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KC Orphan Run Unites a Community to Care for the Fatherless
By Guest Author on October 29th, 2012

October 6th, 2012 dawned windy and cold, but we made many memories and were happy we were dry… thank you, Father. Though it was a very chilly morning, our hearts were warmed by the Spirit when, before the sun could show her face, the amazing group of volunteers arrived in droves…and layers. Perhaps we would rather have stayed tucked in our nice warm beds, but the Father’s call to the day’s events were more important to all. I, for one, felt the Father’s arms encircling the hearts of all who came.

One of the goals of this run was to garner unity among the body for the cause of our Father. We wanted to create a river of resources that brings rescue and awareness to the plight of the orphan. The solidarity of heart as we came together to meet the needs of the orphans turned what could be seen as a stream or creek when what member of the body can achieve alone is magnified into a flood as we all stand together…heart to heart, united for the least of these, advocating for those with no voice. The whisper becomes a shout. The participants were as vastly different as our Father is creative. All backgrounds, ethnic groups and denominations were swimming together in this river of life. This is the body of Christ in action! Perhaps the Father was giving us but a taste of what could be, “Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2:2)

Despite the surprisingly cold weather, our Father was so kind that He brought 20 additional registrants who were excited to contribute by running or walking for the orphan’s cause. While it’s hard to quantify the buzz and energy of the morning as the Spirit moved among us, here are a few of the tangible highlights:

9:10 a.m. – The Mayor of Olathe, KS, Mayor Mike Copeland opened the ceremony with his blessings and a heart felt welcome to his city.

9:15 a.m. – The National Anthem was sung a cappella by our very own Brianne.

9:27 a.m. – The amazing student-led drum line from World Revival Church drew the crowd to the starting line with their continuous drumbeats and Mayor Copeland started the 1 mile walk/run with a loud blast of the horn.

10:30 a.m. – The 5K race began. Renee Loux, Founder of The Orphan Justice Center and Gerry Geraghty, Founder of The River Run for Orphans spelled the word “O R P H A N S” together with the runners to start the race.

11:30 a.m. – The Awards Ceremony heralded the beginning of the end. The highlight of this ceremony was the presentation of “The Orphan Justice Center Derek Loux Award”. This was presented by Renee Loux, Founder of OJC to Chuck and Jane Koth in “Recognition of Outstanding Dedication and Service as a Defender of Orphans and a Champion of Justice.”

We would like to send a big thank you and our heartfelt appreciation for the generosity of the local restaurants, retail stores and businesses. We love linking arms with our Kansas City community of friends: St. Michael’s Parish, Life Church, Church of the Resurrection, World Revival Church, International House of Prayer, Olathe Bible Church, Kansas City Orphan Alliance, CASA, Hope’s Heart Orphan Foundation, Daisy Project, Rescuing Lives, St. Luke’s College of Nursing, Energy of Hope Orphanage, St. Thomas Aquinas Football team, Jay Wolfe Acura, SmartFeet, Santa Fe Pet Clinic, Family Tree Nursery and Veritas Marketing Solutions.

We stand humbled and amazed at what God can do through His people. We would like to thank all of the volunteers, groups, and churches. You gave of yourselves sacrificially, as well as the 198 runners/walkers. Together we served, shared, and raised awareness and resources for the orphan’s cause. Over $8,000 was raised going directly to the plight of the orphan. The glory of this event goes to our Heavenly Father. The success of this event was truly about coming together in love and one accord, “that we all speak the same thing, and [that] there be no divisions among you; but [that] we be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor. 1:10) The smile from our Heavenly Father was palpable as His family came together as one. Through God’s grace, may the river of human resources created this day surge into a mighty flood of awareness and resources that grows stronger with the passing years.

– Maria Singh & Melissa Swonger
Photos by Tony McAnulla

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Orphan Justice Center
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Grandview, MO 64030

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