Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Orphan Day 5K

After at least two years of planning and dreaming, I finally jogged my first 5K this morning!  I just returned from Compassion Corps' Orphan Day 5K, and while I didn't come in first in my age category (I was only about two minutes behind, though!), I am proud to say that I jogged the whole way, and made it across the finish line without collapsing first.
Lexie Archer, one of the key organizers for the 5K, standing with me before the event.
Compassion Corps is a group whose co-founder and director, Jan Bean, is closely affiliated with my church.  The organization works to awaken compassion in our hearts for the people of North Africa.  From their web site, you will learn that they work with the people of these northern African countries to develop their own ministries of compassion, they facilitate economic development through training and self-help initiatives, and they work to find markets for products from these areas.  The group at this point seems to work most with people in Liberia, Morocco, and Uganda, and they make frequent short-term mission trips to these countries.

You know how everyone seems to be asking for donations around the holidays, and it can sometimes make you wonder just how much of your contribution is going to help actual people, and how much is funding the director's salary or the cost of photocopying or mailings?   Because this is an effort local to me, involving people I know personally from my church, I can see in a much more personal and direct way how legitimate their efforts really are. 
My number!  I'll have to save this for motivation for my next 5K.
This morning, we each ran for a particular child supported by Compassion Corps.  The event was called the Orphan Day 5K because many churches recognize tomorrow as Orphan Day across the world.  Our registration fees are going directly to feed and educate orphans in Liberia and Uganda.  If that couldn't keep me running the 3+ miles then I guess nothing could!
I wore this sweet face on my number, taking this child with me the whole 5K!
It gave me a great sense of personal accomplishment to jog the entire way.  Three miles pretty much represents the maximum I can run without having to walk just a bit to catch my breath.  And I had to tackle hills, to boot!  But beyond that I was so inspired by the work that Compassion Corps does to improve the lives of children in these northern African nations they serve.
Leigh and her daughter Ashleigh, members at my church, hanging out with me before we set off.
I also had a chance to buy myself some Justice Java!  When some Compassion Corps staff traveled to Liberia last year, they found out that there are lots of thriving coffee farms around the country, but no market for the beans at all.  Apparently, the people of Liberia favor instant coffee, and there just isn't the infrastructure to support the needed processing, roasting, and exporting of the beans.  Compassion Corps went to work finding a market for this plentiful and delicious product--coffee drinkers in the United States!
Justice Java!  Drink a cup of compassion.
Compassion Corps has just begun their effort to export the beans to our country, then have them roasted, ground, and packaged for sale right near here, in Chester, PA, at Eldorado Coffee, a coffee import company.

We got to enjoy cups of Justice Java today at the race, and it was delicious. I purchased a bag of beans for myself, and I encourage you to contact Compassion Corps at info@compassion-corps.com if you would like to place an order for some coffee, too!  The organization is also working to raise funds to purchase a truck for use in Liberia to gather the coffee beans for export, as well as a warehouse for storing the coffee once it's collected.  You can use the same email address to inquire how you might help.

I encourage you to take a look at the Compassion Corps web site to find out more about their efforts, and what you could do to support them.  My 5K experience gave me an opportunity to support this great organization, bring aid to orphaned children in northern Africa, and reach a personal goal, all at the same time!
Here I am in all my sweaty glory after the run!

6 comments:

leekre said...

go you, congratulations

TheSnailMailer said...

YOU GO GIRL! Running at all was a victory.

Robin said...

WOW congrats Andria.

Robin said...

WOW congrats Andria.

VivJM said...

Well done Andria!

Parabolic Muse said...

Okay, you are so fabulous. Amazing! And you're cute as a button!