Sudan (MNN) — Cause-based running isn’t a new trend. In 2012, U.S. runners raised $1.2 billion for nonprofit organizations. According to this 2017 report, 9+ million UK residents used running as a fundraiser for their favorite charity.
If God’s gifted you to run for a cause, consider partnering with Sudan Support Network in 2020.
SSN teams up with athletes to raise support and awareness for Gospel work among Sudan’s Beja people group. SSN’s race focus isn’t average; it’s more than a 5k “fun run,” SSN’s Norman Johnson tells MNN. Through its S4J initiative, SSN teams with runners competing in South Africa’s Comrades Marathon and other events.
“The Comrades Marathon, 89 kilometers, is one of the premier ultra-marathons in the world,” Johnson says. “It’s predicted that the 27-and-a-half thousand entries will go in four days.”
Running to reach the unreached
Sudan Support Network primarily consists of South African believers, Johnson says, but they “join hands” with Christians worldwide to make a difference in Sudan. Through the S4J initiative – Sudan 4 Jesus – athletes team up with SSN to raise money for projects like corrective eye surgeries, clean water, and more.
“We will never do that (project) as a condition for people to accept Christ. But, if they are touched by the love of Christ through what happened, we would be delighted,” Johnson says.
“We come alongside those who work directly with [the Sudanese] and we just trust God for the results.”
Earlier this year, Canadian runner Andy Foster raised nearly $10,000 to help pay for corrective eye surgeries among the Beja people. Former Mrs. World Universal, Manda Gomes, is running in the Comrades Marathon 2020. You can support her efforts here by donating, or listen to Gomes’s testimony on YouTube.
The Comrades 2020 deadline is quickly approaching for foreign runners. Contact Norman Johnson by emailing email@example.com to learn how you can compete under the S4J banner.
Other ways to help
You don’t have to be a runner to help the Beja people or other Gospel work in Sudan. On November 17, a team of cyclists is competing in a 94.7 km race to raise funds for a clean water project.
The first and biggest need is something everyone can do – pray. Ask God to open doors of opportunity and make His name known among the Beja people.
“The Beja people [are] a very marginalized people. They need help… but they also need just to meet with God,” Johnson says. “This is not a matter for one organization or one local church. It’s for the Body of Christ worldwide to take hands from the outside, from the inside, to see God’s Kingdom come in Sudan.”
Click here to give online and financially support SSN’s work in Sudan.
“There’s huge change in Sudan now, and we need to rally around those people.”
Header image courtesy of S4J via Facebook.