The Freedom 5K was to be our first run as a family. I was excited to get out and run alongside my husband and with our children (they would be riding in the double-wide jogging stroller…my husband would get to push). I was also excited to involve our children (ages 4 and 6) in social activism. The Freedom 5K was in support of Route One Ministry, which has the vision to minister to women exploited by the sex industry on the North Shore.
It’s tough to explain the sex industry and trafficking to children, so I kept it simple and told our kids we were running for women and girls in need. In fact, before we ran, Bonnie, Route One Co-Founder and Director, shared that a friend of hers had just met a girl who was being trafficked/pimped out by her mom for cigarettes…really? Can this really be happening? I know it can and does all the time. Even though God opened my eyes to the injustices of the world over two years ago, it still shocks me, still penetrates my heart, still angers me, still motivates me to do more. Before the race, during the moment of silence as we remembered those for whom we were running, I gripped my children tightly and prayed that they would not suffer as so many children do but that they would become part of the solution.
The pinnacle of the run was when both of our kids asked if they could leave the safety and comfort of the stroller and run. They did just that. Our daughter ran, her 4-year-old feet, legs, and heart running for women and girls…sadly, for some girls as young as she is. She lasted a bit then went back to ride. However, our son ran and ran and ran. His 6-year-old feet, legs and heart enabled him to run for women and girls. He said, “like my sister?” and I said yes. He smiled from ear to ear as he ran and I did too. In the end, he ran a whole mile. What a blessing to run one mile with my son as he and I both ran for women and girls who cannot speak for themselves, who cannot break out of their life situations, who need to know that they are loved and valued genuinely.
It is my hope that our children will grow up to value their brothers and sisters around the world, live for God and serve this world as He calls and equips them. May our children work to make this a better place for those who have no power, no say, no rights. May our children be part of the solution for years to come! May our children run for those in need.
Also posted on http://www.hopeforoursisters.org.
© 2012 by Brooke F Sulahian