Calling all runners: Sudan’s unreached need Jesus

A wonderful article on S4J, including a radio interview (recorded last week in Beirut – on S4J from 2:48 in the interview), information of S4J projects appear in Mission Network News of 5 November 2019 (today). Calling on all S4J athletes and supporters to check this out. Featuring some of the exciting news on S4J athletes like Andy Foster and Manda Gomes. Trusting that God would use this mightily.

Read it here!

It’s going to be a HOT summer! How to run in the “HOT”

I am sitting here in the SSNET offices looking out of the window and thinking: “How do you train in this weather? How do you breathe?”

Since I have not run for a while I would not know! ha ha

Here are some tips that I thought would assist all our brave S4J family runners when running in the Gauteng heat (Courtesy Runner’s World):

  • Even when it’s cool enough that you’re barely sweating, your muscles are getting less oxygen and therefore are less efficient—an important factor in longer races.
  • Instead of avoiding heat during training, help your body adapt to it. Within a short time your system will become more efficient, as it learns to anticipate the rise in core temperature.
  • When heat and humidity start to creep higher, it’s best to slow down. Your performance relative to the competition will often be better (though slower) if you remain conservative.
  • If you are working on acclimating to warm temperatures expected on race day, remember to back off two days prior to the competition to make sure you’re not overstressing your body.
  • Hydrate wisely and don’t create dangerous imbalances by not using the right electrolyte supplements. Train to consume more liquids to build resistance to dehydration.

Now that we have you running, for those of you who have joined the S4J fundraising initiative for the 2020 Comrades, good luck with your fundraising efforts. Remember, if you do not ask, the answer will always be NO!

Blessings, Eddie

Locals rally around runner headed to ultra-marathon

Greg Cowan

Published on: May 31, 2019 | Last Updated: May 31, 2019 6:21 PM EDT


Andy Foster leaves Saturday for South Africa to run in the world’s largest ultra-marathon in support of the nomadic Beja people who she lived among for parts of 15 years working with non-govermental organizations and not-for-profits in northeast Africa. Photo submitted.

It’s an 89-kilometre race at least 15 years in the making, perhaps a lifetime, for one Owen Sound woman.

“It felt like a calling,” Andy Foster said. “I think I am supposed to run this.”

Foster leaves Saturday to race in the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. It’s the worlds largest and oldest ultramarathon. There are 25,000 people expected to run, and the entirety of the race is broadcasted on the nation’s largest television network.

“It’s the Boston (marathon) of South Africa,” said Foster.

Foster lived in Africa for 15 years originally working with the non-governmental organization Samaritan’s Purse. It was there she worked and lived alongside the Beja people, a nomadic group who live primarily in the Eastern Desert crossing the borders of Egypt, northeastern Sudan and into Eritrea.

In support of the Beja, Foster has raised nearly $10,000 from local businesses and sponsors that she will donate to the Al Germaniah hospital in Aswan, Egypt. The money will help pay for corrective eye surgeries.

“Because they live in the desert they (the Beja) get something similar to cataracts, even in the children, the dust and the sun and just having no protection. The surgeries can be very expensive,” Foster said.

When Foster first arrived in Africa a war broke out in northeastern Sudan. She was relocated from the southern part of the country to help provide aid.

“It just happened the Beja were the people in that area. They’re nomadic, and that was sort of their area. All the sudden you have all these rebel soldiers and now the Beja can’t move. We saw a lot of death and a lot of really hard things,” Foster said.

Over time Foster and her husband moved on to other not-for-profits and lived in other African nations, but the Beja remained a constant in her life overseas.

“They just always were where we were, and because they’re nomadic they don’t get the . . . they are not high on the priority list,” Foster said. “They literally live in the middle of nowhere. Medical needs don’t get met.”

Foster said she grew a lot and learned much more during her time in Africa. She said the Beja were very kind and patient as she became accustomed to the different cultures and way of life.

There was a young man named Ali. Foster was surprised to learn he was married with children because he never seemed to spend any time at home. Ali was surprised to see Foster’s husband help with the dishes at camp. One morning Ali took Foster’s light teasing about helping out more with the family chores to heart and decided to make the morning coffee. He told his wife to stay in bed while he started the hours-long ritual that included roasting the beans from scratch. In that time, his wife had gone to her extended family complaining that her husband had gone crazy.

There were the Friday afternoon meetings to which the Beja always arrived late. Foster assumed this was in order to send a message, when in fact, the mostly Muslim community were at prayer.

And there were the jogs. Foster would head out among the conservative Beja people in shorts thinking nothing of the reaction to her immodesty. When a Beja man told her husband he should suggest she wear long pants his response was “why don’t you tell her.”

Foster had a number of stories ready in a moments notice when asked to describe the impact living with the Beja had on her. She learned to speak the language and later was able to apologize and laugh about her small transgressions as she learned the Beja way of life.

Years later when someone asked if she knew anyone who would help raise money for the Beja she decided to take the task on herself.

The decision came to her in the middle of a November run. Now, a mother living in Owen Sound, she asked her family and partner for their blessing. She then asked for help from running coach Tim Wood, and has since spent much of her time putting sneakers to street-top.

Over 1,000 miles since January. Most days she wakes up at 4 a.m. to train.

Foster entered Ottawa’s Winterman marathon to qualify for the Comrades and ended up winning the women’s division in weather quite unlike she can expect to endure running between the South African cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Training for an ultramarathon in the dead of a Canadian winter provides a host of challenges unlike the ones Foster will navigate over 89-kilometres or less in South Africa’s Comrades Ultramarathon. Photo submitted.
Training for an ultramarathon in the dead of a Canadian winter provides a host of challenges unlike the ones Foster will navigate over 89-kilometres or less in South Africa’s Comrades Ultramarathon. Photo submitted.

