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We should run a 5K in 2017

Editor's Note: Greg is one member of Team ZPC that is running for World Vision and clean water at the Monumental Marathon on Saturday, Nov 4. Support this 50-member team through prayers and donations or come downtown on the 4th and cheer us on! 

“We should run a 5K in 2017.” That’s how these things start. An idea that acts as a seed, and as God does, he waters the seed, clears the path, and provides strength and clarity for our actions.

Two weeks after my wife Kyla and I had the above conversation, ZPC’s guest speaker one Sunday morning described how we can make a difference by running for Team World Vision (TWV), raising awareness, and funding the clean water projects in Africa. “Done. Sign us up!! He said 5K, we are in.” Only on the way home did Kyla break the news to me that a half marathon is not a 5K…. Oops - create social media #unlikelymarathoner - this may not end well.

What is the clean water crises? It’s the leading cause of death in the world. Ahead of AIDS, war, and death by Hippo. (yes, Hippos are vegetarian - Gayla Peevey was correct - but they are also the most dangerous animal in Africa) 

The thing is, the clean water crises is preventable! And Team World Vision is the largest non-government organization doing something about it with comprehensive, multi-year, community customized plans for change. $50 will change a life! $50 provides the means for a child in Africa to receive clean water for an entire year!! Game-changer.

Ok - but how does a guy go from not running to running a half-marathon? – Team World Vision, Community, Faith.

TWV steps in with a comprehensive program that starts you off walking and takes you to running the distance needed to finish. Amazingly, as you move through the program, your body changes. My heart beats slower as I run further faster!! My knees no longer hurt as I walk up the stairs after a run - bonus! In running you need to stick to it, even on the days you really don’t want to run. You're on vacation, it’s hot, it’s dark outside, you're tired. Tired - these are the times I lean on God for strength.

Health and spiritual growth for the runners - check! But what goal makes a difference in the world? The goal that raises money for this wonderful organization! My original motives were health and an experience for my marriage. However, when donations started to happen - they fueled me to get out and train!! And train I did, and post pictures while training, asking for more donations. It is amazing how fundraising fuels the run. To raise awareness, I tag instagram / Facebook pictures #unlikelymarathoner and ask for support. As of this writing I am halfway to my fundraising goal and those sponsors motivate me!!

So, what can you do? Run. Do it! Sign up for the ZPC team. Or, help the runners through sponsorship. We all need sponsors to help us meet the fundraising goals and provide inspiration. Our sponsor team makes it all happen.

And truth is, the #unlikelymarathoner - is starting to like running… God clears the path and provides clarity for what we are meant to do.

Posted by Greg McDaniel with

Noah's Ark: Improving quality and standards for our children

Over the past seven years, Noah’s Ark Preschool and Childcare has been raising the bar to provide better education and care for its students. Noah’s Ark opened its doors in April of 1992, and Sherry Pipkin (in photo disguised as Noah) has been the director since 1998. Sherry and the assistant director, Shannon, have always been looking for ways to improve the school. In 2010, Noah’s Ark received a grant from United Way of Central Indiana to participate in Paths to QUALITY: Indiana’s Child Care Quality Rating and Improvement System. Paths to QUALITY is a program for preschools and childcare centers with the incentive of increasing the quality in childcare centers, childcare ministries, and childcare homes, as well as increasing the support of Indiana’s young children’s learning, development, and well-being.

United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) began offering grants to help unlicensed registered childcare ministries to provide better quality of care for children by advancing through the 5 levels of standards within Paths to QUALITY. Back in 2010, Noah’s Ark was the first registered ministry to receive the United Way grant, which amounted to $50,000. This money went toward structural improvements, such as changing the lights, repainting, adding an exit door, and installing a fence around the playground. Once these improvements were made, Noah’s Ark achieved Level 1 status in the Paths to QUALITY program.

Since 2010, Noah’s Ark has received more grants from UWCI for books, new toys, furniture, and food/nutrition improvements. The most recent grant the preschool received was for $5,000. It went toward professional development and training for teachers.

In the next few weeks/months, an inspector will come review the changes, and Noah’s Ark is hoping to move from Level 1 to Level 3 in the program. Director Sherry Pipkin says that being part of the Paths to QUALITY program has tremendously improved the preschool in many aspects, but the biggest impact will be on the teachers. Through the requirements of the program, Noah’s Ark teachers will stay up-to-date on curriculum, receive regular training and be, overall, better equipped to provide the best care for the children. Sherry believes that this is the most important part of the preschool: that children receive the best care and feel loved throughout their time at Noah’s Ark. The preschool currently serves 120 children ranging from 6 weeks to 6 years and has a teaching staff of 26. Noah’s Ark Preschool and childcare is truly determined to provide the best care for the children it serves, and we are excited to watch the advances it is making!

Posted by Jenna MacLean with 1 Comments

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