Herculean mission to serve the needy: Pastor with lung problems to run 7 races on 7 continents for 7 consecutive days

Pastor Matthew Barnett speaks to his congregation at Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California.(Wikipedia)

Despite being diagnosed with pulmonary embolism in both his lungs, this pastor is throwing caution to the wind and will run not just one but seven marathons on seven continents for seven consecutive days starting in Antarctica and ending in North America.

Matthew Barnett, the co-founder of the Los Angeles Dream Center and senior pastor of the Angelus Temple, says he has decided to do this herculean task that will challenge his physical limits because of his earnest desire to continue serving the needy people of Los Angeles.

The money that will be raised for his undertaking will go to the L.A Dream Center, which serves the homeless, the working poor, victims of prostitution and survivors of human trafficking right in the heart of Los Angeles. Barnett started the centre in 1994. It now provides help to more than 85,000 men, women and children every month.

"The World Marathon Challenge will redefine every physical, mental, and spiritual obstacle I've ever faced," Barnett said in a video message on FaceYourself2017.com. "It will stretch me, it will push me to my limits, but I will keep on going," he added.

"There is nothing Barnett wouldn't do to help the hurting people of Los Angeles; he is even willing to run around the world," said Johnnie Moore, Board Member of the Los Angeles Dream Center.

Barnett will be competing in the series of marathons as part of a fundraising initiative called #FaceYourself, where money will be raised for the L.A Dream Center.

Four years ago, Barnett's doctor told him that he would not have the strength and endurance to run even just one marathon.

But Barnett appears to have surmounted his health problems and is now ready to face what could be the greatest challenge of his life. He will run the World Marathon Challenge in 2017. If successful, Barnett will complete the seven marathons in 168 hours, a feat that has been accomplished by only 30 individuals so far in the world.