As 2019 begins, child development charity Compassion UK is urging Christians to make the time to think and pray about what they can do to enhance their faith and touch the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children – and then set some resolutions for the year.

Goals could be to regularly lend a hand at church, or to support more missional work, or they might include more personal challenges such as spend more time reading the Bible and in prayer. Many resolutions fizzle out before people even reach Easter, and often a bigger goal can help people stay committed.

So, if 2019 is the year you would like to consider taking on a big goal, it’s not too late to sign up for the Compassion Muskathlon, which takes place during a week-long trip to Rwanda, East Africa, in June this year. It is an opportunity to get involved in mission work and grow in faith.

The Muskathlon is hosted by 4M UK and Compassion UK and aims to encourage those who take part to find sponsors for children who are living in extreme poverty, or raise funds to support basic needs and local initiatives such as building classrooms and toilets. 

"It is an opportunity to get involved in mission work and grow in faith."

Participants get to choose from a half, full or ultra-marathon or 120km cycle, or a 42km or 63km walk through the communities for which they are raising vital funds. Last year 56 people from across the UK took part in the week-long, life-changing adventure challenge in Kenya, which also included spending time with children in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship programme.

Denise Pascoe, a 65-year-old grandmother from Cornwall, was among those who took part. The lay preacher at Trevenson Church in Pool said: I have never done any exercise in my whole life, but I was retiring and wanted to give something back. I already sponsor two children through Compassion, however I wanted to see first-hand the difference the charity is making. I know that with Jesus at the centre, Compassion is caring for orphans, widows and the poor – and now that I’m home, that’s not just in my head, but in my heart too.”

Wales-based father-of-two Luke Gratton said: Definitely step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to live for a cause bigger than yourself. Be prepared for your whole world to be rocked, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s also been important for my children to see their dad going on an adventure and helping change the lives of others.”

The 2018 Muskathlon Challenge raised more than £150,000 to provide 1,500 solar lights to Kenyan households, plus an additional 300 children in Kenya are now being sponsored through Compassion UK. The charity hopes the team taking on 2019’s Muskathlon in Rwanda from 21 – 28 June will have a similar impact on lives there. To find out more email challenges@​compassionuk.​org or visit www​.com​pas​sionuk​.org/​c​h​a​l​l​enges

Rachel Heald is a spokesperson for Compassion UK.