As we cross the finish line of our first annual Race to Share the Gospel Around the World virtual challenge, we take a moment to reflect on God’s guidance and provision each step of the way, and marvel at all He has done and accomplished through it.
The Race began as an idea. No name. No logo. A blank slate. The only thing we knew for certain was, we wanted to provide prayer suggestions along the race path as a way to allow participants to draw close to God, and at the same time participate in His work through The Tide® ministry. As we prayed for guidance, momentum soon started, and He grew and shaped the idea into a beautiful example of what He can accomplish through the body of Christ. Within a few days, the logo was created, the project was chosen, and goals were set.
Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” (NIV) was chosen as our Race verse, as being His witness by sharing the Good News through media is the reason we exist. While it is not physically feasible for us to go into some of the countries in which we broadcast, God uses partnerships with our ‘boots on the ground’ teams in a mighty way to reach the people in these locations, including Afghanistan.
The Race afforded a unique way for the ministry, along with our participants, sponsors, donors, and other supporters, to take part in His work to affect the Kingdom of God. Through an online virtual map, a 13-mile Race path was created around the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan; one mile for each thousand dollars we set out to raise. Thirteen landmarks were prayerfully selected along the route, becoming milestone markers where participants found prayer suggestions as they passed by these specific locations. One of these milestone markers was the mosque that sits next to and serves the Ministry of the Interior. Tragically, it was hit by a suicide bomber just days before the Race began. We believe it was by God’s providence this location was chosen months earlier to be one of the milestone markers, allowing participants to lift up prayers for those affected by the devastation as racers flooded the streets of Kabul passing by that area.
During the event, we heard stories and testimonies from various individuals and teams about how God was using the Race in their lives and in their churches. Some used the Race as an opportunity to gather groups for prayer walks around their churches and communities. Other churches formed bicycle teams who spent time riding together. Two area pastors set out on a 1-day, 100-mile bike ride, stopping at several churches along the way to pray with pastors and for their churches. Still others walked by themselves and used it as a time to pray for their neighbors and grow in their walk with the Lord.
Bonnie Young of Marsh Creek BIC shared, “While I was walking, I learned so much about prayer and my neighbors. God revealed to me how hard it is for those in unreached nations to do and have things that I take as daily routine- food, hot shower, praying as I walk, reading scripture. Also, I live in a very rural area. My neighbors are down the road, but as I walked past their homes, God put it on my heart to pray for them. Also, I have made a commitment to make my walk a daily routine.” We praise God for how He touched the lives of participants, and how He will use the funds raised to make an eternal difference in the lives of the Afghan people.
We would like to thank the 100 individuals who participated in the event, the 7 business sponsors and 1 youth group sponsor, and the Race Kickoff Event door prize sponsors. Thank you, also, to everyone who signed up to fundraise, and to those who made donations, prayed for, and followed the Race. Without YOU, none of it would have been possible. We truly appreciate the support of each individual, team, church, and business for helping make the Race such a huge success!