A word of Thanks…
The Enable Challenge started in 2013 when I felt God stir my heart for men to do something to make a difference in the lives of women and kids who were facing exploitation across the globe.
The 2014 event saw over 60 guys cycle 100km or run 10km raising thousands towards the work of Elim Missions and the BeFree Campaign. In January of this year I had the opportunity to visit the project in Cambodia to see how the money raised would be making a huge difference in the lives of women across the other side of the world.
This year saw men across the country start smaller, micro challenges, raising money through their local churches and localities. The reports of these smaller events are below. Please take some time to read some of their inspiring journeys and stories.
Over the last 18 months The Enable Challenge has raised over £32,000 for Elim Missions BeFree Campaign seeing the lives of women and children who are caught up in cycles of human exploitation change for ever.
In a few months time I will be traveling to the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit individuals who’s lives have changed because of the money you’ve raised, it’s making a real difference. I’ll also be exploring the idea of a mission trip for men in 2017 which we will be telling you more information about at Enable 2016.
Please come along to this years event, Saturday 27th February 9am – 5pm with some fantastic speakers across two venues, Huddersfield Elim and Birmingham City Church. Elim Missions will be with us again sharing and raising up a new focus for the year.
Thank you so much for your contribution to the BeFree Campaign through the Enable Challenges. Your hard work and fundraising is making a huge difference.
See you at Enable 2016
Pastor Simon Whitley
Midlands Region – Triathlon
This year 16 guys from churches in Elim’s Midland region gathered together on a hot sunny Saturday morning at Cliff Lakes Open water swimming centre to start a point to point olympic distance triathlon, 500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run.
The team entered the water around 8am and just 15min later the first guys started to leave the water getting out of their wetsuits and transitioning into their cycling gear. The guys were split into two teams of cyclists who made their way from the borders of Staffordshire to the eastern edge of Coventry, on the border of Warwickshire 40km from the start line.
As the teams approached Coombe Abbey Park they transitioned again onto the flat circular 10km route. As the first guys crossed the finish line it was just over 2:30mins since they got into the water.
Simon Whitley writes “The sun was shining, the water was warm and the day was excellent. Most of the guys had never attempted a Triathlon before or even a dual element sporting event, but they did fantastic. The team spirit, friendship and fun were the elements which made this such a great experience.”
The last runner crossed the line around 11:45am to cheers from the small crowd which had formed. To celebrate families brought picnics and BBQs which helped the guys recover.
Sunderland Elim Church – Hadrians Wall Walk
After hearing Paul Hudson at the Enable Men’s Conference in Huddersfield, Granville Hawkins, of Sunderland Elim, was stirred to take on a challenge!
Granville writes, “We were moved by the report of the BeFree Campaign in Cambodia and Congo. The Men’s group from Sunderland Elim wanted to do something to promote and support the BeFree Campaign, for most of them a triathlon was a no go and we were too far from the Malvern Hills to take part in the walk. However we hit upon the idea of trekking part of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. Advice and a route was given and planned by a “Wall” local.
On Saturday July 4th twelve intrepid hikers (eleven men and one woman) set out on the thirteen-mile challenge. The day dawned damped and misty after a wet night, as the day progressed the mist and clouds lifted and a very warm day followed. The trek was no picnic; in fact it was quite arduous testing the resolve and fitness of everyone. An excellent support team encouraged us along the way and greeted our arrival at Housesteads Fort, the finishing point.
With an average age of 64, the Hadley Elim veterans met at the gym for 9:30, ready and willing to take on the challenge of 15 miles each: 5 miles cycle, 5 miles rowing & 5 miles running.
After the getting to grips with the fitness machines, they all set about starting the main challenge, starting slowly at first, but quickly getting into their stride, excited and eager to do their best.
Sam Manley, part of the team, says, “There’s something about doing a challenge together that keeps you all going. There wasn’t any competition, but a real bonding of purpose for us all that enabled us to work towards a single goal and vision. It’s great to know that age is not a hindrance to bringing God’s love, mercy and blessing to all. At various times we were able to spur each other on and kick start each other’s motivation to keep going.”
The team completed the challenge in a little over 3 hours.
Flame Community Church
Andrew Darby, part of The Flame Community Church, Rowley Regis runs a photography business with his wife, that puts on shows, dressng up as mascots and super heroes for children’s parties and fundraising events. As part of this business they work with a number of young people and so decided to put on a show based around the film ‘Frozen’. The show was entitled ‘Do you wanna find a Snowman?’ and it featured many characters including, Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Jack Frost… even an extra special appearance from Santa!
Kirkholt Community Church
Not letting the logistics of the Enable Challenge stand in their way, three guys from Kirkholt Community Church (Elim Rochdale) Bradley Howells, Richard Wheeldon, & Derek White organised their own event, deciding to run a half marathon (21K). This really was a challenge since two of the team had never run further than 10K before!
On the morning of Saturday 4 July, in ideal running conditions, they set out from their church following a route mainly along the Rochdale Canal towpath.
The guys write, “We had some brilliant support from some of the ladies of the church who
met us with drinks along the way and cheered us on. We completed the run in 2hours 30
minutes, not a bad time for a first half marathon. We were tired but delighted that we had
completed the challenge for a very worthy cause.”
On Saturday 11th July, Matt Brown and Kevin Pickup took part in a challenge to cycle from Swindon to Malvern and then back again – all in one day. The 125 mile challenge was to cycle to Elim Headquarters in West Malvern and back, while also taking the chance to promote this important campaign.
Matt Brown, from Elim Swindon said, “It is fantastic to see men stepping out in faith to support such a worthy cause as Be Free. ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’, and we truly saw men supporting and encouraging each other, leaving their comfort zone behind for something they believe in, and it showed in such a exceptional result in all the funds they raised.”
Kevin Pickup, Assistant Pastor from Gateway 2 New Life Church said, “It was a long day, stretching us to our limits, but every mile we covered meant that we were closer to reaching our goal.”
As part of the day, Alan Keen, Rupert Kay and Bill Baronne from Swindon Elim joined them for the first 15 miles. There was also a support vehicle with Peter Brown and Tess Brooks providing assistance along the challenge.