Olivet Students Run to Raise Money for Clean Water

More than $43,000 raised for World Vision during Chicago Marathon 2022

October 21, 2022 Campus Life

Last spring, more than 35 Olivet Nazarene University students, faculty and staff committed to running the 2022 Chicago Marathon to raise money for clean water through Team World Vision (TWV). While some were interested in the personal goal of completing a lengthy 26.2-mile run through a major city, for most, the higher goal was to engage their community of family and friends by raising support for clean water access for other communities around the world.

For the past 11 years, Olivet has partnered with the Team World Vision branch of World Vision, a global non-profit organization that aims to help people around the world rise above impoverished living situations through a variety of projects and initiatives. The goal of TWV events, including the marathons, half marathons and the international 6K, is to raise money to provide clean drinking water for communities around the world. Through their fundraising efforts, the runners on the 2022 Olivet team raised more than $43,000. 

The marathon experience is a challenging, yet rewarding opportunity for runners and non-runners to grow emotionally, spiritually and physically. Following are stories from a few of Olivet’s TWV finishers of the 2022 Chicago Marathon.

Emma Schuiling
“I was interested in joining the Team World Vision group because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I think a lot of times we want to achieve great accomplishments but forget the why. I did not want the why to be for self-fulfillment or that it would be cool to run a marathon (although it was). The why for me was to do it with a purpose, for something besides myself, partner with TWV in providing life-changing clean water for people across the world and I am so grateful God equipped the team to do so.

“During marathon training, I grew tremendously in my faith, and in my capacity to rely on the Lord, and honestly, God did the impossible in allowing me to run the marathon and finish with no injuries. He truly sustained me through training, before, during, and even after the race! I was incredibly surprised and in awe of the generosity of people’s donations and my running partner, Jan (pronounced John), and I ended up raising $5,525. That is enough water for 110 people! 

“Anyone can do a marathon. If you’re thinking about it, do it. God is going to sustain you and it is just so beautiful and awesome to be a part of something bigger for the Kingdom.”

Nate Foor
“I was able to run my fourth marathon with TWV and I love that TWV’s roots lay within ONU’s walls. I’m passionate about the mission of fundraising to be able to impact a part of the world that I don’t have access to. Yet I do now, because of TWV. I don’t always love running, but it’s so worth it to move my feet a little for those less fortunate.

“This four-year journey has been incredible. I learn something new every season. This year is to stay disciplined even when times get busy or hard. Or to trust God, even if I’m fearful. I got hurt last marathon, and there was a lot of fear whether or not I would be able to finish this year, but I did!”

Faith Colvin
“I was interested in joining the Olivet TWV team as I had heard the community was like no other. My socks were blown off with the support, care, and spiritual growth fostered within the team. Something surprising I learned I about myself was how powerful I am able to be through Christ’s strength. The training, fundraising, and the marathon itself all grew my faith in my God to do amazing things through my broken abilities. 

“God showed up in ways that were massive to me personally and was able to reach so many others while doing so. Everyone should consider running with TWV, even if you’re not a runner (I wasn’t) it will change you in ways you didn’t know you were meant to grow. Just do it!”

Grant Ogden

“Being how difficult the marathon is, most people compete in search of self-achievement or pride. However, what sticks out about Team World Vision is the purpose and cause for which they run. The simple necessity of clean water is still lacking in many countries, so their purpose is to provide funds to change that. Running and water go hand-in-hand making it a perfect means of fundraising. It just makes sense. 

“During the training I learned that so much of long-distance running is linked to mental toughness. The amount of perseverance it takes when your brain keeps tricking you that it’s too hard is massive. Conquering that alone was worth all of the training. Similar to this idea, I was prompted to call out to God in times of struggle. Staying in constant prayer with Him before, during, and after my runs made all the difference. There came times when I wanted to completely give up because I was so burnt out, but God continued to remind me that this race was not for me. In all things I must seek to glorify him and his kingdom, which most nearly was possible when keeping the cause at the center of my intentions. I also learned how generous people are capable of being when fundraising. Word of mouth works wonders as I was receiving donations and interest from people I’d never met. This was just a refreshing reminder that there is much good in this world despite human nature. 

“Running on marathon day was a wonderful reminder of God’s answers to prayer. It pays to trust in him because he equips those who need it. One more thing, the community felt in the streets of Chicago was the strongest I have ever felt. Who would have thought that so many diverse people would collectively support and motivate the numerous runners of the marathon. God is amazing!”

For more information about student life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions by email at admissions@olivet.edu or by phone at 800-648-1463.

Published 10/21/2022

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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