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Susan Haarman - Racing for Christ...and a cause

Susan Haarman, an FCA Endurance teammate from California, had been involved in rebuilding New Orleans ever since Katrina hit in 2005. As a campus minister, Haarman often brought college students with her to help with the work and get them involved. On one trip, Haarman met Jocelyn Sideco, an old friend from college, and the Lord used their friendship to impact His kingdom in an incredible way.

Sideco had relocated to New Orleans to begin Contemplatives in Action, a non-profit dedicated to rebuilding the city. Sideco’s ministry is also faith-based, encouraging volunteers to be Jesus hands in action. They also provide local residents a place to retreat when they have nowhere else to turn. Haarman joined Sideco’s cause and began searching for ways to help support the ministry.

Haarman, got involved with endurance racing a few years ago. Discovering that New Orleans hosts an inaugural 70.3 on Palm Sunday, Haarman had a great idea. “It was like God was just whispering in my ear and pointing the way He wanted me to go. I called Jocelyn up and said, ‘Hey, what if I ran this race and raised money for you?’” The plan was set in motion and Team Enduring Hope was born.

In 2009, Team Enduring Hope raced for the first time. “Last year it was essentially me and Jocelyn trying to raise awareness and money,” Haarman said. “It was primarily directed as a ministry and a sign of hope for the folks of New Orleans.” Even within the training she was doing, Haarman knew God was her source of strength and encouragement, and that through Him Team Enduring Hope could become a ministry to those who desperately needed it. Because of Team Enduring Hope, many residents in New Orleans were reminded of God’s grace and mercy. “I think it reminded them that they are not forgotten,” Haarman said. “God is still good and has not given up on them.”

The race in 2010 will be a little bit different. Along with acting as a ministry to the people of New Orleans while also raising money for Contemplatives in Action, Team Enduring Hope is taking on more teammates. “I wanted to introduce faithful people to an athletic discipline that could help open them up to God in a new way,” Haarman said, “and I wanted to give endurance racers a chance to be a part of a community that actively sees this as a way to pray and minister.”

Contemplatives in Action will also set up racing teams, uniting local volunteers and residents while Team Enduring Hope seeks racers outside the New Orleans area. With all the new teammates involved in racing for Contemplatives in Action and the residents of New Orleans, Haarman realizes the importance of remembering the true source of endurance and hope. “The most important part of training this year is prayer. We are praying for athletes and Jocelyn is working with folks to help them take their prayer life as seriously as their training.” Sideco is grateful for God’s unwavering plan that brought Haarman to meet her and partner with the ministry. “Through Susan we are able to speak to a greater truth that others want to participate in: believing in a God who is beyond what we know, trusting a God who is boundless in love, mercy and compassion, and directing our energies for God’s greater glory.”

Thank you to Ashley for researching and contributing this article.

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