Stan Cottrell Reflects On Orphans

Stan Cottrell At Home – Speaks Of Orphans

 “I shared with several people in the last few days…including the President of Ethiopia…that if we never had another orphan in the world…in 18 years and less…this vast audience of 143 million orphans will have entered into the world beyond the walls of orphanages and special living environments. They will be on the streets. What we pour into them is what they will pour back our to society”… as Stan Cottrell paused and continued:

“We must light hope in their souls…their perceptual world…even as we provide necessities, education, life skills training… We must pour into them our influence, affluence, genuine caring and reasons to hope. Life’s circumstances beyond their control have rendered them a label of ‘Orphan’. It is up to us to help them establish in their development process and understanding and belief that they are significant… that they were not some mistake unnoticed by God…that they have unique talents the world needs, they are needed, they have a future….”

With 5.6 million orphans in orphanages, Ethiopia has one of the largest orphan populations per capita in the world today! The results of wars, drought, famine, AIDS and more, the overcrowded orphanages lack funds and space in spite of some remarkable ones we were privileged to visit and will be sharing both on film and on this site.

We can and will bring them “The Power Of Hope” in conjunction with outstanding organizations in Ethiopia such as Zebider Zeludie’s (she houses, feeds, cares for 56,000 elderly and orphans), the work Tersit Asrat and Solomon are doing with orphaned girls, Jerry Spencer Ministries’ new orphanage, the work of Haile Tefera and more… and with our USA partners for housing, funding, ministry and services… for this is the heart and soul of The Great Global Friendship Run.

Laundry Day At The Orphanage, Ethiopia

As we help the orphans with shelter, food, medical care, education and more … work with “Peace and Green” and other outstanding Ethiopian initiatives with the blessing of the President to provide them not only ample, nutritious food, but an understanding of how to live on the land, remarkable agricultural advances… as we help them avoid the traps of human trafficking, sex slavery, or resorting in desperation to crime… we can help them avoid the desperate seduction of forces that would destroy them, but instead, position them to be strong leaders in our world of tomorrow… for the children ARE our future!  So let’s help make it a GOOD future!

The staggering aspect of this undertaking was best summed up by Mickey Grant as he followed Stan Cottrell throughout Ethiopia filming:

“Stan, you know I have been very vocal about your going around saying your goal is to raise $1 Billion for orphans, telling you it was ludicrous… But that much is needed for Ethiopia alone to meet the minimal needs of just their 5.6 million orphan population. $1 Billion represents just under 1 United States Dollar per orphaned child in the world!  Thank you for standing firm on this mission and helping the orphans!”


Meet A President For Orphans

Stan Cottrell’s Meeting With Ethiopia’s Beloved President Girma

Ethiopia President, Girma Weidegorgis, with Mickey Grant, Dr. Jerry Spencer, Stan Cottrell, Tekeste Girma, Zebider Zewdie

The entire story of the meeting with the President of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Girma Weidegorgis, on Saturday, June 15th is like something out of Fantasy Island … with Zebider Zewdie, Founder and Executive Director of the Mary Joy Development Association, described by Stan Cottrell as “The Mother Theresa of the 21st Century”Tekeste Girma, Public Relations Director for the Ethiopia Chamber of Commerce, Managing Editor of African Views Magazine and a genuine humanitarian… with our team of Dr. Jerry Spencer, filmmaker Mickey Grant, and Friendship Sports and GGFR Founder and Good Will Ambassador, Stan Cottrell.

“We speak in future tense about making a difference…
Well, in that day, the difference was ignited….”
Stan Cottrell regarding the June 15, 2013
meeting with President Girma of Ethiopia

It all started with the Addis Ababa meeting on June 14th with Tekeste and Zebider, when Tekeste asserted: “I think the President needs to know about you” (as people have said in the past about initiatives Stan’s done)… Whereupon Zebider quickly made a simple phone call.  Then she hung up announcing: “We’re to meet tomorrow at the Royal Palace.  The President will see us.”

Having met with Heads of State on so many friendship runs, Stan was prepared for the typical advance screening: name, passport and security check…. and the next morning, being stopped at the gate, with guards examining the car and securing Mickey’s film equipment… They spent almost an hour going through every single piece of equipment, tripods, etc., “…an incredibly thorough job of protecting the President, not just a formality of security…very thorough.”

Ethiopian Presidential Palace in Addis Ababa –

Stan admits that he had a little nervousness, as one might expect… like going to the White House and palaces of the world.  There is a certain awe and respect that’s engendered by the “position power” that goes with the office… After all, he would be meeting the President of the oldest independent country in Africa, one of the oldest in the world… He would be meeting a man in his impressive 12th year in Office, elected by a populace who universally expressed high admiration for the man wherever Stan went. So many re-elections in a truly free voting process in itself speaks volumes. Stan was ever more respectful based on what people everywhere said about President Girma:  “…very brilliant, speaks numerous languages fluently, incredibly well educated…”

The group was led to President Girma’s private home on the grounds of the National Palace… the approach exuding the position power that comes with the office and trappings of the President… You can’t help feeling the slight nervousness that comes with deep respect, concern that you do things right… the nuances of how to greet, act, respond when meeting of a Head of State… reinforced by the intense scrutiny of Security when you walk in, who then accompany you all the way on the walk down the long hallway.

