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A Verdade Brazil Missions Team Sponsors 5K Race (by Jonita Barram)

Jerry Welch & Herman Lofton - two 5k participants
Jerry Welch & Herman Lofton – 5K participants

The entire A Verdade Brazil team came together early on May 18 to set up for the race. Robert Bemman announced the race, and Krystal Bemman timed the event and announced winners. Angel Long, one of the adults on the missions team, says, “A huge thanks for them!” Angel sang the national anthem, and Pastor Osborne prayed before the race.

Racers ranged in age from 4 to 88. Angel says about 85–90 registered and about 20 entered the race on that day, for more than 100 participants. She says, “Probably 45 percent of the people who did participate don’t come to our church. And 20 percent of those 45 were unchurched.”

Hannah Long and Levi Dekker planned the event, with guidance and special help from Krystal Bemman and additional help from Rob Bemman, adults on the missions team, and others. Hannah put up “tons of flyers at the college,” says Angel. Also, team members went throughout the area covered by the 5K, “flyering” cars and talking to people. Hannah, Janna Hopkins, and Levi also went to other races and left flyers on cars there and visited businesses.

Ra Bemman - 1st runner in
Ra Bemman – Overall 5K Winner

Awards and prizes were donated by local businesses such as CenterState Bank and David’s World Cycle (gold sponsors), Innovative Ink and Chick-Fil-A (silver sponsors), C & E Imprinted Sportswear and Ellis & Abramowitz Orthodontics (bronze sponsors), Yogurt Grove, Pasquale’s Pizzeria, Mama Dilo’s, and Hacienda Mexico, and more.

Both the Chick-Fil-A Spirit Night and the 5K were planned as fundraising events that turned into outreach events. The team reached out in other ways as well. Angel says: “Someone in the church had the teens go ‘fly’ her neighborhood, actually two neighborhoods, to pass out information about the church.” James Berry kept track of the homes receiving flyers and the responses the team got from people, which will help with follow-up. The team has been doing here at home what they will be doing in Brazil: meeting people, inviting people to church, and serving others any way they can.