Running with a Mission
“All the runners run, but only one receives the prize.”
For the sixth year in a row, young Anglicans are running the Pittsburgh marathon in support of ARDF. A little friendly competition in a small group could lead to big dividends in Zambia.
You might think of Zambia as a tourist destination. Indeed many people visit Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river. However, Zambia is actually one of the poorest countries in the world, with a majority living on less than $2 a day. Those in the rural areas experience the deepest poverty and many Zambians rely on agriculture for their livelihood.
Earlier attempts to improve the lot of farmers have not been successful. It doesn’t help that many are illiterate. A shortage of effectively trained teachers means rural Zambians remain uneducated.
The Anglican Diocese of Central Zambia will address both of these needs in a creative project focused on an area far from the tourist hot spots. Specifically, the church will improve its current facilities as a means of expanding opportunities for training both farmers and literacy teachers.
Then, while the student-teachers are on vacation, the church will use the improved facilities to train farmers. Farmers will participate in a residential program where they will learn new farming methods. After a month, they will return to their villages under the guidance of government extension workers.
The church will also develop a 74-acre demonstration farm, to both train farmers and to plant marketable crops. The income will allow the church to continue the trainings. The Zambian church has a successful track record in providing rural Zambians with opportunities. That this project can fulfill two needs - and that the projects will be self sufficient after the initial capital investment - is a big win!
Back in Pittsburgh, the runners are collecting donations for this project as they compete as two relay teams: husbands and wives!
“I was so excited for the opportunity to run this year not only because of the great cause the ARDF is partnering with in Zambia but also because of the fun-spirited competition it has ignited within our small group.” – Aimee Demaree
Check out their photos and stories. And contemplate if your bible study or small group wants to create a little competition to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24
”Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27