But unlike a palace, there were lots of family pictures on the walls of the 40-plus-foot-long hallway.  All of a sudden, it was not like going to just some architectural, pretentious palace (of which Stan has experienced many), but “…the feeling that here’s a man who is about PEOPLE and AFFILIATIONS … You get a warm feeling the minute you are in the house and walking down the hallway.  He has the respectful power position but…”

Zebider went in front of the group because of her relationship with the President.  Stan reports:  “As we walk and turn left into his private, private room, here is the setting… a man 88 years old, in a wheelchair, behind his desk, wearing a coat that denotes his position as President of the country… But on the walls there are such things as a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award”….

As the conversation went on, it became ever more personal.  Stan commented to the President:  “I see you have the Paul Harris Fellow Award.  I’ve been honored also as a recipient of the Award…,” to which the President smiled and nodded.  Stan tells us:  “There were so many clues around that, even though I was sitting with the 12-year President of Ethiopia, it was ‘comfort zone appropriate’ … an intimate setting, cozy quarters, which is why only five visitors were allowed.”

President Girma Weidegorgis of Ethiopia 6/15/2013

The film equipment tie-up in Security was actually a blessing, because the GGFR group had almost an hour before the cameras were ever turned on – just Zebider, Tekeste, Jerry, Mickey and Stan alone with the President.

Stan reflects:  “I was just enveloped in the feeling of the highest honor we Southern men can bestow upon another, that ‘He’s a good ole boy’said with all the respect in the world.  He showed such caring, such sincerity… He didn’t have to prove anything to anyone… He showed he genuinely appreciates us and what we are about… This remarkable man is on Zebider’s Board of Directors… He personally adopted 6 children… He’s the ‘real deal’… He will be there for the special run being planned for the September 11 Ethiopian New Year and the showing of our Ethiopia film that’s in production now…”

Stan continues: “Because of his incredible style of leadership, I can now see why so many strides are being made for orphans in Ethiopia… the environment there… research and a vision for the future that will definitely outlive his own life… He’s a man who has made the most of all of his life… truly the embodiment of what I call an ‘achiever’… You know what that means, someone who lives the lifestyle / mindstyle of ever achieving more, new heights, not ‘achievement’ that’s an event or thing set in time, completed, with the person then resting on his laurels without ever contributing more…”

“With all the trappings around him, this man not only has achieved the office of President with the position power that goes with it, but he has not flaunted or taken advantage of his position in a self-willed way, Heaven forbid… He has used it for the betterment of Ethiopia and to bring honor… a model of excellence to show future presidents… Such a positive experience I will never forget!”

Dr. Jerry Spencer prays with President Girma of Ethiopia – “The man who thought of others and not just of himself”

What’s shared on the short film clips is just a glimpse of the hour of personal conversation that preceded it…. In addition to Stan’s interview of the President, we have a one-minute clip of Dr. Jerry Spencer praying with him: … praying for this “man who thought of others and not just of himself.” – Jerry Spencer

In the interview, President Girma spoke to Stan with appreciation: “I’m happy to learn that someone is doing such a work, heading around to benefit the unfortunate, the orphans of the world. This is the first time I’ve met someone like you. You are doing a wonderful job…”

Then commenting on the “Ethiopian model,” Stan emphasized that with so many initiatives, “…there is no place on earth that makes a stronger statement about what’s being done for the orphans of the world than what’s taking place right here in Ethiopia…”

The President acknowledged Stan’s and the GGFR’s new co-laborer, Mary Joy (Zibeder’s organization), as Ethiopia’s “ultimate fighter and worker in this line, and I am very pleased that you are helping on that matter.”  On that matter, the orphans, the President gently nodded agreement as Stan spoke with conviction: 

“It is so important being involved in the lives of orphans, pouring into them the positive ingredients, so that in just a very few years, they can pour out positive things back to our society. It is so important. The orphans are our future, and we MUST do something today…” – Stan Cottrell to President Girma

Stan continued with thoughts from the earlier conversation:  “I am so thankful that there is a Servant in a position of leadership like yourself, and the positive impact of what you are doing will be felt for all eternity.  You have a beautiful heart.  You have a warm, gentle spirit, and you do have a heart of compassion. And I thank you for this kind of person that you are and the victories you are giving to the world in your taking a stand in what you are doing for the orphans.”

President Girma humbly assented, “…it is my duty and desire to do so, and I am happy to be able to do something about it…”

Stan Cottrell – “It will be felt for all eternity!”

