Valeo Training

Thursday, July 31, 2008

SAFE, CLEAN WATER - comin' right up!

I'm someone who loves water - it makes us feel good, it's healthy and our bodies simply need it.

Within the 30 minutes I wake up, take a drink, shower, use the restroom, wash my hands, wash my dishes, brush my teeth, and fill up my waterbottle, I've used more water than one person in a developing country does in DAYS.

And...I didn't have to walk 5 miles with a 44 lb container before I did any of this.

* When you flush the toilet, you are using the same water amount that one person in a developing country uses all day to wash, clean, cook and drink (

* MORE THAN HALF of Africa's people lack access to safe drinking water. (

* Over 80% of the disease in developing countries is related to poor drinking water and sanitation (

* A child dies every 15-sec from diseases related to poor drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. (

* 1/3 of all deaths in developing countries are children under 5, often because of DIARRHEA - 4,900 deaths occur daily because of diarrhea.

The CHAIN REACTION of unclean water is devasting. Aside from the severe health and sanitation issues, the time it takes women and children to retrieve clean water keeps them from being able to attend school and therefore, obtain a career or respected status.

Luckily, people around the world are taking notice...People in our neighborhood are taking notice. Engedi Church, through the organization World Hope International, has formed a relationship with and has fully supported an Orphan Trust Community in Zambia, Africa.

Through World Hope International, $3,500 covers the direct costs of drilling a well and provides clean drinking water to as many as 2,000 people. (


The THIRST: WELLS FOR ZAMBIA bike ride (sponsored by Engedi Church) was an overwhelmingly successful event. I guess you can't really define 'successful' but, according to the numbers below, realizing that over 4,000 people will now have access to safe, clean drinking water is pretty much not only successful but downright amazing. Valeo-ians alone contributed over $800 - Wow. That means YOU'VE directly impacted the lives of about 460 individuals in Zambia...

Here are the stats from the July 19th event:

* 46 riders (including 12 children and teens)
* 1,822 miles ridden for clean water in Zambia
* $8,008 raised which fully funds the cost for two wells and a partially funds a third. Wow!! Is God good, or what?
* 14,000 = total number of people in Zambia who now have access to clean water due to events such as these since Engedi began nearly three years ago
* The first well will be drilled at the Choma Central Orphan Trust which is fully supported by Engedi. (aka - we know exactly where the first well will be - and people we've formed relationships with will directly be influenced!)


Monday, July 21, 2008

In honor of my GRANDMA, 1919 - 2008

My dear Grandma (Oosting) passed away this past Sunday, June 20th. While my heart is saddened that she won't be there to watch me get married someday, meet my future children or share any more of her hilarious stories, I am comforted and EXCITED knowing that she's with Jesus celebrating in the kingdom of Heaven.

Here are some of my favorite memories of her. I love you, Grandma, and am so thankful for the life you had and the legacy you leave. You will never be forgotten!

* The way she loved on my Grandpa and held his hand.

* The sleepovers, birthdays at her house and being babysat when my sisters and I were little.

* She was the only person I knew who called her couches 'davenports', ha!

* Painting ceramics with her in her basement.

* Her infamous Lamb-shaped cake she made on our birthdays - a tradition started when my dad was a baby and is now carried on with my sister's kids!

My nephew, Myles, on his 1st bday w/ Great-Grandma's lambcake!

*Her presence at our t-ball and softball games growing up all the way through our college track meets.

* Riding in the car with her and grandpa on the way to the high school basketball Championship games my sisters played in.

* Her strawberry jello with pink cool-whip frosting and banana cream pies she'd bring to every holiday get-together.

*The t-shirts and shell necklaces she'd bring back for us girls from the various places she and my grandpa would travel.

* The stories, the stories, the stories! Everything from growing up in a house off all boys, to her childhood haircuts, to my favorite - of how she met my grandpa while racing cars on the streets of downtown Grand Rapids!

* Her little snicker when she tried not to smile - her dry sense of humor was the best!

You can read more on her LIFE STORY here... :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

TEAM ZAMBIA - a different opportunity

Some of you have read my Blog post regarding Team Zambia during Holland Hundred bike ride and would like to contribute but aren't able (or don't desire :)) to commit to the actual ride. I will be riding a leg of the tour (probably the 36-mile option) for Team Zambia. If you are willing, would you consider supporting the cause by giving a flat donation or amount per mile I ride? I'd love to raise as much as I can for the building of clean water wells in Zambia, Africa.

My church ( is partnered with a community in Zambia and a group of people from engedi travel there each year to continue this partnership, dig fish ponds, teach skills and trades, develop relationships with the orphaned community and build water wells. Each well provides the opportunity for 2,000 people to receive access to clean drinking water, an everyday necessity that, to us, is constantly at our fingertips. Your consideration to donate at any amount brings us one step closer to raising $3,500 for another well in Zambia!!

If you are willing, checks can be made out to 'engedi church' with 'clean water wells' in the memo. You may give them personally or send them to me at the address below in my signature (by Friday, July 18). For donations over $25, you will receive a gift card to the Zeeland restaurant At The Diner ( For donations of $500 or more, photography packages from Steven F. Fox Photography will be granted! (

Thank you so much for helping promote GOOD HEALTH (here and globally!)

Monday, July 7, 2008


My friend, Anne, recently celebrated her 2nd anniversary of a lifestlye change that not only resulted in a significant amount of weight loss, but also a significant gain of freedom and health. I am SO proud of her and wanted to share her accomplishments and learned lessons on this journey - a journey that, though it has not been easy, has changed her life - just read all the things this girl has done the last two years. Wow. I hope her words inspire you - whether you are in the midst of your own journey or not - as much as they have me.
In her own words...
Today marks the 2nd anniversary of changing my lifestyle to a healthy one. I've learned a lot over the past two years, accomplished many things and see the next two years as continued opportunities. In no particular order...

I've learned...

* I would rather eat my calories than drink them
* Shopping with friends takes on a whole new meaning when you can go to the same store as them
* Social gatherings don't have to revolve around food
* We need to eat to live NOT live to eat
* In the end, food doesn't make stressful situations easier
* Goals can be numeric but should also be behavorial
* It feels so good [mentally, emotionally and physically] to be healthy

I've also...

* Ran my first 5K
* Developed an addiction and love to Spinning
* Climbed a crazy huge mountain in San Diego
* Lowered my BMI, cholesterol and triglycerides
* Maintained my within 5-10 pounds of my goal depending on the day
* Had the opportunity/challenge to buy a new wardrobe four sizes smaller
* Bought jeans a size smaller than what I wore my senior year of high school
* Shared my story at 4 M M P C meetings with the 5th coming up in two weeks
* Inspired co-workers [or so I'm told] to change their habits
* Become the Healthy Lifestyle Ambassador for my department at work
* Been honored as a great one
* Been able to take three flights of stairs at work without thinking twice
* Learned to reward myself with things other than food - a new book, a pedicure and clothes
* Learned how to respond when people comment on my new exterior
* Gained self confidence

I still...

* Need to commit to an active lifestyle every S I N G L E day
* Need to remember one not so good choice doesn't have to mean a flood of others
* Need to not eat when bored or stressed
* Need to celebrate how far I've come
* Need to take one day at a time
* Need to consider a personal trainer to take my strength training to the next level
* Need Him to give me strength to continue

Ok, now this is BUGGIN' me...

A lil' critter must have gotten into my 'puter...'cause my website ( is currently down and out with a virus. Don't really know how or why but I will be looking into it and calling the computer doc soon. Until then, feel free to pass referrals directly to my email ( or ask for a print brochure.