Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Saga

The crowd cheered and I felt the nervous excitement of months of planning, sacrifice, and hard work come to a head in this moment.
The Victoria Good Life Fitness Marathon. My first marathon ever.
I started to run and felt like my legs were extra heavy. Great. A dead leg day. These happen every once in a while. I just told myself the same thing I always tell myself "It's OK Carmen. How many times did you think you couldn't do it, and you did? You will do this today." By kilometre 5 it wasn't any better. "I should be warmed up by now." I thought. Around that point is where I saw my family.
All of them. (Minus Corey)
Seriously. I had a flock of fans cheering me on. More fans then any other runner by a land slide. I would need them that day.
Here is when I spotted them for the first time.
"Hey! That's me!" I shouted when I saw the big Youth Unlimited sign my father in-law was holding.
The second time I saw them I had to choke back tears. The show of love and support had me very emotional. 
The next 10km were not easy ones. Something was off. The next time I saw my family was at Kilometer 18 and they asked how it was going, I gave the thumbs down.

By kilometre 20 I was limping.

By kilometre 24 I was hobbling.

My back was out. This hasn't happened to me in over a year (since I started running regularly) and was an unhappy surprise to me. No. I'll be more honest then that.... 

It was devastating. 

I called my sister/athletic therapist on the phone and told her that I was broken and wouldn't be finishing the race today. "It's not the kind of pain you push through Kim. It's bad pain." 
She caught up to me after the turn around point and laid me out on the grass on the side of the road and started practicing various forms of torture on me. 
 People are streaming past me. Slow people. While I'm being pummelled on the side of the road in what looks like a strange mugging, I see the cop car go by. This car signals the end of the race. The roads open up again after he passes. I resigned myself to not finishing. We were making plans for a mock-race when I got home. Maybe get some youth to hold up kilometer marker signs, take some photos, and make a medal out of a crushed coke can at the end. I promised my supporters that I would run 42.2km. So I had to do it. Then we heard it...

"Thunk!" I heard it. Kim heard it. I think the whole island heard it. The sound of my hip popping back into place. I got up. Tested it. Looked at my family (who had all caught up and were with us now) and said "I think I can run." My mom says to me "You will regret it forever if you don't try." So I take off. I can see the end of the race car just under a kilometre away. I catch up. As I run past him he says "So you caught up eh?" "Yup!" I yell as I blast past him. They have shut down the water stations already, so I thank God for my camel pack. I decided to just keep running until my hip comes out again, or until they kick me off the course.

I get to Kilometre 31 and I think "I'm going to make it!" They only allow 5:30hrs to complete the marathon before they shut it down. I check my watch. I have just over an hour to do 11km. It's going to be tight. I'm slow on a regular day.

For encouragement my Mom and Dad start running beside me when they see me.

Then mom (like a sane person) peels off.
Dad doesn't.
He just keeps running with me. Eventually he hands his sweater off to the family as they drive by in the truck. He's in jeans and work boots. What a guy. We are chatting as we run and he tells me he has never run more then 5km before.

We start passing people. We get far enough ahead that the roads are no longer closed. I can start running on the road instead of the side walk again! This is encouraging.
The last 11km running with my dad were the easiest and most enjoyable of the entire marathon.

 We crossed the finish line holding hands.

 They say that the person who starts the marathon, and the person who finishes the marathon are two different people. I can testify to the truth of that statement.

Today I am more grateful for these people then I was last week. I know that a race run with others is better then a race run alone. I blubbered like a baby at Thanksgiving dinner when I tried to articulate my love and gratitude for the family God has given me. 

Thank you family for being amazing. I couldn't have finished that race without you. Looking back now, I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I love you all.

Saturday, October 5, 2013



Thank you so much to everyone who gave to my marathon fundraiser! We had a goal of $2,100, and to date have raised $1,985! There are 2km left to buy, $50 each. If you want to donate the click here. Of course if more comes in then that then great! (But I'm not running more then 42km!)

Funds are for Momentum. Specifically to building connection packages to help my mentor team connect with their mentees. These packages will be filled with coffee gift cards, laser tag tickets, slurpee coupons, decks of cards, etc. Anything that will help the mentors connect and build relationship with their teen.

Want to meet the teens?

Here is this year's batch of Momentum students!

Thank you to everyone who donated!!! I will keep you updated with stories as things progress!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Half Way to Agony

See the blue part? That's what we've raised!

People have been really getting on board with my marathon fundraiser! So We are 52% of the way to my run. This is what it looks like...

The part in pink is what's been donated so far.

All the money is going towards providing connection packages for my mentor team. I am connecting a bunch of awesome caring adults with some of my messy teenagers. The mentors will take the teens out for coffee, a game of laser tag, bowling, whatever, and while they are there they will ask them some hard questions about life. My aim is to equip these mentors with a package full of coffee gift cards, decks of cards, tickets to different fun things to do...etc. So all the money raised from the marathon will go directly to providing these connection packages for my super duper mentor team!

Yay team!!!

We still need help! If you want to donate just click here. At this point I can give up if I'm tired after 22km. So if you want to see me agonize all the way to the end be sure to keep me accountable by buying a kilometre! $50 each.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Marathon Progress/Come Take Me Home

Thank you to all of you who have donated to my marathon fundraiser! After just a few weeks, we are 25% there!
And how is my training going? 

I'm so glad you asked!

...It's crap. 
Last Saturday I was supposed to run 32km. This would be my second time doing this distance, the longest distance that I ever do in my training. At kilometre 19 I called my husband and said...and I quote... "I don't want to do this anymore. Come take me home." 

