“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” says Hebrews 12:1, and Crossroad Bible Institute board member Ray Middel took that exhortation literally as he completed the fifty-six-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa on June 1.

The Comrades Marathon is the largest and oldest ultra-marathon in the world, with 18,000 runners racing between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.

Middel, who completed the race in just over eleven hours, ran on behalf of World Renew’s Free a Family initiative, which brings poverty relief to families around the world.

Middel’s good work didn’t end at the finish line, though; he also visited the CBI South Africa campus in Pretoria. Middel met with CBI South Africa interim director Eddie Boersema, toured the office and greeted volunteers. “CBI South Africa is a very passionate group, a very motivated team,” said Middel. “They love what they’re doing.”

Because of a strong emphasis on restorative justice, the prison system in South Africa employs spiritual care coordinators, chaplains, psychologists and social workers to implement restorative programs in which spiritual formation is considered essential. The mentoring and discipleship that CBI offers to people in prison is viewed as a welcome complement to existing programming.

CBI South Africa was founded in 2011 and currently reaches over two hundred students spread across the northern part of the country. The ministry hopes to continue expanding into additional facilities in the coming months.

“Our brothers and sisters at satellite campuses around the world are like family to us,” said CBI president Dr. David Schuringa. “We are always thrilled to be able to fellowship with them face to face.”

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