Stan quoted from Gladiator:  “Men, remember, what we do in life will be felt for eternity” … then continued: “And I know you will agree with me. The steps that we take today, no matter how small it might seem, it’s still that important step and it will be… that ripple effect… it will be felt for all of eternity.”

In full accord, President Girma responded: “Well, I do believe it is so…motivating the others to do what we are doing, and this will go a long way and be felt everywhere. And that will benefit the world.”

When asked what message Stan could take from him to the rest of the world that would make a difference, President Girma said: “… Keep running and help other people,” then chuckled gently and reinforced softly, “Yeah… That’s great…”

You can see the short video interview portion of the warm, comfortable, hour long conversation on the “RunStanCottrell” channel on Vimeo at:

This caring man made Stan feel like he truly appreciated him and the contributions Stan and the GGFR team and supporters are making.  Stan’s reaction:  “He made all of my psychic bells ring in being with him… I felt like, ‘Gosh, I could just spend an awful lot of time just sitting at this man’s feet and learning.’… He was so patient waiting for Security and the cameras, never impatient or angry as others might be…”

Stan said they even talked about Stan’s Mama (born the same year as the President), and further commented, “It’s like coming back home to a relative you haven’t seen forever, like an uncle… I just pray that when the history of Ethiopia is written, his name will live in the hearts of Ethiopians as Lincoln lives in our country…”

“What a wonderful way to start the GGFR!
It all makes so much sense when I say Ethiopia is the model that will show the people of the world what can happen when people come together in friendship and also show the heart for the orphans.” –
Stan Cottrell

Zebider Zewdie’s Mary Joy Development Association Serves Orphans

Zebider Zewdie’s Mary Joy Development Association –

President Girma is on Zebider Zewdie’s high level, five-member Board of Directors for the Mary Joy Development Association (MJDA).  The MJDA consists of experienced professionals from different disciplines, especially social science, medical, managerial skills, and its members have collective work experience in HIV & AIDS prevention, poverty reduction, health and education. It is governed by a 43-member General Assembly.

MJ DA intervenes in two regions: Addis Ababa and Southern Nations and Nationalities based at four coordination offices (Kolfei, Yeka , Hawassa, Dilla) that constitute nine satellite offices located in Southern nations and nationalities, Sidama Zone, Gedoi Zone and Halabakulito special woreda. Mary Joy covers 63 Kebeles (the smallest administrative unit of Ethiopia, similar to a ward, neighbourhood or other localized group of people) and has been benefiting over 1,580,475 people directly and indirectly.

MJDA’s target groups are children with particular emphasis on orphans and vulnerable children, destitute older persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, women, youth, livelihood sex workers and factory workers as the main disadvantaged groups of people the organization is paying attention to.

“I am so glad to be under the umbrella of this new friendship, also with the benefits and honor to be working with this lady and her associates, the President and key people all over the earth… to be adopted into this family… Priceless!” – Stan Cottrell


Stan Cottrell’s Ethiopia Run Excitement June 10-13

Stan Cottrell’s Runs And Media -Addis Ababa

 June 10 – Excitement In The Ethiopian Jungle

Today was a day of running in exotic places, with such rich vegetation and amazing animals that the film will delight the most demanding adventure traveler… But Stan’s  awesome Ethiopian journey into the mountains and jungles held its “natural” excitement for him, too… such as having to throw rocks at the hippos coming out of the water after him to drive them back!… Then there was the big baboon… protecting his 3 wives and numerous offspring… The baboon actually picked up a huge boulder and threw it down at Stan and Mickey! Good thing Stan can run … Nature is beautiful, but the natural can be scary!

June 11 – Monsoon Sends Stan Back To Addis

 Stan Cottrell’s runs in Ethiopia, deep into the land where foreigners are seldom allowed, have been rich in relationships and also in film footage to showcase for the world the spectacular beauty Ethiopia has to share. Showcasing the host country’s unique qualities, its culture and people, is one of the many benefits the host country for each Friendship Run will receive …even as its citizens are touched with friendship, better understanding and love, and help is sought for its orphans. What Stan does is truly unique in the world, and such a blessing for all.

Stan and Mickey were up in the mountains earlier today as monsoon-type rains started. Thankfully, the van driver following Stan (with Mickey and the cameras) returned them to the Metec Hotel in Addis, where Stan had some high level meetings and press this evening.  Mickey promised another video clip IF the internet access permits…

Friday, Stan will run in the National Stadium in Addis Ababa with five former Olympic medalists. We are arranging something special at an orphanage for girls in Addis before Stan leaves for the USA.

