midlife crisis activity.

You can be Indiana Jones for a week or two, go to Rwanda, and see your investment at work. How awesome is that? Watch below in awe of my five minutes of effort on iMovie.

So- Are you going to be an Adventure Capitalist? I bet if you do donate $25,000, they’ll throw in the fedora :).

(FYI, I’m not affiliated with Hope International, but I’ve heard their CEO, Peter Greer speak, am friends with a couple folks there, and I really believe in their mission.)

What’s the most meaningful adventure you’ve ever been on? Comment below!

cycling, missions, triathlon

What You Need To Get Me For My Birthday

No Comments 18 August 2011

I know how you’re feeling right now.  Terrible.  You forgot to get me a present for my birthday and its killing you.  You have this urge to make up for being such an awful friend.  But how?

You have two choices of what to get me.

 Specialized S-Works Venge DA
The Tour de France bike of phenom Mark Cavendish and Team HTC-Highroad. 11r carbon frame plus Pro Tour-proven Shimano Dura-Ace components. Ultralight Roval Rapide SL 45 wheelset with carbon/alloy hybrid rims for low aerodynamic drag with the reliability of an alloy brake track, Specialized S-Works FACT carbon crankset with OSBB, removable carbon spider, and ceramic bearings, plus legendary Shimano Dura-Ace 10-speed shifters ultralight, smooth performance.

Just $9,200 (plus tax, but who’s counting?)

OR

Donate $10* to help me BRING BACK THE CHICKEN

My good friend Rob co-founded this awesome non-profit in Santiago, Dominican Republic. In a nutshell, this past year, Servants Heart Ministry‘s donations were down, so they had a tough decision- do they A) still serve chicken, rice, and beans for their meals, but stop feeding as many kids or B) feed as many kids, but cut out the chicken. Rob told me the story of the time he had to be the person at the end of the food line, and had the difficult job of telling a grandmother that they didn’t have enough food for her grandchild- basically, that they had to turn her away and the child would have to go hungry.  So the decision was made- the kids would lose the chicken, but at least the same number of kids would have something until donations came back up.

So, I’ve set a goal of raising $2,675 (the cost of chicken for one month for the kids in the program), so all the kids can have chicken (and the much needed protein it provides) for December- sort of a Christmas present.  So, you get this for me as a birthday present, and it doubles as a Christmas present for the kids.  How awesome is that?!?!

*You can also donate either A) how old you think I look, or B) how old you think I act.
http://www.firstgiving.com/brianlord

faith, missions, pixar, troll, wynter

Giant Trolls and The Week Before Your Mission Trip

No Comments 21 June 2011

Credit:Frighttime Prod.

Photo: Frighttime Prod.

Have you ever noticed that the week or two before your mission trip is generally terrible?  Everything that can go wrong does- you get sick, your kids get in more trouble than usual and somehow its the worst time ever to miss work.  Have you ever wondered why?

Trolls.  Big, giant, hairy trolls.

The play “Wynter’s Kiss” by Scott Crain of Oracle Productions fame tells the Narnian-esque story of Sir Galen Wynter, an old knight, who, along with a few followers, goes on a quest to find the cure to save his daughter from a deadly plague called “The Red Kiss”.   In the wilderness, they come to an old rope bridge that crosses a ravine.  Some of the men want to try crossing, but Sir Galen declares the bridge is too old, it’ll probably take them out of their way, and its not worth the risk.  Suddenly, a giant, club wielding troll appears and bellows that if any of them try to cross the bridge, he’ll be more than happy to kill them.

The men fall back. Once out of earshot, Sir Galen begins to devise a plan to defeat the giant troll and cross the bridge.

“What!?” one of his men exclaims.  “Five minutes ago you were talking us out of crossing the bridge, but now that there is a giant troll who wants to kill us, all you can think about is how to get across it?”

“Of course,” Sir Galen explains.  “You don’t send a giant troll to protect something worthless.  We have to get across.”

 

Photo: Disney/Pixar’s Up!

I think our lives can be a lot like this.  We’re fine as long as we stay in our cozy little existence, but as soon as we make a break from our lives and attempt to cross that ravine to serve others in need (and in the process, change ourselves), the devil throws some giant trolls our way.  Going to the Dominican in a couple days and your kid gets strep throat? Troll!  Going to Haiti and your car breaks down to the tune of a few thousand dollars? Troll!  Going to Africa for a year and the people renting your house (and therefore covering your mortgage) decide to back out at the last minute?  Troll!   (if you’ve seen Pixar’s ‘Up’, in my head I say “Troll!” like they say “Squirrel!”)

Of course, knowing that trolls exist doesn’t make them go away, but it does make them easier to fight.  And, like the old knight fighting to save his daughters life, you know that by defeating that troll and crossing that ravine, you might be saving lives as well.

Troll!

P.S. As I was typing this blog about the dangers of going on a mission trip, the phones and internet shut off, threatening to make me lose everything I’d just typed.  Troll!

missions, ragnar, running

My Ragnar Route

No Comments 13 October 2010

I’m running a 195-mile relay race from Chattanooga called the Ragnar Relay (www.ragnartn.com).  We’re raising money to help feed kids in the Dominican Republic through a ministry called Servants Heart Ministry (www.servantsheartministry.com).  We’ll each run three legs of varying lengths.  I’m in the middle speed-wise, so I get two ‘hards’ and one ‘moderate’, for a total of about 17 miles.  We’ll have two vans of six runners each, so one van will follow their six runners, while the other van rests, then we play hopscotch.

Our team starts at 10AM Eastern, but since I’m runner 10 of 12, I don’t get to start to that evening. Here is where I’ll be running my first leg of the relay, around 6:30PM Eastern time on Friday, Nov 5.  I get the joy of running 6.5 miles up a mountain in Monteagle!

I’ll get into a van, wait a couple hours as our Van 2 runners finish, then go to a rest area for another few hours.  Then we’ll hop back in our van, and eventually I’ll get my ‘easy’ run as I cruise through Shelbyville, TN, about 3:35AM Central. (we’ll have crossed into a new time zone by that point).

Then back into the van, wait for our other two runners to finish, then head to Franklin for a few hours sleep. 

About 2:37PM, I’ll get my third and final run through Belle Meade into Green Hills.  You wouldn’t believe it, but they rate this one as being harder than the run up Monteagle.  Must be all the Belle Meade bling.

You can follow our progress at twitter.com/shministry, or on facebook.com/servantsheartministry.

If you’d like to donate (suggested is $25), go to www.firstgiving.com/brianlord.  Thanks for helping!

Brian


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