Big. Fat. Failure. 

I was so frustrated with myself. Yes there were big hills on this run. Yes it was raining. But I've done worse before. Why did I give up this time when I kicked butt last time? One word....
The last time I did this long run I told people via facebook that I was going to do it. So when I wanted to give up and call for a ride home, I didn't. Because I knew that I had promised the internet that I would do it. This last weekend I didn't tell anyone that I was going for another long haul. So giving up had no public consequences. (Besides the obvious ones here now with this public confession.) 

This reminds me of my walk with God. There have been times when I've been tired. I've prayed that simple prayer "God, I don't want to do this anymore. Come take me home." But He didn't. I'm still here trucking away at following Him and working at establishing His kingdom here on earth. And I love it.

If you are tired and ready to pack it in I want to encourage you today. Create accountability for yourself. Tell a friend. Tell someone about your hopes and dreams, the things God has called you to. Whether that's committing to reading your bible everyday, or getting to know your neighbours, or whatever he has called you to. Tell someone about it and ask them to keep you accountable. That way it's harder to give up when you have someone keeping tabs on you.

Anyways. I'm off to do my run today. 7miles. (That's 11.26km.) I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for being my accountability! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

This is me at km 21 last spring at my first half-marathon.

I may not be smiling so big on October 13th, because on October 13th I will be running my first FULL MARATHON! Let's put that in perspective shall we?
42.1km is from Vancouver to Langley

or for my islander friends....
42.1km is from Victoria to Shawnigan Lake.
So why am I doing this? I run a program called Momentum, a peer mentorship program where I have a bunch of teenagers from the high school come and volunteer at my elementary school recreation program. They will gain the volunteer hours they need to graduate while being stretched and challenged by me and my team of mentors. Each teen will meet every other week with the mentor I have hand selected (with much prayer) for them. Their mentor will ask them questions, listen to them, pour into them their own wisdom, and, if the teen is ok with it, pray for them. I am so excited to see this happen. This is what I've been doing one-on-one with teens for the past 5 years. Now instead of just me working with my dozen or so teens, I am multiplying my impact by mobilizing and connecting dozens of adults to work with many more teens. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few right?
In order to help my mentors be the best mentors they can be, I'm providing them with "Mentor Packages" (Creative name right?) In it will be Tim Hortons gift cards, a deck of playing cards, admission tickets to the batting cage and castle fun park...etc. This will help them connect with their teen in fun ways without breaking the bank. I estimate these packages will cost about $2,000 to put together. Momentum is only limited by volunteers and finances...because I have more student applications then I know what to do with! 

So back to the marathon. I am fundraising for Momentum by way of my marathon. I'm asking for people to sponsor me for each kilometre, $50 per. I already have sponsors for the first 6 kilometres! So that leaves 36 yet to be claimed. 

Will you sponsor Momentum via my marathon? Ask me for details or go to and click "donate" then fill out the appropriate fields. Be sure to say "Carmen Rempel marathon" in the "Give to the program or staff member" field. 

I'll keep you updated on my training and the fundraiser progress here!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Today a Loaf of Bread Almost Made Me Cry

Today I went to go speak at Regent Christian Academy in Surrey. My connection with that place is a few friends of mine who worked at the same camp (Anvil Island) as me this past summer. One of those friends introduced me to the crowd. He did the usual thing of telling who I am and what I do and who I'm married to and all that. But then he did something very very special. He gave me a loaf of Moreno's garlic swiss bread.

This is my favourite bread.

He said "Carmen we got this for you because last summer in one of your sermons you talked about being the aroma of Christ in the world, and you used Moreno's bread as your example. So we thought of you, and thought we should get you some of that bread that you went on and on about."

I was touched.

They remembered! Today I was greatly encouraged by this gift of a loaf of bread because these camp friends not only remembered my object lesson for one of my messages, but they actually remembered the lesson!

Most of the time I think that the words I preach go in one ear and out the other....and today these wonderful, beautiful people went all the way to the bakery to prove to me otherwise.

Thank you friends.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Dream, A Call

Last night I had a dream. And I’ve been singing ever since. Not a happy song. No. (And that’s odd for me.) It’s a deep song. A song that wells up from the deepest part of me and leaks out in non-rhyming verses with unsteady rhythm while I’m alone.

I was in a field. A field full of young people. Hundreds, if not thousands. There were adults there too. Caring adults. Youth leaders, parents, youth workers...etc. We were all wandering aimlessly around in this field, seemingly waiting for something to begin. 

Then they dissapeared.

The youth. 

They vanished. They dissolved really. I knew, in the way that you can only know things in dreams, that they had vanished into death. Us caring adults were left in an empty field, grieving for the lost young people. 

But it didn’t stop there.

We began to sing. Us caring adults. It started slow and deep, just a few voices. Then more and more voices joined in, and as we sang the song grew stronger. There was an electricity in the air. The song rose in a loud clamor towards God in heaven. “Have mercy! Jesus Christ! Have mercy on us!” We cried in unison. 

And then the ground began to rumble. In one little patch. The earth began to pulse. And front of our eyes, to the sound of desperate singing, she arose from the earth. She. Back from the dead. Still with the dust shaking off of her, confused innocence in her eyes, still with the breath of God in her lungs...she lived.

She was only the first. The ground rumbled, and the song changed to a song of victory as all the young people were returned to us. 

Ezekiel 37:4-10 “Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones; Behold I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”.... SO I prophesied as I was commanded and as I prophesied there was s sound, and behold a rattling. and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”

If this story stirs your heart to pray, then pray. Please join me in a time of intercession for the youth of our city.