Nokuphila Challenge Update 16th July 2020

Hello everyone,

There is a saying amongst runners, particularly long distance runners, that goes something like this; ‘Run the first two-thirds of a race with your head and the last third with your heart.’  For me I think it is more like ‘run the first third of the race with my legs, and the last two thirds on my knees’, but maybe that just means I should get out and do a few more miles for Nokuphila Food Parcels!

Our total as we reach the end of this term, still under lock down, has reached 5,028 miles.  This is a brilliant total and not only pushes through the 5,000 barrier but is also approaching two-thirds of the distance from Bede Academy to Nokuphila School.  A huge thank you and well done if you have covered even one of those exercise miles.  This is entirely a community effort and it has been so encouraging for me to see everybody contribute together to help people in need who we don’t necessarily know but who we know are our brothers and sisters elsewhere in our world.

Thank you to Rachel James who has been cycling to Whitley Bay and back most days, Mrs Wadsworth who has run 1,000 miles during lockdown, and Kerena Cooke who has been doing 3 mile afternoon runs.  There are so many of you doing the same thing, just doing your bit.  It would be great to see some picture uploaded.

5,028 miles takes us into the exotically sounding Abong Mbang in Cameroon, just about into Central Africa.  We have crossed the equator and are now in the southern hemisphere.  The deserts are behind us and the landscape takes on more green as the land is covered by more and more equatorial rain forest and the earth becomes more rich red in colour as it becomes much more fertile.

Hidden in the forests we might be lucky to see Western Lowland Gorilla, a bit smaller than its cousin the Mountain Gorilla, but still an impressive creature.

But less sand and more earth, more trees and more rain means driving (or cycling, running and walking in our case) might get a bit tricky and interesting, especially if the roads are just made of mud.  Are you ready to get out and push?

When Jesus was asked ‘what is the most important command?’  He gave two answers for the price of one.  He said, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’, and then ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  Whether we are helping to get someone’s car out of the mud, or helping them get on their way, or helping with shopping in lock down, or helping raise money for food parcels to help the disadvantaged and poor of the Tembisa township in the Covid-19 pandemic, we are loving each other as Christ loved us, and just how He wants us to love Him.

It would be great if we could complete the full 8,280 miles so we are going to keep going over the Summer Break.  If you have planned or want to set a target to add to your total miles then this is a great opportunity.  Get onto the Nokuphila Challenge Google Classroom and add them to your total.

Tembisa the community which Nokuphila serves is part of Johannesburg, now the epicentre of the pandemic not just in South Africa but the whole of Africa.  Strict lock down, enforced by the police and army, places restrictions on the movement of people during the day and a curfew overnight.  Unemployment is already high and is made much worse by the lock down so with no welfare system many of the already poorest families are now under severe pressure and experiencing malnutrition and starvation.  Every penny we raise means Nokuphila can provide more food parcels for those in most need.

To date we have raised £590.11 which is an excellent total, and thank you to everyone who has contributed to it.  We hope to send out first payment to Nokuphila early next week.  You can still make payments by logging on to ParentPay and selecting ‘Bede Community Challenge’.  This will be kept in place over the summer so please do continue to support.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed miles, and also for the funds raised to date.  It is such an encouragement to be part of such a caring community.

Have a good Summer Break.  Keep adding those miles!