Run With The Nations

On Saturday morning, more than 300 runners gathered at Shelby Bottoms Park to participate in Run with the Nations and celebrate World Refugee Day. Runners started arriving a little before 7:00, and after registering, they began looking around the shops and reading the cultural posters of each nation. The most popular shop was selling African fabric and attire. The refugee groups arrived soon after, and the Bhutanese, Burmese, Iraqi, Somali, and Burundian refugees were taken to their respective villages along the racecourse.

As the runners gathered at the starting line, William Mwizerwa, the director of Refugee Ministry, and Larry Warren, the founder of African Leadership, both made speeches expressing their sincere thanks and gratitude to the runners for their continued support of the refugees of Middle Tennessee.

As the gun was fired and the runners took off, it began to rain, but no weather could interfere with this event. Runners passed by five different refugee villages, and the villages cheered loudly as the runners passed by. Catherine Higham, a race participant, said after the race, “The Burundian village was really special because they all formed a line and gave the runners high-fives as they ran by.” Several of the villages returned to the finish line in time to form a tunnel for the runners as they completed the race. After the race, the race participants, organizers, and refugees came together again and continued the celebration.

We would like to thank all the runners for supporting African Leadership, World Relief, and the refugees of Middle Tennessee as we celebrated World Refugee Day. Your support means everything to us, and we could not have done any of this without you. Look for us next year for the second annual Run with the Nations 5K.

- RWTN team


Meet our Summer Intern: Marcy McDonald

Marcy McDonald comes to us from Mississippi as one of our Summer Interns. Marcy first came to know the Refugee Ministry through her church, Pinelake, out of Brandon, Mississippi. They took a Spring Break trip to come and work with the children of the ministry. They enjoyed making crafts, playing sports, tutoring, and ministering to the children. She felt an immediate connection with this people group. Marcy is a fourth grade Math and Science teacher in Mississippi and prayed very hard about how she was going to spend her summer break. The Lord laid it on her heart that she needed to serve the months she had off. She is excited to spend her two month break in the Music City working the Refugee Ministry. Marcy hopes to grow in her faith and extend her hands in service for this organization in any way she can.


Meet our Summer Intern: Rob Higham

Rob is joining the African Leadership team as a Summer Intern. Rob began volunteering with The Refugee Ministry in July, 2008, and continues to work with the after-school tutoring program for refugee youth. His favorite parts of working with these children are the lasting friendships he has formed and seeing their smiles. He enjoys witnessing the educational progress they have made and loves seeing their successes in the classroom. In December, 2008, Rob began a project called Youth Sports Connection that links local refugees with Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Athletics. To date, they have relationships with the Men's and Women's Basketball teams and the Football team. He spent three weeks last summer working with youth in Kigali, Rwanda, and Nairobi, Kenya. His most memorable experiences from this trip came from his work with the youth at Kanombe Presbyterian Church in Kigali and with the street children at Centre Presbyterien d'Amour des Jeunes. Rob recently graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, where he was a member of the Crew and Swim teams and the Vice President of the King Society for Service, and he will be attending Vanderbilt University in the Fall. He plans to double major in International Leadership and Development and Political Science.