Friday, December 7, 2012

Teen Mania Founder's Marathon Run Encourages Prayer for America's Youth

Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries, says the feeling he had during the final four miles of a half marathon he ran a few years ago "was the most excruciating pain of my life." So why is he planning to run twice as far during this weekend's MetroPCS Dallas Marathon?

It's all about the numbers. For the last 26 years, Luce has invested his life into trying to reach out to teenagers nationwide. There are currently about 26 million teens in the U.S., but only about 10 percent of them are Christians. A marathon is 26.2 miles in length, so on Dec. 9, at the age of 51, Luce will attempt to complete his first marathon with the goal of encouraging people everywhere to pray for America's youth.
"I think it's a chance for us to get together as the body of Christ and say, 'We're going to run harder for this generation,'" Luce told The Christian Post on Thursday.
One disturbing statistic he says is a reason for his participation in the race is the approximately 4,000 teenagers who commit suicide each year.
"There's a lot more brokenness around us than what we realize," he said. "The 4,000 are those that end up completing the suicide; there's hundreds of thousands that are depressed, that are cutting, that attempt suicide and don't complete it. And I think we've become experts in our American culture at masquerading as people of happiness when there's brokenness on the inside."
Through the Run For 26 initiative, Luce hopes to prevent tragedies like the one that happened to Amanda Todd – the Canadian teenager who committed suicide after being bullied – from happening again.

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