The IRONMEN Newcastle Men’s Ministry has been victorious, with a hard-training team crossing the finish line at Newcastle’s Hill to Harbour fun run/walk. But what was unique about the Ironmen’sparticipation was the team member they carried on a stretcher for the 10 kilometre course.
The name of the IRONMEN ministry comes from Proverbs 27:17—“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” The group is based at the “All Nations” Multicultural Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newcastle (NSW).
It began as a challenge to keep each other accountable for our physical weight and health issues
“It began as a challenge to keep each other accountable for our physical weight and health issues,” said Sam Scanlan co-ministry leader for the team. “It has grown into what will most likely be an annual event on the IRONMEN calendar. The 10 kilometre Carry has become a metaphor for the IRONMEN group. It’s a physical reminder of what we stand for as a group, and that is, supporting men and equipping them with tools to be men of integrity, men of courage, men as husbands, as fathers in their vocations, homes, organisations, churches andcommunities. By supporting men to do life better, the flow-on effect is massive.”
Group members report that the tough pre-event training regime has reaped dividends in terms of kilos lost, with team member Sam Scanlan losing 19 kg since November last year. But the IRONMEN wanted to see others benefit from their efforts as well. In the lead-up to the fun run, they sought sponsorship and received pledges of more than $A10,000. The money will be split equally between Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off the Streets organisation and the IRONMEN ministry.
“As men, we have a big influence on our families and our children,” said Reye Raea co-ministry leader. “A lot of the problems facing the young people in the program, stem from the failure of men. Some men have either abused our authority as a father, abandoned the responsibility altogether or avoided it out of a lack of understanding of who we are as men and as fathers.”
This rationale motivated the decision to stretcher-carry some of the youth that are in the care of Youth Off The Streets. In turn, the young people carried IRONMEN team members, representing the great work Youth Off The Streets is doing in helping them to turn theirlives around.
“It’s symbolic of the covenant that we as IRONMEN of Newcastle commit to as fathers; to love and to cultivate our children, and consequentially keeping them off the streets, said Paul Kiruwi co-ministry leader.”