Running to Help the Helpless

June 4, 2014 • United States

In celebration of National Running Day on June 4, we are highlighting a runner who participated in Team Samaritan’s Purse to raise funds for a project close to her heart

Carrie Griffin is the planned gift administrator at Samaritan’s Purse. She recently ran the New River Half Marathon with Team Samaritan’s Purse to raise funds for our human trafficking/exploitation prevention programs around the world.

I love my new chapter of life in Boone. I moved from Wisconsin to work with Samaritan’s Purse more than six months ago, and I’m finding North Carolina to be a great fit for my active lifestyle.

After my move, I started running out of a desire to enjoy North Carolina’s beauty, but this desire grew to committing to the New River Half Marathon.

This was my first half marathon (13.1 miles), and no one is more surprised than me that my training went so well. For my long runs, I ran on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I’m amazed at all the sights and sounds of God’s creation.

I’m extremely grateful to be serving in the Donor Ministries department of Samaritan’s Purse, where I’m privileged to see people respond to God’s leading. The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) gives a clear picture of God’s desire for us to help those in desperate need wherever we find them. The opportunity to be a Good Samaritan is all around us, and working at Samaritan’s Purse has increased my sensitivity to hurting people.

Running to Help the Helpless

Carrie ran the New River Half Marathon on May 3, 2014, to raise money for children who have been exploited.

I believe God has given me a way to make an impact using this growing sensitivity and my love for physical activity. I think God blessed my running so I was able to utilize the amazing support of Team Samaritan’s Purse and raise money for a project that stirred my heart.

Around the world, an estimated 2 million boys and girls have been sold to pay off family debts or forcibly abducted by human traffickers. Countless others are lured into lives of unspeakable abuse and exploitation. Through our human trafficking and exploitation projects, Samaritan’s Purse works to reach the most vulnerable of these, protecting them or rescuing them from a fate of untold horror.

Recently, my Bible reading took me to a verse that caused me to stop and pray: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Proverbs 24:11, ESV).

It’s hard to miss the imagery of this verse. In the beauty of the North Carolina mountains, I don’t see people being taken away to death. But as I hear stories of boys and girls being abducted by human traffickers, I clearly picture them stumbling to the slaughter. As I sat and prayed, God asked me to raise awareness about these hurting children and ask others to join me in touching this need.

Training for a half marathon became a commitment. There were days I didn’t want to run, but I knew if I wanted to finish well, I needed to train and put in the miles. I read and learned tips from other runners who have experienced these races, but in the end, it came down to a choice: Go run!

Hearing stories of hurting children isn’t pleasant. I’d rather listen to edifying music and not think about the pain of others. But here too, I’m learning from others who have seen children abducted, and I’m encouraged to know there are ways to “rescue those being taken away to death.” I believe my prayers and resources can make a difference, and in the end, it also comes down to a choice: Help the helpless in the name of Jesus Christ!

Accomplishing the New River Half Marathon was such a joy (after I recovered). I’m thankful God allowed me to combine my love for running with a way to help others. I’ll never forget my first big race, and I believe this is running for His glory.