Monday, April 27, 2009

3rd Annual 'Run for Mercy' Marathons in Nashville and St. Louis

Team Mercy in St. Louis

Mercy Ministries in St. Louis, MO welcomed its 3rd annual Run for Mercy marathon team on Sunday, April 19th and Nashville did the same on Saturday April, 25th. There were 26 participants in the St. Louis marathon and 46 participants in the Nashville marathon. These runners came together to help raise support and awareness for the work of Mercy Ministries.

All of the runners gathered the night before each the races in the St. Louis and Nashville homes for a pre-race pasta party. Everyone got to hear a personal testimony from a current resident, and then several runners shared about what inspires them to run for Mercy. Allison, who flew from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas to participate in the St. Louis marathon told about how deeply she has been impacted by the Ministry and that she shares the vision of Mercy with everyone on her college campus.

James Gaines, another St. Louis marathon participant, said, “Team Mercy is by far the best team I have ever run with. I have run competitively since the 6th grade, but this is the first time I had a purpose bigger than myself. The night before the race we went up to the Mercy house for a pasta party. Each girl wrote us a letter of encouragement, and that’s when it hit me – I was running for a cause. So that night I put that letter in my shoes. And every step I took, it made me think of the Mercy girls and how their lives are being changed through being able to get the help they need, free of charge.” James literally placed the letter from Susanna in a plastic bag, placed it in his shoe and ran with it in his shoe the entire race!

Team Mercy in Nashville

This year, the marathon participants in Nashville and St. Louis raised a total of $30,000! As a way to say thank you for their support, participants received a ‘race-day bag’ that included a copy of Nancy’s book of testimonies, Mercy Moves Mountains, a Mercy bracelet, a pair of Under-Armour running socks, a Run for Mercy shirt, a Mercy monogrammed face towel, a personal note of encouragement from a current resident and a Mercy Magazine.

On the day of the races, residents from the Nashville and St. Louis homes attended the marathons and cheered the runners on. One of the Nashville residents, Michaela, said, “It was awesome to meet the runners who were raising money and running to support all of us girls here at Mercy! We are all in this race together, and I know God is cheering us on the whole way through!”

For more information about running for Mercy, check out our website at www.runformercy.org.