If not us, who? If not now, when?
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
God’s commandment for his children was to first love God wholeheartedly and to love people. So, how do you show love to people you don’t know? How do you show love to the poor, abused and enslaved? How do you empathize with those who are suffering when you don’t know what it means to truly suffer? Kelly Nesvold, a native Minnesotan man, is showing us how to make a difference. Upon answering the calling God instilled on his heart to use his healthy body to help those in need, he completed a 300-mile triathlon on August 26th to raise money and awareness to fight sex trafficking.
Nesvold’s journey kicked off with a five-mile swim in the beautiful Pekekana Lake in Grand Rapids, MN. From there, he headed to his bike and pedaled 240 miles to Shakopee, MN. And as if that wasn’t enough, he finished the event with a 55-mile home stretch run to his hometown in Austin, MN.
“The goal with this event was not to just simply complete some sort of an insane distance; it’s to make it a statewide effort as much as we can so that we can increase the area of impact by it. We are trying to reach as many people as we possibly can,” said Nesvold.
As of today, 39-year-old Nesvold has reached just over $39,200 of his $50,000 goal. Money raised is for both domestic and international victims of sex trafficking. Mission 21 (Rochester, MN) works here in the states to provide restoration and resources to child sex slave victims, while The Light House Foundation (Nepal) focuses on improving the lives of Nepali children, who are at risk of trafficking, abuse and neglect by providing accommodation, education, healthcare and more.
Every step, every pedal and every stroke is dedicated to the victims of this injustice. An estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children are victims of today’s form of slavery that is human trafficking.
“When we started to do these events we decided that we wanted to do them to impact the world to make it a better place the best we could with our limited resources,” said Nesvold.
Nesvold is challenging himself from his first endeavor last year when he raised $33K running 100 miles in just 27 hours for child hunger through Convoy of Hope. This year, 300M4Freedom has a more robust goal of $50K. He believes this is possible through newly formed partnerships with corporations, fundraisers such as a 5k race during the last 3.2 miles of Nesvold’s course, and a benefit concert given by singer artist, Chris Hawkey, along with so many others who have come forward to take action and support him.
“A win is just seeing almost on a daily basis the little things that people are willing to do to help the cause,” said Nesvold. “The generosity and the caring hearts that still exist out there is encouraging because when you start to focus on all the darkness and the tragedy that you are trying to help, it’s very easy to lose sight of all the good that is being done.”
Nesvold is passionate about helping others and believes it is his duty to use what God’s given him to give back to those in need. He is inspiring others to spread awareness and he is calling for people to join him to help stop this horrible injustice that exists today.
“I think in America we like to think that trafficking is only in major cities or in so-called “rough areas” however, the biggest thing that people need to understand is that it’s everywhere and it’s in their own backyard,” said Nesvold. It is something that needs to be addressed and we need to start standing up and doing something about it.”
Written by Holly Pieper