Father and son walking 800km to raise money for orphans
A SUNSHINE Coast father and son are trekking 800 kilometres in the cold and rain from France to Spain to raise money for orphans in Zimbabwe.
Errol Spence and his son, Isaiah, are 300 kilometres into their journey along the El Camino trail to the shrine of the apostle St James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried.
Despite coming down with a severe flu, Isaiah, who turned 16 overseas, has been soldiering one after getting some much needed rest in the early stages of the journey.
Isaiah's mother Donna Spence, the co-founder of Vana Childcare Ministries, which is helping to feed, house and educate hundreds of children, said her son was super eager to join his father on the journey.
The Year 11 Suncoast Christian College student is studying ancient history and has been learning plenty of things firsthand along the way.
The two are part of a group of 10 on the fundraiser.
"They are following what the pilgrims did. It's a real spiritual journey,'' Donna said.
The trek has also proven an incredible father-son bonding experience, despite how tough it has been with temperatures as low as 0 degrees. The pair are looking forward to better weather for the second half of the journey.
Vana is currently fundraising for its fourth home while adding water reservoirs to ensure the sustainability of the existing homes.
The Coast-based ministry directly sponsors more than 200 children through its supporters while helping many others.
On May 21, it will hold it annual fundraising gala dinner at the Headland Golf Club.
Errol and Isaiah have a goal to raise $20,000 for Vana during their walk. To support their quest go to http://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/ErrolSpence
VANA Childcare Ministries is a not-for-profit organisation that supports orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.
It was founded in 2006 by Errol and Donna Spence (Australia) in partnership with Pastor Makoni & Jane Goredema (Zimbabwe). The 2016 Vana Gala Dinner will be held at Headland Golf Club on May 21 from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, featuring entertainment from Soulfixx. To book go to the Eventbrite site http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/vana-2016-gala-dinner-sunshine-coast-tickets-22708189807