One couple has decided to run 2,772 miles from a church, Moriah Baptist in Risca, Wales, to Chad. How do they plan to do this? They will cover this distance by competing in 106 marathons over 12 months. Who are these running enthusiasts and why have they taken on this challenge? They are Grant and Louisa Wilson and their aim is to raise money for BMS World Mission’s Guinebor II Hospital (G2) located just outside of N’Djamena, Chad.
After listening to BMS mission worker Rebecca North’s talk at their church about the hospital’s work in Chad, Grant and Louisa were inspired. Louisa, an avid runner, came up with the idea of running to raise support for G2. After getting Grant on board, the couple presented the idea to their pastor and BMS Trustee, Rev Marc Owen. “The congregation’s response was really positive,” says Mark. “To me it was a way of people to get a better understanding of where Chad is and the difficulties of living there.”
Right now, Chad is in the dry season, meaning temperatures generally rest under 50 degrees celsius. In this hot climate, G2 provides out-patient services, gives needed vaccines and provides maternal health care for new mothers and babies to people of a wide range of faiths. BMS currently has five mission workers serving in Chad. They are surgeons Andrea and Mark Hotchkin
, hospital finance administrator and project manager Malc White
, nurse trainer Sue White
and nurse Rebecca North
With 650 miles under their belts and 2,122 miles, or 81 marathons, left to go, Grant and Louisa are working hard to raise money to support G2’s important work. Louisa completed the Brighton Marathon on 13 April and will be running the Forest of Dean half marathon on 24 May and the Tenby Marathon on 13 July. After every run, their progress is marked on a map for their congregation to see. “The reason we’re doing it is because it is important to our church that Chad is supported,” says Louisa, “it is quite personal to them.”
“It’s an imaginative way to raise the profile of the work and the country,” says Rev Owen. “I’ve never heard of anyone doing anything like this. It’s really caught the imagination of the congregation and has started to give people a sense of perspective on the country. It has drawn attention to the work being done there.”
To donate to Louisa and Grant’s run, you can give through their JustGiving page.