Brink Eksteen author of “The Race of Faith” is taking part in his third Iron man on Sunday (April 21) but what is incredible is that he has trained a team of 22 non-athletes to take on Africa’s ultimate triathlon endurance test with him.
When Brink and the men and women in his Mansgenoeg Wellness Ministry team tough it out in the field of some 2 000 Iron Man competitors in the epic Nelson Mandela Bay event they will be making a bold statment in t-shirts emblazoned with a large red cross and the slogan “Mansgenoeg vir Jesus”. They will have their own supporters’ tent and a huge supporters’ base and expect a great vibe as usual around the Mansgenoeg tunnel, said Eksteen in an interview at a team sendoff function in Port Elizabeth this evening.
He says they draw their strength from Jesus Christ and they believe that the Lord really works on the day in which they face a 3.8km swim, a 180km cycle and a 42.2km run. This year the team is much bigger – 22 team members – last year there were only 13 and there were eight in the inaugural “race of faith” in 2010. The team dynamics are also a little different but Brink is pleased that this year is a much better testifying opportunity since more trainers and supporters are involved and overall they are reaching more people.
Eksteen admits it’s extremely tough getting unfit people into shape – especially the first timers.
“But we don’t discourage anyone and believe in miracle transformations. Of course it takes the usual blood,effort, sweat and tears too.
“There’s a mood of nervous excitement amongst the Mansgenoeg team as they wonder whether they’ll be fit enough for the race and they’ve been encouraging each other with BBMs and emails. There’s always a special word for whatever they’re busy with.”
Charl van der Merwe, a PE man who is doing the race for the second time says it’s very tough and the training is emotionally draining because of all the time it takes.
“But spiritually it’s only a blessing,” he says.
Charl entered into the training programme because he had a calling from God. He was in the fellowship group when God gave Brink a prophecy about starting the Mansgenoeg Wellness Ministry. God then confirmed it twice through scripture. God and his family kept him going through the hardest parts of his training. Charl has grown to know God much more intimately through the increased quiet time, for example when they’re training on bikes.
Suritha Lessing from Middelburg, one of the women team members, got inspired to join Mansgenoeg after Brink did launch of his book, “The Race of Faith”, in Middelburg. She entered as a result of reading the book, which can be ordered online. The training has been a journey for her, as she’s been improving her fitness levels a bit at a time. Her faith has grown as the realization dawned on her that she really can do it with God.
- Gateway News wishes all Iron Man competitors a safe and blessed competition on Sunday!