By CHERIL VERNON
Court Drive Church of Christ is encouraging the community to participate in the inaugural “Zim Zipper” 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 2 as a fund-raiser for the church’s Zimbabwe missions.
“I think we at the Court Drive Church are all about being involved in the local community and we are in so many ways. We would like to give our community an opportunity to be a part of what we are involved in as a community-based church,” Court Drive Church of Christ minister Paul Jones said Wednesday. “We talk about foreign mission efforts helping those that are in need medically; spiritually and just bringing a little relief and compassion to a struggling people who are trying to do the best they can for their families.
“The Zim Zipper is a fun healthy way all people of all faiths can say we care about more than just ourselves,” Jones said.
The 5K Run/Walk, which will start at 9 a.m., begins and ends at the church, located at 1434 Court Dr. in Palestine.
A 100 meter dash for children 10 and under also will be held.
Registration is $20 per person in advance and $25 the day of the race. Registration forms are available at the church. Race packets also will be available from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1 at the church or starting at 7 a.m. on race day.
The event was coordinated by the mission group at the church. In addition to Court Drive Church of Christ’s local missions (food pantry, crisis center, Refuge of Light and others), a mission group travels every other year to Zimbabwe to provide a medical and teaching mission trip. The next trip is scheduled for later this year.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south.
On the last mission trip in 2011, doctors saw more than 200 patients every day with varied ailments ranging from AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria and dysentery. They also performed minor surgeries, delivered a baby and helped cancer patients.
The group taught classes for children, women and men and gave out 300 reading glasses while on the mission trip.
“During our teaching experiences, we walked into the classroom with 124 children sitting shoulder to shoulder on broken benches. Many children were sitting on the floor. On their desks were little stones. When we ask what these were for, we were told the children use these for math problems,” Jones said. “These little children have no paper or pens to write with. Their teachers don’t have any text books or chalk for the board. If they do have books, they are tattered and torn.”
The group had prepared lessons on the Fruit of the Spirit with posters brightly decorated to show the children.
“They had never seen anything like this before. We were humbled by their sheer delight when we showed them how to make a puppet out of a paper bag. These dear little children taught us so much more than we could ever teach them,” Jones said. “Not only are we able to provide these services, but we also leave Zimbabwe with a better sense of gratitude and a humble heart for our own lives in America.”
For more information about the “Zim Zipper” 5k Run/Walk or helping with future Zimbabwe mission trips, call the church at 903-729-0196.