Group 1 Crew’s Ordinary Dreamer Spotlight: Ellie Ambrose
- Lauren Summerford CCMmagazine.com
- 2009 12 Jan
Ellie Ambrose is a normal girl with an extraordinary dream. Meet this ordinary dreamer …
“Dream Big. Take Action.”
Those four words may be the slogan for Nashville’s annual Ellie’s Run, but they are also the inspiration that drove young Ellie Ambrose to start something that would change lives around the world.
At just 10-years-old, the young Tennessee native founded the now annual Ellie’s Run for Africa. Her inspiration to start the race came five years ago when a man involved with African Leadership came to speak at her church. A video presented that day of starving children in Africa was enough to push young Ellie to take action. Left wondering why we don’t help those in need when we have been given so much, she fervently prayed for three months about what the Lord wanted her to do with the burden placed on her heart.
After much deliberation, Ellie decided to put together a five kilometer race to raise funds for needy children in Africa. However, Ellie’s dream wasn’t an easy one to achieve. When she first began seeking the support of others, she didn’t receive an immediate response from those around her. Ellie realized she couldn’t achieve her goal alone, so she continued to pray and seek out help. Finally, one day she received a call from a friend of a friend who shared in Ellie’s desire to reach Africa.
Merely five years later, Ellie’s Run has become one of the most thriving races in Nashville. In 2008, American Idol alumni Melinda Doolittle even lent her support by emceeing the event and shooting off the opening race guns with Ellie. As the run continues to gain momentum in the Nashville area, Ellie hopes to see it stretch to states outside of Tennessee.
To date, Ellie’s Run has raised over $150,000 for needy children in Africa. The primary benefactor of funding from Ellie’s Run is Calvary Christian School in Kibera, located in Nairobi, Kenya. Each year this school receives nearly $30,000 to pay for school books, new shoes and uniforms for 300 students as well as to pay the rent for the school building which holds eight classrooms. This year, Ellie’s Run is donating an additional $20,000 to fund a portion of the money needed to build a new eight-classroom vocation school in Kibera.
Within the past few years, Ellie has been able to travel to Africa herself to see the areas and the people her hard work has affected. Her first trip in 2005 took her to Kenya and South Africa, followed by a trip in 2006 to Kenya and Uganda as well. Experiencing the African culture first-hand has sparked a desire in Ellie to visit again with hopes of helping to build schools and health clinics.
When asked if she ever imagined Ellie’s Run would be as successful as it is today, Ellie enthusiastically replies, “Yes, because as a 10-year-old I believed anything was possible.” Ellie encourages other dreamers to continuously pray and seek the will of God and to never listen to the voices discouraging them. She wants ordinary dreamers of every kind to “Dream big. Take action.”
For more info on Ellie's Run, check out elliesrun.org.
This is the first of several features we’ll be bringing you, courtesy of Group 1 Crew. The trio’s latest CD is titled Ordinary Dreamers (Fervent), and we’re looking for people who are not afraid to dream big. Just like Ellie, you could be featured in next month’s Ordinary Dreamers column. Share your story with us here. For more info on Group 1 Crew, visit group1crew.com.
© 2009 CCMmagazine.com. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
**This feature first published on January 12, 2009.