Five years ago, Pastor Justin and Virginia Kim of New Life Fellowship learned of the water crisis from a member of their church. As their congregation grew, they wanted their impact on the world to do the same. Justin knew few in the Seattle area invested in helping to solve the water issue at that time, but the church felt convicted to get involved. That Christmas, New Life participated in Advent Conspiracy—and have been since! Now Justin and Virginia are taking the cause of clean water personally. In June they'll run the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll half marathon with Team Living Water, enduring so the thirsty don't have to.
What's inspired you to run for clean water?
JK: The statistics are pretty sobering. At least 783 million people lack clean water. And it affects a lot of things from education, health, and poverty. What most inspires me to run with Team Living Water is that clean water can pave the way for people to receive Jesus, the ultimate living water. I love that Living Water is all about Jesus because ultimately, more than clean water, what people need is a life-changing relationship with the Son of God.
How are you feeling about training for your first half marathon?
JK: Both Virginia and I are first-time half-marathon runners, so we've been running a few times a week and changing our diet to prepare. We both ran the Free Them 5K run sponsored by World Concern last year but wanted to do something for Living Water this year. A few of our other church friends are going to run with us, and we'll ask people to sponsor our run online—raising awareness and money for Living Water.
How are training and fundraising spiritual?
JK: There are numerous references in the Bible regarding running (Philippians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 9:25-27). So when we are training for this half marathon, I cannot help but think of my own spiritual formation to grow in Jesus. The most powerful verse that comes to my mind is simply John 3:16. We run ultimately for Jesus and to spread this message of the Good News of Jesus Christ—the Gospel that truly changes, transforms, and redeems.