It’s a phrase often repeated by 22-year-old Justin Buckner, a native of Springville and one of the founders of Hosanna Missions. As a student at Master’s Commission in Atlanta, Buckner said he felt called “to do something else.”
“I had the opportunity to go on staff, but felt that I was supposed to do something else,” Buckner said. “I was helping lead a trip to Jamaica – we were gone for like a week and a half, doing all kinds of ministries with some missionaries there. We were coming back from a remote area of Jamaica, going back to the missionaries’ house, and that’s when I kind of began to think about doing missions work.”
That “something else” became Hosanna Missions, a group that Buckner says has plans to take a month-long mission trip to central America this summer, visiting a different country each week.
“Something different” is also applicable to Hosanna’s first big fundraising project: the Magic City Mudder, which is set for May 26 at The Ridge in Springville.
“We originally were going to a ‘10K for $10K,’ where you do a 10K to raise $10,000,” Buckner said. “But we really wanted to do something different.
“If you do a 5K or a 10K, you’re only appealing to runners. Something like what we’re doing appeals to a lot of different people.”
Buckner said he and his fiancée, Jessica — who also attended Master’s Commission — expected around 200 runners for their first event. The site recently cut off registration at 530.
“In all reality, we could’ve easily had 1,000,” Buckner said. “But we wanted to have a quality event – this is our first one, and we don’t want to not be able to handle it.”
The race is limited to participants over the age of 14, and will cover just over 3 miles. In that three miles, the course will be riddled with obstacles, including, yes, mud pits.
Buckner said most of the participants registered as part of a team.
“I think we have 70-80 individual runners,” he said. “We have 450 or so people who are part of a team.
“We’ve gotten some sponsorships from some places to help out with some of the expenses. We’ve gotten a real good deal on our T-shirts – Red Bull gave us a really good deal on a four-pack for every single runner, so that’s 600 four-packs of Red Bull.
“Right now we’re just focused on getting the course ready. We’re starting at 8 that morning.”
Buckner said he anticipates raising over $15,000 for the ministry, when all is said and done.
“It’s a pretty good fundraiser,” he said. “This is our first big public thing. We’ve seen a lot of good feedback already, just from people getting connected with us on our Facebook page, wanting to get involved.
“We’re wanting to do this as an annual thing, if not twice a year. I think, once this is over, we’ll be planning a much larger one, probably towards the fall of next year, which will be way larger – like 2-3,000 runners. I think it will be good for that, to get more people involved, as well.”
For more information on the event, visit magiccitymudder.com. For more information about Hosanna Mission, visit hosannamissions.com.
Contact Will Heath at email@example.com.