At the end of Week 1 for my Virtual Ironman team, I have 67 team members who have gone 772 miles! That’s a lot of miles in one week! We’re on our way out of Ethiopia toward the US for our virtual adoption journey! We’ll be out over the blue ocean soon. Adoption fact for the week: In 2010, 2,511 children were adopted from Ethiopia to the US. In 2013, only 993. But the number of orphans in the world is getting higher and higher every year.
Here are our first three team members:
Our first team member this week is Rev. Dale Kleinheksel from Belmont, Michigan. He is 65 years old and currently works for a Christian ministry as an office administrator, as well as a visitation pastor for the church he attends. He was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and felt that this Virtual Ironman would be a good way to be accountable for his exercise. He will be mostly walking with a couple charity 5K runs/walks this summer, including the Team Orphans Cookie 5K on July 26! Dale is married and has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. He is taking on the challenge to memorize Psalm 146 before November 1. Are you?
Jamie Brummel is a good friend of mine! We met when I was in college and I led her son’s music class at church. She has been married to Chris for 24 years and has three children- Mitch (19), Alec (16), and Ana (12) who was adopted from Guatemala as a baby. Jamie has written in the field of advertising and public relations for 22 years, and recently left to pursue publishing her own projects. She enjoys serving in her church, mentoring her Kids Hope student, learning Spanish, cooking, reading, and gardening. Her preferred exercise is walking her dog, Chelsea, hiking with her family on vacation, and participating in yoga classes.
Our third team member is my new running partner, Rocket Gandy. Rocket is a 3 year old Australian Shepherd who belongs to our youth director, Ben Gandy. Rocket is the “church dog” coming to all of the youth group meetings and retreats. He has a little brother, Winston (in top picture) , who is 6 months old and a great play mate. Rocket also has 3 Australian Shepherd uncles- Beckett and Jax, who belong to Ben’s in-laws, and Charlie, who belongs to Ben’s parents. Rocket loves to run, although he wishes his coat was a different color because black gets pretty hot in the summer. He also enjoys jumping up onto tall objects, playing fetch, and playing with the students at youth group. His favorite parts of church are the kids and the scraps!
My favorite part of this Virtual Adventure is blogging about the different team members. If you’re on the team and haven’t sent me your blurb yet, please send it with a picture!