The Scheer Family: All In

Scheer FamilyIn July of 2013, Cory Scheer was in a life-threatening bike accident. Miraculously, he walked out of the hospital 2 days later, but, as you might expect, his life was never the same.

That same year, Cory started on a journey of running 12 marathons in 12 months, calling it “The Basic Needs Marathon Challenge,” raising money for 5 different charities over the course of the year. His incredible story—and his commitment to helping others through the telling of it—landed him a finalist spot in a Runner’s World Cover Contest in 2014.

That’s when Cory met Rusty, a Team World Vision staff person and fellow Runner’s World finalist. Passionate about helping meet the basic needs of children through running, Team World Vision became a perfect fit for Cory. The problem was, Team World Vision didn’t have an event in Cory’s hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. So Cory, with crucial encouragement and involvement from his family, helped change that.

Cory ScheerIn 2015, Cory and his wife, Jamie, volunteered to co-captain a team from their church–Pleasant Valley Baptist Church–and run the Kansas City Marathon and Half Marathon. In the first year, they had a goal of getting 100 people from KC to run and raise $100,000. Well, as Cory said, “For us, Team World Vision has been about continual exceeding of expectations. We think we’ve accomplished something, but then God does more.” In their first year, the KC team was almost 300 runners strong and raised $210,000. 

“Jamie has been an incredible volunteer,” says Cory. She is a physical and nutritional therapist and has helped lots of her teammates as they’ve trained for the race. “This has not just been about one person, we’ve truly had a co-captain model,” said Cory.

Scheer kidsAnd they haven’t stopped there. Cory and Jamie’s kids—Cailyn (13), Isaac (11), Evan (5), and Levi (5)—have been clean water advocates as well. The kids are always at group runs cheering people on, have volunteered at the World Vision 6K for Water, and even organized fundraisers for clean water at their school. “It’s important to us that any time we can model a life of generosity, we do it. And the only way our kids can learn that is to be involved and participate,” Cory says. 

This year, the Scheers are at it again. They are key volunteer leaders in Kansas City, spreading the word about how to run for clean water with Team World Vision. There are already over 600 people signed up for the Kansas City Marathon in October (2 of which are Cory and Jamie of course). 

As Cory reflected recently on the 3-year anniversary of his accident, he wrote: “By God’s grace and His grace alone, the “tragedy” has been transformed into a new trajectory. My family’s entire frame of reference has moved further away from entitlement and more towards gratitude. Had I not gone through this experience, I may have never connected with Team World Vision, an organization mobilizing thousands of people to raise millions of dollars to end the water crisis in Africa. The work of providing clean water goes on. We each have an opportunity, by God’s grace and grace alone, to create a new trajectory for those living in tragic circumstances.”

Thank you, Scheer Family, for your incredibly generous commitment of time, resources, and influence in order to help create a better world for children in need. You ALL have played an essential role in bringing Team World Vision to a new city, and with you, we stand in awe of the work God is doing as a result of your willingness to serve. Thank you for your leadership in Kansas City and beyond. 

 

Jon Lin: 10 Years and Counting

Jon Lin“It all started at Harold’s Chicken,” says Jon Lin. He was a high school teacher at the time, dealing with overwhelming stress, eating out a lot and not feeling great physically. But, he says, “As I was walking out with my half piece dark, I saw a flyer advertising the marathon and thought, yeah I could run a marathon.”

So he joined Team World Vision and started training for the Chicago Marathon in 2007, having never run more than 3 miles in his life. And when he crossed the finish line, he knew that he wasn’t done. 

Since then, Jon has boldly, yet humbly, continued to up his challenge level. He’s taken on many more marathons including NYC, and ventured into triathlon at the Steelhead Half Ironman and Ironman Wisconsin. And he’s done it all in the Team World Vision orange.

So what keeps him coming back year after year? 

Well, two main things: 

First, “This has been a place of healing for me,” Jon said. Having grown up with a high value placed on success and competition, Jon says about his journey on Team World Vision: “I’m not trying to meet someone else’s standard, and everything I have done has been celebrated. It doesn’t matter if you win your age group or win the race or if you’re the last person crossing the finish line. It’s been so encouraging to celebrate growth and progress. It’s been a place where I don’t feel judgement or comparison.” 

Second, Jon said, “I felt like if I was going to keep doing this there had to be a reason.” So he did his research early on and learned that World Vision was doing great work in the field that he was excited to support. “The problem of clean water is a solvable problem, and coming from an engineering background, it irks me to no end that there are things that can be solved that are not being solved.” So with each new physical challenge, Jon has pushed his introverted self through the fear of fundraising and has been encouraged (and sometimes surprised) by the way his supporters have repeatedly come alongside him to work toward the end of the clean water crisis.

Jon, we’re so thankful for your quiet consistency over the last 10 years and counting. You have taken risks, stepped through fear, persisted despite injury, showed up for your teammates, and worked faithfully on behalf of children and communities in need of clean water. We’re grateful for you and who you are in this Team World Vision family, no matter where you live!

Brianna Hammond: Saying YES to the Unknown

Brianna Hammond“I was at place in my life where I needed to find a purpose outside of myself and my family,” says Brianna Hammond. “And Team World Vision clicked with me. It broke me out of being neutral. I had been living my life in a very safe space because it was comfortable. This made me become more of a risk-taker. I liked what it felt like to stand up for something that was important to me.”

That’s how Brianna, someone who had never been an athlete and didn’t know anything about the clean water crisis, describes her first LA Marathon journey. And it’s why she ran the next year. And the year after that too. It’s why she’s raised almost $30,000 personally, and why she became the captain of her church team that has raised over $250,000.

And even after all that, it’s why this year Brianna ran the 56-mile Comrades Marathon and found sponsors for 86 children. “I needed to take a big risk in my life,” she said, “I’ve never said yes to something I didn’t already know I could do. This was a place I could allow God to show his magnificence and strength in my life. I had to totally give it over to him.” 

So she did. As Brianna covered those 56 miles, she just kept putting one foot in front of the other, praying that God would not take away her pain, but help her endure it. “The children who were sponsored — they don’t get to quit,” she said, “They have to endure things no child should have to endure, no mother should have to endure.”

Brianna victoriously crossed that finish line with just 9 minutes to spare. “It was one of the best days of my life, seeing what God can do when we give him the space in our lives to do it. I had never allowed him to show up in that way.”

Ocean Hills teamNow Brianna is back in LA, ready for more. “I never want to reach my goal,” Brianna said. “If I get close to my goal, it’s going to get bumped up. What do I have to lose? There is always a need for clean water and always more that can be done.” 

She’s also excited to continue to lead her church team and encourage other people to take on big risks of their own.  “I hope there were some people sitting in the audience last year watching it all happen who have the courage to say yes this year. That’s where growth occurs the most, where we risk the most,” she said. “I love seeing the unlikely heroes that emerge because of hearts that are broken for the cause.”

Brianna, what an inspiration you are to our team! Thank you for leading so boldly and faithfully, and for being willing to take risks for the sake of others. And thank you for showing us what can happen when we allow God the space in our lives to show up in big ways. You have given hope and life to hundreds of children and we are so grateful for you.