10 Oct 2013 by Natasha Kim CM-
There was a sense of completion as another year of Run for the Nation (RunNat) finally came to a close. The marathon this year saw 754 participants running throughout the Klang Valley to the finish line at Luther Centre, Petaling Jaya. Many were gratified and invigorated as they cooled off after the run to soak in the victorious atmosphere. It is one marathon that truly stands out from the rest as the runners prayed while persisting.
The groups of 3 – 5 (170 teams) ran pre- selected 5 kilometer routes that passed by homes, schools, commercial areas, government buildings, religious sites and other places of interest. Their aim was to cover as much ground as possible, relay style, where one group passed on the baton, in the form of prayer cards, to the next group of runners. Funds were also raised for charity to help those in dire need.
The runners started flowing through the steps to the finish line as early as 9.30 a.m. onwards as flag bearers and Shofar blowers stood celebrating their arrival. After the last batch of runners came through the finish line it was but a few minutes before the worship and thanksgiving celebration commenced.
Once everyone finally took their seats inside the hall, everyone cheered as the flag bearers that were led by Keney Martin (Former Malaysian Hurdler) marched through the hall to the pounding beats performed by Drummers for Christ. It was a real treat indeed! Everyone then stood up in respect for the national anthem. There were also lively worship performances by the renowned Juwita Suwito feat Aaron Lui and Beat Nation.
Daniel Lee, RunNat’s Missions Co-ordinator shared about the run this year and about RunNat G.R.A.C.E (Greater Run and Community Engagement). He congratulated everyone for proclaiming the year of the Lords favour. “There’s one thing I’ve learned, when we give and we choose to engage the community we always think we are making a difference and changing the world but I think what’s more important is changing our hearts. We are called to proclaim good news to the poor and bind up the broken hearted, proclaim freedom to captives and release from darkness,” he said. It’s all about God and what he wants to do in our nation through us.
Their target this year is to raise RM 143,000 and they want to give back to the 19 families and beneficiaries involved. They come from four different churches and 4 different NGO’s. They range from people with broken backgrounds, the poor, the needy and more. “As we run and we pray and we believe, we know we are called to be a change and to make a difference” he said. Even though the run is over it isn’t really over yet as the commitment to make a change isn’t over. RunNat G.R.A.C.E will continue to help the mentioned beneficiaries until the end of the year.
You can still make a difference in people’s lives. Daniel summed up making a change to one word and that is love. “God wants us to make a difference and we have the power to make a difference. It must be our burden in our heart to know God’s heart and it’s for the marginalized and the underprivileged” he said.
After that Rev Pax Tan, from Wellspring Baptist Sanctuary, was invited to share the Word. “The theme for RunNat which is “The year of the Lords favour” (Isaiah 61). It means God has come to rule and reign” he said. He shared that God doesn’t only want us to do holy things in the temple but also spiritual things on the ground where the people the people are suffering. God is a God of justice and righteousness and He wants us to take care of the less fortunate.
The Word is significant and the Bible says that the Word is God, hence we must fulfill God’s Word. “When we read scripture, we must take what is literally there first before we attempt any other spiritual things. It is very straight forward!” he said. This means that when the Lord has anointed you to teach good news to the poor, it doesn’t mean those who are spiritually poor or “like” poor. “Whether it is in Hebrew or in Greek it means people who are hungry!” shared Pax. There are many people who are hungry, whether hungry for a change or literally hungry.
Jesus went about doing good and according to the Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you will see that the scripture shows that he centered himself around people in need whether it was the blind, the widows, the lepers, the disabled or the foreigners. “His life was centered around those people because the instruction is there” said Pax.
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free
Exposed, an organization which pushes Christians to respond to corruption also came up that day to share about the importance of changing the nation. At the end of the celebration, Victor Chua (Founder of RunNat) shared a message of perseverance before closing the celebration in prayer. “There’s so much more that we as Christians can do” he said. God can enable us to do all things because Christ lives in us, because the Holy Spirit moves us. “We can do all great things because you said that we will do greater things than you have done on this earth. We want to continue that journey to run, pray and believe because Lord father we are trusting you and you alone for a better nation” said Victor in prayer.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Note: RunNat Malaysia will be hosting RunNat Israel in the year 2014, if you’re interested and would like to join please visit www.runforthenation.com
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