How long can you take to reach the unreachable? How much can you give to decrease the needs of the needy? and what ot will take for you to take the extra mile to spread the Good News to the lost?
For Pastor Ferdie Cabiling, as long as his body and compassion is on fire to do the impossible, he is willing and available to do it…even if it take him to run the extra mile for others. Pastor Ferdie has been known in our church as one of the radical-anointed servant of God for so may years. I don’t usually see him preach in our services at Victory Fort (since He’s leading Victory Ortigas), but when I get a chance to hear from him, you’ll see how passionate he is, not just in the way he speak and deliver, but his heart for the lost and unpriviledge is so deep and inspiring. He went to different races, (the toughest and longest ones) to help the scholars of Real LIFE Foundation raise funds. And for this year, he’s aiming for bigger and meaningful one.
Ferdie Cabiling is turning 50 years old on September 8. To commemorate the half-century mark, the “Running Pastor,” as Ferdie is popularly known, has decided to run across the Philippines, for the benefit of the Real LIFE Foundation.
“I have seven reasons to run,” Ferdie says when asked why he decided to take on such a daunting challenge besides the obvious reasons like health and exercise. The long-distance veteran–he’s logged in several marathons under his belt, including the 2nd Bataan Death March (102Km) and the Bataan Death March (160Km) ultramarathons--grins.
(This is Pastor Ferdie’s 160km Run at the Bataan Death March).
“As a fifty-year-old man,” he says, “I am running for health. Secondly, as a Filipino citizen, I run for the scholars of the Real LIFE Foundation.”
Real LIFE Foundation is a Christian non-profit organization passionate about providing a better future for underprivileged Filipinos by giving them access to a good education and transforming their communities through community service. The Foundation and its partners currently support more than 250 scholars across the Philippines.
“We are talking about high school graduates with honors,” Ferdie says, “but because of sheer poverty, they can’t seem to have access to college education. I will be raising one thousand pesos per kilometer.”
Ferdie expects to run 2,180 kilometers across the country, starting from Sarangani and ending in Cagayan. So the goal is to run 50Km or more (depends on the starting point) for 44 days. And since every one kilometer he runs is equivalent to one thousand pesos, his expecting funds he wish to make is 2 Million Pesos for the Real LIFE Scholars!
“Thirdly, as a Christian,” Ferdie adds, “I run for the peace of the city by intercession, prayer, and gospel proclamation for those in authority.” Plans for Ferdie include courtesy calls to the town and city halls of the places he will run past, starting from Maasim, Sarangani, en route to his finishing stop in Aparri, Cagayan.
“Fourthly,” he says, “I run for the people of Victory and the evangelical Christians.” All Sundays of #Run50, Ferdie will preach at Victory Churches and other Bible-believing churches along the Maharlika Pan-Philippine Highway.
“This is an opportunity to be able to proclaim the gospel of Christ in the pulpits of these churches,” Ferdie grins. The avid runner acknowledges it will be an epic and raw adventure.
“The idea of running around the corner in a new place is already a treat, my fifth reason,” says Ferdie. “Running across the country? It’s even more exhilarating. I get the chance to see, on foot the beauty of nature!”
“At the same time,” he adds, “I will get to take a look, firsthand, the plight of most of our countrymen across the nation. Why we were tagged as a Third World Country. I know you don’t have to run across the country to see that. But the reality of why ten million Filipinos are OFWs (Overseas Contract Workers) spread around the world is just mind boggling.”
“I know God is allowing us as a nation to experience His grand plan. It may seem that we were forced to leave the country for economic reasons, but I know that God being a Turn-around Specialist, is able to make us a blessing to the world.”
“Sixthly, as a FAMILY MAN,” Ferdie says, “I run for those who can’t because of some physiological conditions, there are so may of our countrymen who are considered as PWD (People with Disability). And what is the connection between being a family man to being concern with these types of people? My only eleven-year-old son was born with a disability called Sturgeon-Weber syndrome. He can walk and tries to run sometimes to show off to daddy, but he does it by literally dragging his right leg which was affected by his inborn condition of the brain.”
“Finally, as a believer,” says Ferdie, “I run for God’s glory and pleasure. I like to align myself to this quote from a runner himself. Eric Liddell says in the 1981 film ‘Chariots of Fire,’ I believe God made me for a purpose and he also made me fast, When I run, I feel His pleasure.”
So here it is. A lot of people are commonly helping in terms of giving funds and organizing fun runs for the charity purposes. For Pastor Ferdie’s perspective, its more than just giving money and running for pleasure. It’s all about honoring God and taking pleasure of doing it; putting others than himself and running the race for those who can’t. So for embarking his 50 years, he wants to make a difference and to be used by God with the gifts he has entrusted to have.
For more information on Pastor Ferdie’s Run, or to follow his run (Race insights, conditions, and updates) follow Pastor Ferdie on Twitter (@ferdiecabiling) (@runningpastor), Facebook (facebook.com/TheRunningPastor) follow the hashtags #RUNACROSSTHEPH or visit his website at www.ferdiecabiling.com.ph.