Running with Purpose in Community

Guest post by Stella Chen—Team Living Water athlete and Living Water Trips alumni

Joining Team Living Water in 2016 was not within my comfort zone. I was not a runner, not an early riser, and not a big social event person.

The first half-marathon was the hardest. I was barely “jogging” at a pace to finish the race within the cut-off time. I thought this would just be a one-time experience. But it was the community and the purpose that got me—to have a team struggling with me achieving a goal that would benefit others and not just me.

After four years of running with the team, I had become curious about Living Water’s work on the ground. I was blessed to have the opportunity to visit Honduras in December 2019.

I was in awe seeing the hospitality, generosity, and kindness of the people. Women in the community chose to use their own resources and sacrificed their time to cook and care for our team. That made me wonder—do I joyfully give my best while serving God? Or do I just do what I think is enough?

The local Living Water staff helped us surrender our own expectations and open our eyes to see what God has prepared for us. This trip helped me learn to trust God more in my journey ahead. He showed me things far greater than I could have ever imagined that will forever stay in my heart.

A group of Team Living Water team members pose outside an airport during their trip to Honduras.

Before the trip, I had decided to run the full Chevron Houston Marathon with Team Living Water without confidence that I would be able to finish it. I was behind in my training and wondering how I would ever be ready in time for the January race.

But after coming back from the trip, my training had a whole different meaning. Every mile I ran had a face, a Honduran friend. Every mile became a prayer for the thirsty and those who still lack safe water and those who don’t know about the living water.

Running with Team Living Water is more than raising money toward a good cause. It’s about putting my comfort on the line, giving my time, and enduring the ups and downs of training so that my new friends in Honduras and thousands like them around the world no longer have to thirst.

To learn more about Team Living Water, visit

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