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News Around the World
Published on 01 June, 2010

Cross-country run for Haiti

Haiti (MNN) — Abraham Clark is running across the entire United States. That's
right — from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. He began in Oceanside, CA on February 15 and
hopes to finish in Atlantic City, NJ on June 30. 

That
means running 2,860 miles in 136 days. Amazingly,
every step Clark takes represents 200 people who have no access to clean water
— a number he hopes to reduce through this run.  he can raise $100,000, Living Water International can repair 500 incapacitated handpumps for
the people of Haiti. 

"I believe most people take fresh
water for granted and are unaware of the shortages around the world," Clark
explained about his endeavor. "Through a
few steps of faith and with the help of Living Water International, I believe
my journey will start a nationwide movement toward solving this problem, and
in the process WE will change countless lives."

At
the end of the run, Clark will be the 12th person to run solo from one ocean to
the other, without a support vehicle. He
pushes a baby jogger in front of him with his food and camping gear and often
stays in the homes of hospitable Christians. 

This
week, Clark is about three-quarters of the way through his journey. He has run over 2,000 miles, and today is his
102nd day. He's currently running
through Illinois and Indiana. When he
gets through Indiana, he'll have run through 9 states, and he'll have six more
to go, plus the District of Columbia. 

Clark has had plenty of
adventures in his trip across the country. The hardest things so far have been "crossing the Rocky Mountains and
sleeping in a snow cave to wait out a snow storm at 10,600 feet elevation," he said. 

Clark began his cross-country run
on a pier in Oceanside, CA. He filled a
tiny bottle with ocean water and named his baby jogger "Ruby" after the diner
on the end of the pier. 

"This is the beginning of a
journey that will test my limits, challenge my body, play tricks with my mind,
and match no other extreme physical experience I endeavor," he reflected. "By the time it's all over, I will have
literally climbed the amount of elevation equal to reaching the edge of outer
space. The opportunity is incredible, but the odds against me are great.
However, today the weather is beautiful, and my legs are fresh."

Last week, two friends joined Clark
as he ran through St. Louis, MO and crossed the Mississippi River. It was a good thing they were with him when
they crossed the state line into Illinois and traveled through east St. Louis: the area was so dangerous, a police officer
tried to convince them to let him give them a ride. Since they couldn't do that, he escorted them
for the next mile — a road referred to as the "prostitute strip," where
drive-by shootings frequently occur.

"We laughed about the situation
as we set out running again, but as we reached the area, our conversation
stopped and our pace quickened to a speed that was not even close to 3,000 mile
pace," Clark said. "A girl saw us and the cop and shrunk off the side walk. I
think it's hard to write about what you don't understand. I felt everything I
saw I had already judged." 

Even as he runs through the
communities of the United States of America, Clark is also thinking of
communities in Haiti and the 884 million people around the world that have no
access to clean drinking water. He's
also thinking of the 5,000 children who die of every day of diseases caused by
unclean water and poor sanitation, according to the United Nations Development Program. 

Lack of clean water also affects
other aspects of society. According to
the UK's Department for International Development, girls are 11% more likely to
attend school when sanitation is available. In rural Africa, households spend about 26% of their time, on average,
obtaining water. Typically, women bear
the responsibility for this task. When it
comes to breaking the poverty cycle, access to clean water and sanitation is
crucial. 

So
far, $64,313 has been raised for LWI's work in Haiti — about two-thirds of the
goal. For $35, you can sponsor a mile of
Clark's run and beat him to the finish line so the money is raised when he
reaches Atlantic City. 

Pray
for strength and safety for Clark as he runs. And pray that God will use the funds
raised to bring clean water and the Water of Life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
to the people of Haiti. 

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About Haiti

  • Primary Language: French
  • Primary Religion: Christianity
  • Evangelical: 16.0%
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