Tackling a triathlon to help fight sex trafficking

Mike Flynn, pastor of Open Arms Church of God in Grasston, recently went on a mission to improve his physical fitness. Next month, he will test his fitness level at the Shell Lake Triathlon while raising money for another mission.

sports_FlynnThrough his friends, Mike and Roxie Lynch of Blood & Fire Ministries, Lynch learned more about the toll sex trafficking takes on the lives of both women and men. Minneapolis, he read, is the 13th largest producer of sex trafficking victims in the U.S.

“What Mike and Roxie do primarily is disaster relief. They are missionaries in downtown Minneapolis, and they load their cooking trailer up and just travel to disaster-hit areas to help feed the victims,” explained Flynn during a break at his second job at First State Tire Recycling in Isanti. “So anyways, through that whole environment, they began to run across more and more people caught in the trafficking of humans. So we support them as much as we can, and that’s where the triathlon idea came from.”

The past few years, Flynn had two knee surgeries and three back operations. Weight began amassing with the recovery period and pain in the legs. Then through his son, Caleb, he was introduced to the Advocare nutrition plan. He ended up dropping 33 pounds and 18 inches while adding an exercise plan which included biking and running.

“I’ve never been on such a regimen before. I started getting my health back. I’m feeling alive. I lost my limp and got my energy back,” he said. “So I saw the need in what was going on in my own person, and I connected it to the mission that Mike and Roxie are doing.”

The Shell Lake Triathlon will be July 26, and Flynn will be running in the half-marathon which will be a total of 18 miles for the swimming, bicycling and running legs for his age group.

“I hope I don’t drown– I’m not the greatest swimmer!” he laughed. “But I’m working out, trying to get my shoulders and back stronger. My older son, Adam, also told me to get some good running shoes, so I bought a pair of Asics 19s. So I’m really something now,” he laughed again.

People interested in donating to the Lynchs’ mission to combat sex trafficking through Flynn’s triathlon effort can do so through their website: [email protected] The mailing address for Blood & Fire Ministries is: BNF Ministries, 3101 Bloomington Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55407 (phone # 612-282-2222). Flynn can also be contacted at 320-515-0184 to answer any questions about the fundraising mission.

“When Mike and Roxie are doing their events and feeding these people, they are finding these girls– and these boys– who find themselves on the street and end up in the sex trade. So Blood & Fire tries to get those individuals hooked up with different entities and ministries that come along beside them to offer them some other option than selling their bodies.”