“Ethiopia is shaping up to be the most incredible model of People-to-People Friendship Ambassadors. As you know, we intend to go to every country, territory, and colony in the world. This is a 6 year initiative. The Ethiopian film will set the tone and pace for the rest of the world to come and see what can take place when people come together in the spirit of children at play. I am almost weeping with endless joy as I write these words and sentiments…” – Stan Cottrell

June 12, 13 – Ethiopian National Media Interview Stan

Stan Cottrell, Tekeste Girma, Zebider Zeludie in the President’s residence, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

It has been such an honor and delight for Stan to meet with Tekeste Girma, a humble gentleman and statesman held in such high regard by the movers and shakers in the media, civic and government circles of Ethiopia (and Managing Editor of “AV Magazine,” the journal of African Views).  We largely have Tekeste to thank the quick, eager response from the Ethiopian Media. We also thank Wale Idris Ajibade of African Views for bringing us together with Tekeste, and thank other wonderful people to whom he introduced us.

Stan Cottrell wrote from his heart to Tekeste:  “You extended to me kindness, direction, guidance, and protection. You asked for nothing in return.  And when questioned, ‘What is your motive?’ you responded, ‘I am here to help Stan because what he is doing is a good thing for Ethiopia.’ I thank God for your life and selfless portrayals to be a friend to your fellow man…” Stan and the Global Run mission are indeed blessed by such friends who have come to us in Ethiopia.

Already today, separate interviews have been confirmed with Addis Admas News Paper , Ethiopian Herald (English News Paper), Shegere 102.1 FM radio station (#1 in this 12 million market), Radio Fana – Monitor – Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency.  Five more media outlets and journalists are expected to confirm in the morning. So tomorrow is a packed media day!  Mickey Grant is being allowed to film each of the interviews, so we will have segments for the films.

“Today, the national media in Ethiopia is jumping on this bandwagon…
I am stunned. No one is saying no.” – Stan Cottrell, June 13, 2013

Stan Cottrell Embraces The Need And The Call

“Behold, we are now in the world God has ordained for us to Go!!! It is present-active…this is not a drill Soldier…there is a real enemy…there are hurting people who need to be rescued … there are hungry people who need to be fed… people dying more and more from lack of hope… They don’t even know hope is even a remote possibility…”

A long way yet to go, but together, we WILL do it! … This is a race that must be run!


Ethiopia Run Reflections In Addis Ababa

Stan Cottrell Returns To Ethiopia’s Capital

 June 9: Back in Addis Ababa

“We are back in the nation’s capital, back up to 8,500 feet from the 5,500 feet in Awassa. Jerry Spencer has been wonderful, and his wife, Shirley will be providing some photos for our Facebook photo albums.

We brought our driver/guide, Zacharia, to Addis to direct and follow us the next 8 days. Mickey and I have such a bond with this man. He is brilliant… saavy, and knows this world up here like the back of his hand as well… In every country, we need a guide who also serves as part of our security and supply wagon…

This has been perhaps my most amazing journey ever … but we expect even greater experiences here the next few days.”

“I am now back in Addis after returning from Awassa. The Great Global Friendship Run is unveiling itself in ways I never dreamed possible. The enthusiastic support of all levels in that region will be viewed by people all over the world. In my 35 years of running throughout the world…nothing like the Ethiopian experience has ever taken place before.” – Stan Cottrell

June 10 – Stan Reflects On The Past Week

 In an emailed letter to a friend, Stan Cottrell shared his heart-filled reflections:

“I will be processing this past week for the rest of my life…Speaking to tens of thousands and untold thousands receiving the Lord for the first time.  Even the local pastors were agog of the movement and power of The Holy Spirit… Handing out Bibles to thousands… One pastor cried with me and said, ‘I have been a preacher for years, and this is the first time I have ever had a Bible!’

“Visiting orphanages struggling to care for the country’s burgeoning 5.6 million orphan population caused by war, famine, AIDS… Feeding 6,000 of the most poverty stricken people I have ever encountered on just one of many experiences here in Ethiopia, where 40% of the population lives in deep poverty and people everywhere are struggling for basic survival… Foot washing services of the elders…very humbling and tearful…”

 “Two nights ago I ran in and spoke to 35,000…this is typical… Meeting with the well known of Ethiopia, all with such a heart for the people, to ease pain and suffering, to find a better way… Ran in the “GGFR 5K Run” with over 1,000 runners, then addressed an estimated 10,000 in the soccer stadium for the official launch celebration, addressed 8,000 youth, churches, men’s and women’s workshops and more… ”

“Everywhere I go… it draws a crowd…”

“Running in the mountains and jungles… going into the mud huts with thatched roofs…no awareness of an outside world by these people…’

“Now, back in Addis for the next 8 days for more running adventures… I am so thankful you will be able to experience these things by Mickey’s incredible ability to capture all this on video or whatever the latest medium is called…”

“I witness miracles moment by moment… Every day, 50 times a day or more, I feel the power of your prayers… I boast in the Lord… My victory is just as much Yours…We do this not for our glory but God’s Glory.  I am so thankful.”

