“If you know that these people walk across the country of Swaziland, to get to the hospital, to have their babies. We could at least get up out of bed and go walk at 8am on a Saturday.” –Karen Dedmon, head director of the Swazi 5k
On September 16th, at 8:00 am, hundreds of people will gather to walk, jog, run, and wog (joggin+walking) for the 9th annual Swazi 5K. You can go to: https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/119348
(Registration closes at 10am, September 15th or late registration will be available the morning of the race. You are guaranteed a t-shirt if registered by Monday, September 11th at 10 pm.)
The vision for the race was birthed in the heart of Karen Dedmond nearly 10 years ago. This was around the same time Bethany First Church of the Nazarene’s partnership with Swaziland was coming about.
Karen is a retired labor and delivery nurse and now serves a personal fitness trainer.
“The conditions in the labor and delivery units (in Swaziland) are so bad, so we wanted to be able to send money to better their equipment and resources.”
As she began to explore the idea more, she visited races in the area to view what it would take to create a successful 5K. Mrs. Dedmond voiced from the beginning that there is no way she could’ve or could still do this on her own. There is about 20 people who make up the Swazi 5K Committee, with each voice and task contributing to functionality of the race.
She was very intentional about keeping the race in and around Bethany. However, without routing the passion in people’s heart for the missional purpose behind the race, it would all be in vain. Therefore, the committee started asking local businesses and business people to support and sponsor the event with hopes of opening their eyes to their genuine zealousness behind the vision.
“If you’re planning to walk a 5K, which is 3 miles, that’s just walking an hour. You start practicing so it keeps people healthy, ages ranging from 5 years old to 87 years old. These are people who can’t go to Swaziland, but they can walk the race, enabling them to send money there. It makes them feel like a part of it. When you look around and see all those involved, it’s just like a big family, a community.”
All proceeds will go towards food and medicine that the taskforce in Swaziland will distribute. Money raised also goes towards scholarships for mission trips to Swazi (filtered through BFC) and supplies/tutors for the Bethany After School Program.
Karen also voiced that “We’d like more SNU students and faculty to be involved. Even that if that’s just coming out the day of the race and creating more excitement.”
- Whether you are participating or cheering on those involved, checking out the vendors, or hearing the commotion outside your bedroom window, come out and support this event.
Becca Cox, a Senior Graphic Design student at SNU, and her family have been participating in the race since she was about a sophomore in high school.
When I asked her why she thought it was important for SNU students to be involved, she responded in this way: “Every year I feel like I go and am like ‘Why are there no students running in it?’ It’s right here on campus, and it’s not super expensive, only $20. It’s a good way to get active for a good cause.”
For those of us pinching pennies, maybe we could give up a few starbucks drinks.
“Even if you don’t know much about the partnership with Swaziland, it’s a great way to learn about it and support a great cause. The church really is doing awesome things over there. I’ve been to Swaziland twice and have been able to see the work.” –Becca Cox
The Swazi 5K transforms lives here in Bethany & a thousand miles away in the country of Swaziland.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make a difference.
[author image=”http://echo.snu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/20617242_1655042497863660_2403683625479291208_o.jpg”]Sydney Jones, Staff Photographer
Sydney Jones is a Junior Mass Communication Major and Music Minor from the tiny, Texas town of Wellington. She is serving as a second year Resident advisor this school year. Though she has undergone some major growth since her Freshman year at SNU, she admits her slight infatuation with John Mayer and ice cream has never wavered. Sydney loves the Lord and her family immensely, and even though she is excited for the future, she admits she will never truly “want to grow up.”[/author]