At first, Foster wanted to raise $1,000. Then $3,000. And now she is nearing her new goal of $10,000 as she embarks after the months of training and fundraising. She has been blown away by the response of local businesses and people who helped her along the way.

“I’m not originally from Owen Sound, but it’s been so amazing,” she said. “I think people know it’s beyond even what I can do myself. I’m not an ultramarathoner or someone who has done this before. I’m a mother. I just felt really called to do it, and I really believe the Beja need help.”

The Comrades Marathon will run on June 9 beginning at 5:30 a.m. local time.

Link to web article.

S4J is getting READY for 2020!

Yes, it is that time of the year that we get cracking again with the preparation for the 2020 Comrades. It’s such an exciting time for us as we search high and low for athletes to join our cause.

We are looking at subscribing again this year approx. 100 athlete’s that have a heart for people and who want to make a difference in their lives. We have four projects which we fund and manage at the moment in the Sudan’s:

  • Water Project – in partnership with International Aid Services (IAS) in Stockholm, Sweden, to drill boreholes in the Sudan’s.
  • Bible Project – in partnership with the Bibles for Africa to spread the word of God in Sudan 
  • Children’s Project – Initiative to supply educational equipment to the children in the Nuba Mountains. An Operation Mobilization partnership. 
  • Beja People’s Project – Supply funding for medical procedures for the women and children of the Beja peoples in the Aswan region.

So, are you that person? Do you want to change the world one race at a time? Then give us a call on 071 4622 663 or write to us at eddie@sudansupport.org. We would love to hear from you.

A throwback to some of last year’s crowd just before the Comrades

We have so much to offer this year. We are looking forward to also share our new Barika Coffee initiative with you. This initiative fits perfectly in with our S4J athlete’s fundraiser as the funding is used in the same way.

Aren’t they just beautiful?

We are looking so forward to experiencing this year with you!!!

Regards, Eddie

An Incredible week at Sudan / S4J / Barika Coffee / Delmas connection!

This is about as huge as it gets. All happening in ONE week…THIS week! It is a wonderful reminder of the S4J slogan: Changing Lives and Changing Nations !

  1. Sudan under new management.
  2. S4J 2020 year launched with 19 athletes joining four groups via BackaBuddy.
  3. The newly launched S4J coffee brand, Barika coffee’s online shop launched.
  4. The Beloved Clana Heydenrych from Delmas passed on to higher glory.

Sudan under new management.

A massive transition is taking place in Sudan. This week the new Sovreign Council was sworn in. Former President Omar al – Bashir is behind bars and under trial.

With former president Bashir on trial and behind bars… Photo link.
The new Sovereign Council has been sworn in on Wednesday 21 August 2019. Photo link.
General Abdel Fattah Al Burhan after being sworn in as head of Sudan’s newly formed sovereign council on August 21, 2019. EPA

The little-known general leading Sudan’s transition

New Prime Minister 

Hours after the new 11-member sovereign council took office in Sudan, the country’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, was sworn in and vowed to make achieving peace and solving the country’s economic crisis a priority. Link to article on this.

The newly launched S4J coffee brand: Barika coffee’s online shop opened.

At S4J we’re fundraising to bless the people of Sudan and South Sudan in various practical ways, such as corrective eye surgeries, access to clean water, children’s education where it’s most needed and supplying Bibles to people in their own languages.

To strengthen wat we do as S4J, we’ve been blessed with our brand new own coffee brand, Barika Coffee. Barika means “blessing” in Arabic. This week we’ve been blessed to launch our online coffee store. The effect of that is that people from anywhere in South Africa, could now order Barika Coffee online. Funds raised in this way would be to fund our mission.

The S4J Barika Coffee online store launched. Barika is COFFEE WITH A STORY. To read more about this, go to the following link on our Barika website:

About The Company

Barika Coffee – coffee with a story.

To have a look at our brand new Barika website, click on this link

S4J Year 2020 launched with 19 athletes joining 4 groups via BackaBuddy.

The S4J uses the BackaBuddy as a platform to create a profile for each S4J athlete, fundraising for our S4J projects. During the past two days, no less than 19 athletes signed up for the S4J 2020 year that runs from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020.

Here is the link to our S4J fundraiser on BackaBuddy

Manda Gomes joined the S4J team on a visit to Beja country in February 2019. Here is a link to a short video on her story.

Every athlete has their own story. We appreciate everyone of the.

Our very first athlete that volunteered to be part of the S4J 2020 has her own amazing story of transformation. Anoeska Rautenbach’s won testimony that she weighed in at 130 kg in 2013. This changed to less that half that size weighing in at 61 kg. She is aiming to do the 89 km Comrades Marathon on 14 June 2020.

Anoeska at 130 kg in 2013…now at 61 kg. S4J, changing lives and changing nations.

The beloved Clana Heydenrych from Delmas passed on to higher glory.

Beloved Clana Heydenrych from our Delmas Beja prayer group passed away this week.

Clana Heydenrych here with S4J 2019 athlete Andy Foster. Mixed feelings! Well dearly miss Clana. Andy fundraised an incredible more than 10,000 Canadian dollar for corrective eye surgeries among the Beja during the S4J 2019 year through her running of the 2019 Comrades Marathon.

To view Andy’s story, here is a link to her story in a short video.

One of the paintings of Clana Heydenrych in our S4J office, this one of a Beja boy enjoying a cup of water.