 “In the midst of this, my baby Sister died last Wednesday and was buried Saturday.  She and I talked before I left.  We talked about this run and what we perceived it means for the Great Commission, going into all the world as a Good News Ambassador, reaching out to the poor, the sick, the lame and helping the orphans… She said, “This is a real good ‘un.’  I had her blessing.  She was 49.  I have been running down the road crying my eyes out for the loss of her earthly presence…when I get back, I will go home to Kentucky and sit at her resting place there…”

“But for now I must focus on the living, on those for whose lives we can make a very real difference… and my determination and commitment to this run and those future runs before me are as unshaken as my faith… for God is Good, God is Love… and He has a Plan for this place, for these people, and for people wherever I run… ”

Feeding The Hungry In Ethiopia

June 8 GGFR Launch – Feeding Body And Soul

 Stan Cottrell:  “I am humbled being part of feeding over 6,000 starving people who are the faces of poverty unlike anything we in the USA can comprehend nor imagine exists… such poverty everywhere (40% of the population), hopelessness, where we seek to bring a ray of hope and real help….”

“I am seeing thousands of the most poverty-stricken people I have ever encountered… One man paralyzed from the waist down crawling on the ground with an old pair of flip flop shoes on his hands pulling himself on the ground… Most will never encounter starvation and poverty like I witnessed…”

“I thought of Jesus feeding the hungry…
the sick, lame, paralyzed….”

Stan continued:

“Later, I ran into the stadium in the middle of downtown Awassa, Ethiopia and spoke to 35,000 people, followed by the infallible Word, hope and love shared by Dr. Jerry Spencer. There was such an outpouring of the Spirit… and we witnessed miracle after miracle, as from the beginning of this odyssey but ever increasing… such wonders and experiences I will be processing for the rest of my life!

This is what a friendship run should be…

This has been perhaps my most amazing journey ever… and it’s only half over!”

Stan Cottrell spoke to 35,000 Ethiopians crowded into the Soccer Stadium in Awassa on June 8, 2013


Official GGFR Launch Rally

June 8 Celebration Starts With 5K Race

Stan Cottrell speaks from the heart to thousands in Awassa, Ethiopia at the Official GGFR Start

This jam packed day started with a 5K Race in Awassa, Ethiopia with over 1000 participants wearing run sponsor T-shirts saying The Great Global Friendship Run and Jerry Spencer Ministries. Below, you can see eager runners in readiness for the ribbon cutting to begin the race, and scenes from the celebration in the Soccer Stadium in the heart of town, attended by many thousands.

There are also many, many more vibrant images in the Facebook photo “album” – Ethiopia Launch – The Great Global Friendship Run discoverable through the Photos tab on The Great Global Friendship Run Facebook Page at (and please “like” the page).

“All of history has been waiting for this day…
the beginning of The Great Global Friendship Run!”

The Rally and Awards Ceremony before a cast of many thousands at the Soccer Stadium in the center of Awassa marked the “Official Launch of the GGFR” as Dr. Jerry Spencer introduced Stan Cottrell to address and encourage the eager audience.  Mickey Grant captured Stan’s presentation on (unedited) video that’s been uploaded to Stan’s “RunStanCottrell” VIMEO channel labeled Grand Opening In Ethiopia Of The Great Global Friendship Run.  Here are just a few scenes from our scrapbook or the video.

At the June 8th celebration of the historic, official launch of the Great Global Friendship Run, Stan Cottrell moved among the people uplifting them, encouraging their individual victories, with a heart committed to helping as he can… as WE can!

 Eager crowds, hungry for messages of hope, await the start of Stan Cottrell’s words of encouragement at the Soccer Stadium for the official launch ceremonies for The Great Global Friendship Run.  And encourage them he did…

“How wonderfully and marvelously we are made… how awesome the human family is… You have gifts to give to the world that nobody can give but you! . . .  We are all crafted from the same clay . . . YES!!!”

 The crowds love Stan Cottrell as he addresses them from the heart and encourages them, relating to them personally the meaning of real friendship:

I believe in promoting friendship… so rare… True friendship means coming together in 3 ways:
thought, sharing our heart, sharing our spirit…”

Tsedale & Haile Tefera, ultra runner and Friendship Ambassador Stan Cottrell, Shirley Robertson & Dr. Jerry Spencerat the official launch of The Great Global Friendship Run in Awassa, Ethiopia, June 8, 2013


GGFR Historic Launch Week

Stan Cottrell’s First Ethiopian Runs June 1-7

June 1: Run Launch Day Drama

After a wonderful church service the evening of May 31st with Dr. Jerry Spencer, Stan falls into a dark hole that nobody saw. Intense pain… Is his hip broken, as it feels?…  Getting the deep, gushing, puncture wound in his leg stitched up, now on the eve of this most historic event, Stan optimistically invites the doctor to join the Run’s start – and he accepts.

Now it’s morning and the doctor is there for the first 1/2 mile or so of this historic first run of the six-year GGFR… and Stan runs strong… strong all day long, deeply wounded leg and all… for his 35 miles!  The reports reach us in the USA that he seemed to get stronger as he ran… back in his element, doing what God uniquely equipped him to do.

