What motivates several hundred men, women, and children of all ages to get up at the crack of dawn and run miles through the woods in sandals, flip-flops, and even barefoot? If you live in Burma, chances are it’s because the brutal military junta that rules that nation is hunting you down to rape, kill, torture, or enslave you. For over 40 years, many of Burma’s people — especially the Christian minority — have been subjected to systematic genocide at the hands of a despotic regime that uses children as soldiers and men and women as human land-mine detectors.
For the last seven years, Christians Concerned for Burma has sponsored the “Run For Relief” (http://runforrelief.org), an opportunity to raise awareness and support for Burma’s oppressed people and help those running right now in Burma’s mountains.
This year’s event saw several hundred Thai, Burmese, and farangs (Western foreigners) assemble for the 7th Annual Run For Relief at Huay Tung Tao Reservoir in Mae Rim. The entry fee was 200 baht per person ($6.50) and over 120,000 baht (almost $4000) was raised to help buy food, medicine and supplies for Burmese on the run.
The entire Boyer Ohana participated. Dad and Drake ran the whole five kilometers with Drake coming in 5th among his age bracket (13-18) and Dad … well, let’s just say Dad finished! Elli entered the Flip-Flop division where the runner is given a free pair before the race and must wear them the full course to show solidarity with those in Burma who often must run for their lives wearing only flip-flops (“slippahs” to our Hawaii readers!). Mom briskly walked the course keeping another ZOE missionary mom company.
It was an invigorating morning, offering a chance to help our brethren in Burma and get a little exercise, too!