Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Illini 4000

Last night we had a fun experience. A group of about 15 college aged young people from the University of Illinois, rode into town. I say rode, because they are on bikes! They are called the Illini 4000, and they are riding across the country (approx. 4000 miles!) to raise money and awareness for cancer. They spent the night in our church basement and we were privileged to spend the evening with them. My kiddos love "playing" with new people, and one of the young ladies, Alex, was a lot of fun!
This was a very wonderful group of young people. They all seem so mature, with good heads on their shoulders. While most people their age are working during the summer months, trying to earn the almighty buck...they are giving of themselves, their time, energy (riding a bike across America...TONS OF ENERGY!!!) and their hearts. They are taking time at each stop to work on what they are calling their "Portrait Project." They are trying to talk to people who have been affected by cancer, either personally or a close friend. They all went to the hospital to spend time talking with a member of our congregation named Emily. Emily has battled cancer numerous times in her life. Seventeen years ago she was told she had about a 20% chance of survival, and she beat it! She is fighting for her life again, and this time has decided that she will probably not continue with treatments. She wants to enjoy the time she has left, not be sick and suffering from the treatment. We pray for Emily (and her family) often, that God would grant her strength, courage, and peace.

I was just amazed at the courage of these young people...actually doing something about a cause which they believe in. Way to go guys!! I'm proud to have met you! I pray God continues to keep you safe on your journey.


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