YES, the miracles are starting.  It’s going to be a great adventure, touching so many hearts and lives, bringing a sure HOPE! … Yes, it’s been a fabulous day… But with no internet service there at the moment, our reports are sketchy.  So we eagerly await what’s coming next!!!

June 3: From The Front in Ethiopia – Great Runs

Internet continues spotty at best, so we only have fragments of reports, one phrase at a time, but awesome!  Stan writes as Skype goes in and out:

“Great runs the past 2 days… but doing more, running MORE! … Work with orphans and having so many things to film…scenes, people interviews…unexpected things…It is a rich environment for great flavor culturally, environmentally, and unexpected…” which will boost the country’s image and delight viewers of the Reality TV episode and docudrama, drawing more people to experience and comprehend the important messages here.

“Today, we run in the jungle…This is the area… which is off limits to the majority of foreigners. We are using 3 cameras and the chest camera…an entirely new dimension for me. Mickey feels we will have more than 100 uniquely different scenes (quality and rich) when we leave… will have some to share tonight….”

[End of day / phone]  “Another great day of runs… but no internet access yet. If internet allows, Mickey will post on VIMEO tonight.” –  That’s the RunStanCottrell channel —

 June 4: Stan’s Runs And Farmer Visit

“16-hour a day schedules, staying plenty busy… We did a scene with a farmer and his family (11 children) inside their grass thatched hut, mud dried walls, no water or electricity … it was awesome…”

“Mickey said this was the most incredible scene he has ever done in his life…The conclusion of what the man said to the world will blow the audience away…”  We can’t wait to see it!

June 5: Orphanage And Remote Area Of Ethiopia

Stan is running into another orphanage, then off to a very primitive location. Exciting film footage will be forthcoming… but for now, he was lucky to get one phrase at a time as internet connected and disconnected [3-4 times in a single minute before going off].

 June 6: Run Is Going The Way It Should

“This run is going the way it should go…running and being in orphanages…schools… visiting farm people in their primitive environments…being exposed to the poverty…40 percent poverty population…”

“Today [Thursday], a leadership conference and foot washing… Saturday morning, a 5K run and feeding of 6,000 starving people… Leave Awassa on Sunday evening to go back to Addis Ababa…and to have a powerful agenda…”

“Mickey is doing brilliant work. He knows the importance of this film.” [And we back home are so looking forward to it!]…”This is one of the longest times I have had on the internet. It has been about 45 seconds and then shuts down….”

[Late – from Asassa, Ethiopia] “Had some powerful scenes… Walking through one of the most dangerous areas, had an encounter Mickey caught on film…”

“Saw awesome people living out some of the most ardent lives of survival, people driving a herd of goats, an elementary school, children…”

Stan Cottrell Running Through Herd of Goats on Rocky Road in Ethiopia

June 7:  More Run Adventures, Running Through Mountains

[Morning] “Today, I’m at a prison, then on the road for more spontaneous adventures. Tomorrow, the 5k run with thousands… feeding thousands… the ‘Official Start’ with the Mayor and Minister of Sports & Culture.”

[Night]  “Visited another orphanage with spectacular interaction with the children. Ran through the mountains…” [lost connection]

Stan Cottrell Running Through The Mountains Of Southern Ethiopia June 2013 During Launch of The Great Global Friendship Run – Wounded Leg and All!

On The Eve Of The Great Global Friendship Run

Press And Journaling As Stan Cottrell Travels To Ethiopia

 May 25: Stan Cottrell’s Pre-Launch Reflections

“…My heart is with the masses…the people who feel they are insignificant…those who feel they are the unknown, the forgotten, the ones who feel God made a mistake in their being born…  I know this morning I report for duty…Here Am I Lord to do what is prescribed to me as unto The Lord…and to do it from a ‘Whole Heart’. Oh yes, I will do my 70 mile run, of course! I feel God’s pleasure when I run…” ~ Stan Cottrell

A Friendship Run is about touching hearts with God’s love-in-action, sharing friendship, spreading hope…

May 27: AV Interview With Stan Cottrell

We had an energized interview on African Views Blog Talk Radio channel with the amazing ultra distance runner and Friendship Ambassador, Stan Cottrell, founder of Friendship Sports Association and the “Friendship Run” concept.  Stan graciously made two hours of time for us, as he eagerly prepared to leave Atlanta the next day for the long journey to Ethiopia.

Stan shared openly about his life-long preparation this greatest challenge…  the decades of runs through 38 countries experiencing people-to-people diplomacy at this best, living among the people to gain understanding of their ways… but mostly about the awesome and unique impact of international Friendship Runs… how lives are touched and the veil of mystery and misunderstandings lifted … why this is a dream come true for Ministers of Culture and Tourism, a festive boost to local economies, and a sure hope and help for the world’s 143 million orphans… and what it means for YOU to get involved in your country!

