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Changing lives in the gym … and in Guatemala



  • July 06, 2018
Kelsey Campbell

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Ben Crosswhite’s personal and professional goal is to help people regain their health.

He’s been a personal trainer since he graduated from Liberty University, and he’s helped clients of all ages achieve their goals through Crosswhite Fitness.

As of October, he’s also the owner of Virginia’s first Muscle Maker Grill location, a restaurant he decided to open after he noticed a need for healthier food options in the local community.

Ben is excited about this new business because Muscle Maker Grill has menu items you’d see in a regular restaurant but with alternative, healthier ingredients. So now the people of Lynchburg can enjoy going out to a restaurant without compromising on taking care of their bodies.

Ben believes personal well-being is not something you should put on the backburner.

Many of his clients who enter his gym and restaurant have faced health risks because of their lack of physical activity and nutrition. But through weight and strength training and healthier eating habits, Ben has been able to intervene in their lives and help them become healthier individuals.

“I realized that I could get to them before they needed to see a doctor,” Ben explained.

But Ben isn’t simply concerned with the health of the people he sees everyday. He also wants to help improve the welfare of Guatemalans who could die from drinking contaminated water.

As a health enthusiast, Ben knows the importance of clean water. “If you try to workout for an hour and don’t drink any water … I mean, good luck,” Ben said with a laugh. “It really puts things into perspective of how much you need water.”

But it wasn’t until his first missions trip to Guatemala with World Help that Ben saw the life-giving qualities of water firsthand.

While attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new well, he saw the joy clean water brings families. But he also witnessed the immense need. He saw the dirty water they used to drink and walked the same treacherous paths many had to take just to find a stream.

“Having seen some of these kids who drink water that makes them even more thirsty because it’s contaminated … it’s very sad,” Ben said.

That first trip was the turning point for Ben. He knew immediately that God was calling him to be a part of providing as many people with clean water as he could.

At that moment, Ben’s journey toward providing clean-water wells across Guatemala began.

“One of the main reasons I give for the wells is because I know it’s changing lives,” he said. “We’re really saving hundreds and hundreds of lives, and there’s no better feeling.”

Ben wanted others to feel that same energy and joy of giving, too. So he decided to spread the word in his hometown of Elkin, North Carolina, about how people could become involved in providing clean water.

Ben founded the Foothills 5K Wet Run to raise funds for wells and also raise awareness about the need for clean water in developing countries. But this isn’t your regular fun run. Fire trucks and sprinklers line the course, spraying water to cool runners down.

The annual event also features a concert the night before the 5K. In the past, concerts have featured Christian music artists including Charles Billingsly and Michael Tait. This year, Toby Mac will be headlining.

Both the 5K and the concerts are fun events for the Elkin community, and the best part is that it all helps provide more clean water for as many Guatemalans as possible.

And Ben isn’t done yet!

“Every time I go back, I realize there’s more and more [work to be done],” Ben explained. “You know, some people get overwhelmed and say, ‘Well, we’ll never get clean water for everyone, so why even try?’ And in my mind, I’m thinking: we’re one well closer to having all of Guatemala with clean water…. There’s got to be an end [to the problem] somewhere.”

Much like someone straining to bench press a personal best or start a new diet, the thought of millions without water can feel like an immense burden. And it would be easy to give up.

But, much like the encouragement he gives the clients at his gym and restaurant, Ben says we can’t give up: “It just depends on how much [effort] we put in to get to the end and to how soon we get there.”

Everyday Ben goes to work and tells his clients not to give up. He has the same mantra for his dedication to serve the people of Guatemala.

While Ben is still working to make his city a healthier place through Crosswhite Fitness and now Muscle Maker Grill, his efforts to make other lives healthier through clean water are still going strong… and growing!

Even though it is a relatively new business, Ben hopes one day soon Muscle Maker Grill can powerfully contribute toward providing clean wells, too.

His goal is for both of his businesses to give charitably because of how important health and well-being are to him — both here at home and internationally.

“The only thing I regret is that I didn’t start giving soon enough,” he said. “But there’s always time to make up for that. I feel that when you put Christ as a priority and put others as a priority then your work — whatever it is on this earth — is going to be compounded.”

You may be like Ben — a business owner with a huge heart for helping others. And if you choose World Help as your partner to help save people’s lives, you can bring help and hope to thousands of people.

Like any commitment — whether to eating well, personal fitness, or rescuing and renewing lives — you just have to take that first step!

So if you’re ready to jump in like Ben did, take his advice: “Get started as soon as possible.”

Click below to learn how your business can get involved in providing clean water, lifesaving supplies, or other needs that people are desperate for today.

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