It started with Evan. After five years of running half marathons, Evan’s friends urged him to run a full marathon. “And you have to do it with Team World Vision,” they said. So he did.
One day to cure his boredom on a dreaded treadmill run, Evan started to visualize what it would be like finishing the Chicago Marathon; all of those people on the sidelines cheering him on to the finish line. And suddenly, out of nowhere, all of those faces in the crowd turned to faces of women and children in Africa. “That’s when I knew this was really important,” Evan said, “It’s not running plus clean water. It’s clean water plus running.”
While Evan trained for his first marathon, Debbie watched. She had done many triathlons, but they had always been about her own challenge, satisfaction, or fun. She never really liked running, but when she was cheering Evan on through his marathon, something clicked. She saw the beauty of the team working together, cheering each other on, and she thought, “I think I’m going to have to do this.” She knew that it was God stirring up something in her heart.
What’s awesome about Evan and Debbie’s story is that they have been individually and uniquely moved to run for clean water as a couple. On the eve of an empty nest, Evan and Debbie have thought a lot about what life is going to look like for them without kids at home. “We see couples who come to the point of being empty-nesters and don’t know what to do with each other,” Evan explained. “We want to do something of importance with our lives, together.” So the McBrooms not only continue to run races and fundraise with Team World Vision, but they have helped lead and launch new teams all over the Indianapolis area.
Evan and Debbie talk about Psalm 37:4: “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Neither of them had a life-long passion for running or for clean water that led them to join Team World Vision. But they say they have seen how God has placed new desires in their hearts—to live a life of importance, to serve in ministry as a couple, to care for the poor, to combine a love of fitness with clean water—and how He is making those desires come about.
Remember the image Evan saw on the treadmill a few years ago? Well this year, Evan and Debbie traveled to Ethiopia to see some of World Vision’s work. It was there, a few years after that treadmill run, that the image became real: they saw women and children celebrating that they now have access to clean water. It was like all of the puzzle pieces of their journey, all of the desires that God had been placing on their hearts, finally came together into a beautiful picture, Debbie described. “We’re just grateful that God is letting us live this story.”
Thank you, Evan and Debbie, for your example of joyful faithfulness and service to others, together.
Have you seen Evan’s Ridiculous Clean Water Music Video? It helped him raise enough money to provide 125 people with clean water in 2014. This year, Evan and Debbie’s goals total $13,000!