Here is the REPLAY link:  Many thanks to Wale Idris Ajibade, Executive Director of African Views, for making this “Making The Impossible Possible” in-depth interview actually possible, and for drawing in his vast connections in Africa and around the world to discover a glimpse of this history-in-the-making.

 May 30:  Stan Arrives In Ethiopia

Filmmaker Mickey Grant joined with Stan in transit at the Frankfurt airport for a flight to Sudan, then on to Ethiopia for the great adventure to begin. Mickey’s vast filmmaking experience and decades of prior work with Stan on Friendship Runs in Asia, Europe and Africa will all come to bear as he produces a Reality TV pilot program, a docudrama and more… recording for us this historic 6-year quest to “Light The World With The Power Of Hope!”

Stan is at the METEC Hotel in the Lafto area of southwestern Addis Ababa. — Nearby cities: Addis Ababa; Bishoftu(Debre Zeit); Adama (Nazret) – .  From his hotel, Stan had a Skype video call with GGFR supporter, Burt Danet of ABC4All (in California) at @ 11 pm Pacific / 2 am Eastern / 9am in Addis.

Stan takes his computer and points the camera to the person behind the desk, to employees in the lobby of the hotel, and goes outside and introduces the people on the street to his American friend, to bring smiles and laughter with that unique “Stan-touch.”  Stan always focuses on engaging people, uplifting them, making them feel special…

 Stan Shares His Heart In The Call Transcription

“This is what we worked so hard for, dreamed for, for so long. I see children running around… This is not a drill, this is the real thing… We are on location!”

“Meeting people who are in the hotel, working – I see this all the time – so often they are ignored, just servants, but they all have their own journey, each person has their own song to sing. Everybody wants to feel they are a fellow member of the human race.”

“I met an Ethiopian business man and said to him, ‘You look important.’  He said, ‘How do you know?’ … We had a good laugh.  Everybody wants to be made to feel significant.  Nobody wants to be ignored.”

“I feel like I am in my element here. I am in the center of my God-given ability to do what I do exceedingly well.  Friendship Sports Association and I are ambassadors!  The people outside the hotel, look how they smiled, laughed, waved at you – ‘Give me one moment in time.’”

“Every moment is precious. Every drop of water is a benediction.  All of us – each member of our team involved in GGFR and ABC4All – we are Good News Ambassadors bringing hope, a ray of sunshine, bringing light where there has been darkness. The darkness has been prevalent far too long.”

“The New Testament – 65% is made up of letters that were written “Remember me to all the brethren” … This medium of communication of the GGFR brings everyone together…  I feel the love.  This is a love affair what we are doing.  Fall in love with life.  Have a purpose.  Be affirmative!”

   May 31:  Stan And Mickey Travel To Awassa, Southern

Stan arrives in AWASSA / Hawassa, capital of Southern Ethiopia on the shores of Lake Awasa in the Great Rift Valley, some 270 km south of Addis Ababa.  Lake Awasa is beautiful.  Communications are still challenging, but there is great scenery as the backdrop for wonderful people and the delightful “characters” Stan meets everywhere.

This is a NOW time!…It’s real.  It’s exhilarating.  In the morning Stan finally starts the RUN… a week of running in Ethiopia prior to “launch celebration” in the Soccer Stadium of Hawassa on June 8th, with myriad events, outreaches, runs and more, then continuing back to Addis Ababa for the finale.  He’s ready in the blocks now for the START…

May 31:  VIE Magazine captures what has been building to this time, publishing a long article on Stan and the Run that is starting the next morning in Ethiopia:  “GIVING BACK –Stan Cottrell starts The Great Global Friendship Run to Benefit Orphans Worldwide” –

VIE Article Highlights GGFR Launch – Focus On Orphans

“Giving Back – Great Global Friendship Run To Benefit Orphans Worldwide”

VIE – “Giving Back: Great Global Friendship Run To Benefit Orphans Worldwide”

FSA thanks VIE Magazine and journalist Jordan Staggs for running its impactful and informative article on Stan Cottrell’s historic launch of “The Great Global Friendship Run” (GGFR) in Ethiopia.  The VIE article coincided with Stan’s arrival May 31st in Hawassa / Awassa, the capital of Southern, in readiness for the next morning’s historic “running start” for this six-year odyssey to spread friendship and hope, and to raise funds for the world’s orphans and abandoned children.

Stan will be making runs throughout the Hawassa area starting June 1, leading up to GGFR launch ceremonies in the Hawassa / Awassa soccer stadium on Saturday, June 8 … then more runs through mountains and jungles, orphanages and villages, until returning to Addis Ababa for a run in the National Stadium on Saturday, June 15… with many intervening outreach events and runs focused on “Lighting The World With The Power Of Hope.”

As VIE poignantly tells the story…  

Stan Cottrell Launches GGFR In Ethiopia

“On June 1, 2013, in Hawassa, Ethiopia internationally acclaimed ultra distance runner Stan Cottrell will launch a six-year campaign to raise funds and awareness for orphans by running in every country, territory, and colony on earth. Cottrell, founder of the non-profit Friendship Sports Association, plans to run an average 70 miles per week amid week-long events and festivities in each host country with a goal of raising over $1 billion for the 143 million orphans in the world.

