Kenya (MNN) — What keeps you from signing up for a 5k? Is it because you’re not in running shape? Are you too busy? Or do you just hate running?
Well, these are not excuses anymore! Madeleine School, a ministry partner of Orphan Outreach, is hosting a 5k tomorrow in Kenya. And here’s the best part: you sign up, but somebody else runs.
But this is more than a race. It is an effort to transform the lives of an entire community.
Background of Orphan Outreach partnership
Tiffany Taylor of Orphan Outreach says, “When Orphan Outreach was looking for partners in Kenya, we came across the Madeleine School which is in the Bungoma region. We were just so moved by what the locals were trying to do there by educating these children who are truly some of the most vulnerable children in really desperate need.”
According to Orphan Outreach, 71% of the population of 40 million people live below the poverty line. 1.2 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and many more die because of Malaria. Children, especially girls, have little chance of being educated.
Madeleine School was started in 2006. The school is located in a farming district in western Kenya and serves around 130 children. Many of the children who attend Madeleine School come from poor families with lots of kids. Often they are orphans living with relatives.
It isn’t an easy life. Madeleine School provides these children with a meal every day on top of their education. The work done at the school is run by nationals of a local church.
Taylor explains this is a key element when choosing partners. “We really want to come alongside nationals in all the countries where we serve because those nationals understand the culture of their country and the needs. And we partner with Christian ministries whose goal is to bring the Gospel to the children.”
Orphan Outreach assists with these efforts and also provides an agricultural program and monthly sponsorships for the children.
Right now they also have a medical ministry team in Kenya. Some of the team will be running the “Run for Life” 5k.
The bibs cost $15, a low price compared to many races in the United States. This 5k provides money for the school to continue operation and for the Kenyans running in it. Orphan Outreach is excited to be a part of this race because it is a good way to reach out to the community and raise awareness about Madeleine School.
Those hosting the race are overjoyed by the amount of participants. They are over their limit of 200 printed bibs.
But don’t worry! You can still buy a bib to be worn at next year’s event, and the money will still help.
For more information on the event, visit the Orphan Outreach Facebook page here.
“It’s really been a blessing to have this race as a unique way to make a difference for the school,” Taylor says.
Why should you get involved?
“We feel really strongly that God has called everyone to make a difference in His world for widows and orphans and their need. And this is a perfect example of a project where we are reaching out to children that are very vulnerable,” Taylor explains.
She says providing education for these children is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in their region.
If you would like to support Orphan Outreach by sponsoring a child, click here.
In the meantime, pray for their mission team serving in Kenya right now. Pray for them to bring the hope of the Gospel into their everyday conversations and interactions with the people of that community. Pray for the school to flourish, and for the staff to remain steadfast.
Read more stories about Orphan Outreach here.