Wenchi Methodist Hospital

Running for God's purposes

Beth Hand was one of our relay runners at the 2018 Belfast marathon. Inspired to raise money for rural communities in Zimbabwe, and spurred on by Paul’s words in Romans (as well as some words from Usain Bolt!), Beth laced up her trainers and got training!

Belfast. 7th May 2018. The words of Usain Bolt ran through my head as I watched out for my team mate “train hard, turn up, run your best and the rest will take care of itself”. Bolt and I are in no way similar in fact I am his complete opposite especially in regards my athletic ability; in rounders I would be the one to put the team out, in squash I get hit with the ball and normally even the sight of football on the television puts meet sleep (perhaps a blessing to my husband so that he can peacefully watch the slaughter of his beloved Leeds FC). 

However, for the past few years one thing has taken me off the sofa and out into the highways and byways in my trusty trainers… Belfast City Marathon Relay for WDR. I think this is the one stage at which I get excited about running. The cold, wet and miserable training is an honour when you know that many are running alongside you to raise funds and awareness for partners connected WDR. Paul wrote in Romans “so we, though many, are one body in Christ” and I love that we have the opportunity to stand with our brothers and sisters though miles apart. It is a blessing to be able to run, walk or jog knowing that God uses it for His purposes.

The day itself was thrilling with runners of all shapes and sizes spread like confetti over the city of Belfast. I dropped my husband off at the starting line (as he was running the full marathon) and headed to the change over point for my leg. When I arrived there was already a sea of Methodists in their luminous WDR bibs stretching and chatting. Most of us were a little apprehensive but filled with the adrenaline rush of community and excitement. We stood together waiting for our teammates and on their arrival it was our turn. Step after step we ran along the route watching faces cheer, smile and encourage us as the miles passed by. 

As we crossed the finishing line I felt exhilarated and exhausted but mostly thirsty! I drank nearly a whole bottle of water and as I held it in my hand I was reminded of why I had signed up in the first place. Dabane Water Workshops work in Zimbabwe to find and implement creative water solutions, something we very much take for granted. It is a gift that all should have access to and so as I had trained this was in the forefront of my mind. If we are one body in Christ then I must do my part to ensure that resources are shared equally and fairly so that all may know his provision and love. 

The marathon relay was one of the best things I have done and I hope that as a family we can continue to be part of WDR and their efforts through the marathon. Please think about joining up, you will be part of a community as you run and part of God’s mission as you cross the finishing line. 

Want to follow in Beth’s footsteps and join us at the marathon? Get in touch!

Walking for Water

Derek Wylie was one of our 8 mile walkers at the 2018 Belfast City Marathon. Having worked behind the scenes at the Belfast Marathon for a number of years, this was his chance to experience it on the other side!  

At Methodist Conference 2017 we were invited by Irish Methodist World Development & Relief (WDR) to consider regular giving by Standing Order and also to participate in one of the Belfast City Marathon events in 2018. I opted to do both because I feel passionate about the work that World Development & Relief are involved in.

Derek after completing the 8 mile walk

Derek after completing the 8 mile walk

The event I chose was the 8 Mile Walk as I am a keen walker and also I served on the Belfast Marathon Organising Committee for 8 years and I thought it would be an opportunity to experience being a participant. The fundraising in 2018 was for the Dabane Water Workshops in Zimbabwe, providing pure clean water to local communities, which was really needed and greatly appreciated.

The 8 Mile Walk was enjoyable, we talked as we walked, there was good camaraderie as we walked in our bright green WDR bibs as a sign of witness. When we arrived at the finish in Ormeau Park there was a great atmosphere and encouragement from those who had already finished. After collecting our medals it was time for refreshment and a Picnic in the Park! In summary ,the weather was good, the event was good and the cause was good!

The 2019 Belfast City Marathon events start in Stormont Estate for the first time. This year WDR are raising funds to support the work of Wenchi Methodist Hospital in Ghana, which serves over 180,000 people providing affordable, quality healthcare to those in the region.

In light of my experience last year I would strongly encourage you to come and join us and in so doing, bring the Love of Christ to our Brothers and Sisters in Ghana.

Hoping to see you on the 5th May!

If you’d like to join us at the 2019 Belfast Marathon, please get in touch! Register by 28th February for early-bird rates! 

These feet were made for walking...

In 2018, Tom and Sheila Millar joined the WDR efforts at the Belfast Marathon, raising money for Dabane Water Workshops in Zimbabwe. Tom (Communications Co-ordinator for the Methodist Church in Ireland) tells us about his experience at the 2018 Belfast City Marathon…

As an enthusiastic walker, I responded instantly to the invitation from World Development & Relief to join the 2018 Belfast City Marathon efforts to raise funds for Dabane Water Workshops in Zimbabwe. In fact, I was so keen I even volunteered my wife to join me on the walk!

I thought very little about the project until information started to come out and then began to realise the significance of it and the difference our fund raising could make .

The day itself was great fun. Loads of Methodists of different shapes, sizes and dress, from all parts of the country, some running the full marathon, others running legs (of the marathon) or the fun run, and others, like myself, did the 8-mile walk.

During the walk (which took me round parts of Belfast I'd never been before), I enjoyed catching up and chatting with long standing friends as well as making new friends. The encouragement from spectators along the route was excellent and the support kept a spring in my step. The excitement was such that we hardly noticed the time going by although I did get a lot of steps on my Fitbit that day!

There were lots of benefits - fellowship, fun, fitness, friends and fundraising. I had a brilliant day and would encourage anyone who wants to be part of making a difference to sign up, get into training and start fund raising.

I'm already excited about the 2019 event which is in support of Wenchi Methodist Hospital, Ghana. Having had two trips to Ghana I know how much this support will mean.

Tom & Sheila

Tom & Sheila

If you’d like to join us at the 2019 Belfast City Marathon, please get in touch! Register by 28th February to get the early bird rate.