Years ago, while Cindy Martel was running on her treadmill, she felt God nudging her to begin a Christian 5k called “Race for Faith.” Upon hearing God say, “Go,” she did not hesitate. Running marathons since she was eighteen years old, Martel knew God wanted her to use her gift as a tool of outreach.
Twelve years later she continues to host a race annually. This year Race for Faith is scheduled for February 21 at John Prince Park in Lake Worth. Roughly 600 to 900 people participate in the race per year. Every year the turnout at the race has increased by twenty percent, and a total of 6,000 participants have been a part of the Race for Faith throughout the years. Over $ 70,000 has been raised to benefit the charities Martel has sponsored in the past.
Who has benefited?
Throughout the years, the money earned by Race for Faith has gone to numerous, unique organizations including First Priority, a Christian high school ministry; Urban Youth Impact, a program to inner-city youth achieve their full potential; and World Vision, an organization that brings hope to the poor, among other organizations. Last year the money raised went towards funeral costs for a family whose son passed away in a drowning accident. After receiving donations from the race, the family began attending Christ Fellowship church. Money from last year’s race also went towards a custom-made wheelchair for Janelle Honeycutt, a disabled woman who adores the beach. Since she did not have a wheelchair that allowed her to travel on the sand, race organizers donated around $ 25,000 to custom create a beach wheelchair for her.
Funds will provide service dogs
This year, the organization chosen is called “Genesis.” They train service dogs for people with physical disabilities. Their mission statement is to create independence and transformation in the lives of those with disabilities by training dogs and placing them with those who need them. Martel and her family relate to this organization on a deeper and more personal level because of the traumas that have occurred with their son. Subject to serizures, the Martels’ son has his own service dog that is a trained seizure alert dog. The Martel family knows the difficulty that comes with delicate physical disabilities. They want others who have disabilities to be blessed with a service dog that can help and protect them in their times of need. Martel and her family are continuing to generously bless these organizations with every coming year.
Motivation behind the race
Martel continues to host this race annually because of the spectators and participants that come out year after year to support and run in the Race for Faith. Seeing God show up has additionally motivated and encouraged Martel to keep hosting the “Race for Faith.” Yet another one of the many reasons that Martel continues to have a passion for “Race for Faith” occurs because it strengthens Martel’s own faith. Every year she catches a glimpse of how God moves through the lives of so many people, and she bursts with overflowing joy. Evidence of lives transformed and the love of God completely overtakes the energy displayed on the morning of the race. This great evangelical tool helps Martel and others involved to share Christ‘s love to those who are blind to it. Having the opportunity to incorporate her love for running and her love for the Lord into one outreach opportunity causes an overwhelming bliss in Martel‘s heart.
The excitement Martel has for the race is evident as she enthusiastically explains that the “T” in the new Race for Faith logo will now appear as a cross. She said she wants to show people that there is a God, and He does care for and love the people running the race.
A family event
On the day of the race, runners can choose between a 5k and 10k run.. Aside from that, breakfast will be available and is included in the entry fee. Children can partake in a free 10-yard fun dash and prizes will be administered. Awards and live music will be offered and many sponsors will have tables set up by the racetrack.
Through this race, the goal is established to bring hope to those who do not know God as their personal Savior. Another motivation for the Race for Faith is to bring fitness to those who do not have it. Many people run races, and this race opens up a perfect opportunity for Christ’s love to be displayed in the community. Martel says that she hopes to encourage those who have faith and bring hope to those who question it. She explains that God is so good and has blessed the race throughout the years. She cannot wait to see how the Lord shows up this year.
For more information and to register for Race for Faith you can log on to www.raceforfaith.com.
Kaylee Greene is a home school student and Good News intern. She can be reached at [email protected]