What does the Hamburg Triathlon and refugee women have in common? The Triathlon4Refugees, a special event to raise money for the smartphone app that speaks hope to the psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of refugee women.
Through long journeys and complex aid systems, refugee women carry the burden of nurturing their families – risking sexual and gender-based violence among other dangers in the breakdown of formal order. Yet, for all their vulnerability and mistreatment, these women remain of great influence to their family members. Refugee women are the ones who are most receptive to the gospel and who are often responsible for bringing their husbands and other family members to faith in Jesus.
Racing for a good reason
The Triathlon4Refugees is quickly approaching (July 16–17, 2016), and TWR athletes are preparing for the race. What motivates the athletes to keep training for the big day? Besides the challenge of participating in the world’s largest triathlon for the general public, perhaps it’s the fact that they know they’re racing for a good reason. With every kilometer the TWR athletes race, their supporters are helping provide Arabic and Farsi-speaking refugee women biblical content in their heart languages through the TWR smartphone app, Refugee Bridge. But these must be professional athletes, you might be tempted to think. Actually, the team of Triathlon4Refugees participants consists of 50 dedicated, amateur athletes. Allow us to introduce you to two of them.
HyunJung Lee has been working part-time with TWR since May 2011 as an administrative assistant in the Europe Media Services department in the Netherlands. Originally from South Korea, since moving to Holland, she jumps rope 10,000 times each morning, swims two times a week and runs what feels like a half marathon daily just to keep up with her two active little boys! HyunJung is familiar with going long distances, even in relationships! Having met her husband in Korea in 2002 while he was a university exchange student, HyunJung had the privilege of leading him to Christ. After a four-year, long-distance relationship, they were married in 2006.
Francisco Alves was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and later moved to the frozen tundras of Michigan. While studying at Calvin College, he spent a semester in Grenoble, France, and realized that he needed a life of “international-ness.” He double majored in Film/Media and History, and minored in Business, and those interests brought him to TWR in Europe. Francisco plans and executes refugee media strategy, networks with partners and promotes the ministry. He loves history, traveling, languages, soccer (he is half-Brazilian after all) and interesting discussions.
It's not too late!
Each Triathlon4Refugee athlete – regardless of experience or abilities – has an important role in helping refugee women hear about God’s love. For some athletes, like HungJung, participating in the triathlon is a natural choice, while for others, like Francisco – to whom the thought of running without chasing a ball never seemed like an attractive idea – it is an unexpected opportunity.
Though registration for athletes is now closed, we still need your help! You can play an important role in speaking hope to the lives of thousands of refugee women by supporting one of our athletes financially. To sponsor HyunJung, Francisco or another Triathlon4Refugee athlete, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.