This past weekend, the Grace Community of Topsail Youth ran their 5K race in Wilmington, NC to raise money for the children at the Tullo School in Awassa, Ethiopia. It was such an amazing experience.
The kids had been training for almost 2 months, running 3 days a week. All the while, trying to find people to sponsor them for their race (with all proceeds going to Tullo).
13 children between the ages of 6 yrs old - 13 yrs old ran the 5K. Plus, one 4 yr old trained to run the 1 mile run.
We met before the race to begin in prayer asking God to watch over all the children running. Praying for awareness of the needs of orphans throughout the world and praying for opportunities to share the Gospel with others. We prayed for strength and safety, but ultimately we prayed that through this race God would be glorified.
There was a peace that fell over the group calming the anxiety, and the kids prepared to start the race they so diligently trained for.
It was like a light bulb went off when Fasika realized that all this running and training was going to raise money for the children in Awassa, Ethiopia. When we told her, she started jumping up and down and clapping. She said she was going to run as fast as she could to get the most amount of money that she could.....and she did.
Fasika was 4th overall female, and 1st in her age group. You could see the determination as she ran with all she had. As she crossed the finish line (exhausted), she had her eyes fixed on the clock. She smiled at her accomplishment, and, almost immediately, she began to throw-up from the over-exertion.
Blake ran hard. You could see he wasn't going to give up no matter what. He got a medal for finishing 1st in his age-group!
Bryce gave it his all finishing 9 minutes faster than he had ever run (anyone that runs 5K knows that to take 9 minutes off your time is HUGE). When I asked him how he did it, he said, "I prayed. I thought about the kids at Tullo. And, I wanted it to be over."
So proud of my kids. So proud of all the kids that ran. It was truly an amazing experience that I feel so blessed to have been a part of. Tears came to my eyes as I cheered on the sidelines. Witnessing the kids putting forth so much effort, so selflessly. Knowing that they were doing it for children that were less fortunate. It was incredibly powerful.
So many people were turning their heads to check out these kids running. People were asking us what they were doing. The kids definitely raised awareness and inspired people. Their example was such a blessing and a testimony to others.
I am so proud of how hard these kids worked. So many of the group ended up placing in their age groups, but even those that didn't place did an amazing job!
Together, the kids have raised over $2,800 for Tullo.
They haven't decided which capital project they would like the funds to go towards. Once all the money is collected, they are going to decide as a group.
They are so pumped up and excited about being able to make a difference, and they can't wait to run their next race for God's glory.
(If you would like more info about GCOT please visit their website: www.GraceTopsail.com )