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Stories

We at 5KM Walkathon are, and remain, amazed at how God works with and around our event — the way he meshes details together, the way he turns what look to our eyes like obstacles or difficulties (a long commute, bad radio reception, an internet outage) into the kind of good results that make us laugh out loud in delight! Enjoy this lovely story from one of last year’s participants, be encouraged, and look for what God might be doing in your life today.

A series of God-incidences OR
How Rattanak met Ratanak

I don’t listen to the radio. With all respect to those in the industry, it’s just something I don’t really do.

All that changed when I decided to return to school full-time. I found myself with a 40-minute commute, bored with my limited CD’s, so I turned on the radio and found WDCX. This station unfortunately has a blank area on my travel route! I would find myself deep into a message when I would hit this area and lose reception. Argh! The reception of WDCX on AM radio was a little better in certain areas. So my strategy was to flip between AM and FM through this difficult reception area.

I was commuting home during the time Neil Boron was broadcasting. With my spotty reception, it took several days to fully get the whole message about the Ratanak International fundraiser in Erindale Park. Erindale Park is a favourite park of mine. It’s less than 4 km from my home. As a teenager I would join my friends to fish in the Credit River there. These days I join a group of enthusiastic walkers who walk this park every Thursday evening. Erindale Park has been a part of my life for 40 years.

My ears were perked up to listen to what was ‘news’ to me: a charity walk in Erindale Park; a guy named Neil Boron and his wife walking 100 miles from Buffalo; an organization dedicated to saving and rehabilitating rescued sex slaves; Cambodia; killing fields; Khmer Rouge. I knew about these things but not the extent of it. Daily as I commuted I was following Neil’s 100-mile journey to the park.

With limited time and finances, I didn’t know if I could get involved in this effort. Still, this event was so close to my home. On Thursday evening, maybe 36 hours before the walk on Saturday, I decided to get on board—and my Internet, cable and telephone all crashed. But God works in mysterious ways. I was able to get an email out to selected people, including my church family, on Friday morning before class.

I intended to go to Twin Fish restaurant and sign up or donate directly to Neil on Friday but I had run out of time once my Internet was restored. I decided to register online to walk, then I re-sent the morning email with the link where people could donate directly online. I had just finished doing that when one of my tenants came home. If I had gone to the restaurant I would have missed him.

I jokingly ‘told’ him that he must donate $5 dollars to my fundraising efforts and without even asking me about the charity, he pulled out his wallet and said ‘Here’s $10, you do so much and with all that internet problem and everything, take this’. Within minutes, several other donations came in.

As my tenant prepared his meal, I was in the next room making phone calls to try to get more support. I explained to someone about the name Ratanak and Cambodia when my tenant walked in and said, ‘My friend is from Cambodia; his name is Rattanak.’ He called his friend Rattanak and handed me the phone. I explained about the charity and its name and he donated $20. My tenant said that Rattanak is a refugee—he came to Canada to get help and now he’s in Canada and has a chance to give help back.

I think my 11th hour fundraising efforts produced just over $200. As I ran the 5km route on Saturday morning, I did what the organizer said—I prayed along the way, thanked God with every footstep for my freedom and my health and, with each pounding of my foot strike, for the heartbeat of a saved child.

Thank you God.

– Linda B.

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