“Now age 70 and running strong, Cottrell has been running since childhood, winning his first race at a country fair in south central Kentucky.  In 1980, he set the Guinness World Record for running across the United States from New York to San Francisco in 48 days – an average of 66 miles per day. To date, he has logged more than 200,000 miles including runs across the United States twice, a 12 country run from Scotland to the Rock of Gibraltar (averaging 80 Km per day for 80 days), and through 25 other countries promoting the spirit of friendship.

“Stan Cottrell has received around 400 awards, including commendations from four US Presidents, Excellence in Performance award from the United Nations, and 10 Resolutions in his honor from the US Senate, US House and State Governments, for his work utilizing the purity of sport as a means to promote friendship and goodwill in the world. He now plans to employ his same skill and passion in the greatest challenge of his life, a series of run events through every country of the world in “The Great Global Friendship Run.”  This 6-year event has been described by former Olympic organizers as being of “historic proportions.”

Stan Cottrell in China’s “Forbidden Zone” 1984

“As Cottrell goes around the world, he will be accompanied by award-winning film producer and director, Mickey Grant, to capture the magic of this odyssey for full feature docudramas, videos and television.  “Ethiopia will provide the template and guide for the rest of the countries throughout the world to embrace and pattern their own activities when The Great Global Friendship Run comes to their country.  The dynamic of all that will take place in Ethiopia will ensure the opportunity to bring the Run and its message of hope to their own backyards.”

“Grant has worked with Cottrell on many prior runs, including in 1984, when he captured Cottrell’s epic 1984 run of 2,125 miles across China, from the Great Wall to Guangzhou, in a full feature film.  This Cannes Film Festival finalist, “China Run,” was shown in markets around the world as well as in 45 U.S. cities before being purchased by HBO and BBC.

Many have asked, “Why an ultra-distance run?” 

Cottrell, author, businessman, world adventurer living in Tucker, Georgia, says because sports – and running in particular – have a way of bringing people together.

“At some point in most people’s lives, they run; whether as children or while participating in a game or a sport.  Regardless of geography or culture, people relate to running. Running is a great forum for breaking down walls of division between people of different cultures.”
– Stan Cottrell

And there’s much more…

You are invited to read and enjoy the entire VIE article here on  –

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Great Global Friendship Run Inaugural Events

Special Run Events – Hawassa, Ethiopia, Africa June 1–16, 2013

GGFR Launches In Ethiopia, Africa

    • Stan Cottrell will run into the Soccer Stadium in the middle of Hawassa and deliver a keynote address before an anticipated crowd of 60,000.
    • June 8th, Stan Cottrell participate with Dr. Jerry Spencer in a giant rally following the presentation of awards for the 5k Run involving more than 1,000 runners who will be wearing T-shirts with The Great Global Friendship Run on the front.
    • Stan’s two weeks in Ethiopia will be packed with events … speaking at orphanages and schools and churches… meeting the President of the country and other dignitaries and business leaders, with the blessing of the Ethiopian Evangelical Council, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mayor and Hawassa City Administration Sports Council… reaching out to the people who feel they are insignificant, those who feel they are the unknown, the forgotten…
    • Stan will be running… This 70-year-old ultra distance runner 70 miles spread over two days through villages, orphanages, schools…shaking hands, joined by local runners… mirroring the Global Run he will be making over the next six years around the world spreading the spirit of friendship in a rare people-to-people diplomacy, with mega civic, cultural, business and children’s events, and raising over $1Billion for the world’s orphans!
    • Award-winning filmmaker, Mickey Grant, will be filming Stan’s run events throughout, creating promotional films for The Great Global Friendship Run just as he did for his two years with “Feed The Children,” while focusing on his filming of a history-making docudrama and pilot for a 6-year “Reality TV” series that will captivate audiences worldwide with local color, fast-paced adventure, sports interests, people-to-people diplomacy, and heart!
    • Over 50 organizations and churches are involved in this mammoth undertaking in addition to The Great Global Friendship Run and Jerry Spencer Ministries, including Source of Light, Evangelical Church Groups of Ethiopia, Campus Crusade and Child Evangelism. They will be reaching out to people on the streets and in the marketplaces.
    • Orphan Focus – Throughout this project, all of the leaders will be emphasizing the plight of orphan children in Ethiopia and around the world. We will be visiting orphanages and giving special loving attention to these precious children and those who lovingly care for them.
    • A feeding program will take place in 3 different locations simultaneously, feeding a hot meal prepared by local churches to about 2,000 people in each place.
    • Dedication – During the day on Saturday, June 8th, there will be a special service in the soccer stadium dedicating the City of Awassa to the Savior and calling out workers who will be fervent in carrying out the work of the Lord in this region of Ethiopia.