we headed out of branson about 8:45 am headed towards our day’s destination about 75 miles down the road at marshall, ar. it was an incredibly beautiful fall morning. a little chilly, but a great day for a ride. was real thrilled about heading down I-65, but that’s what it was. for three of us, aaron brown-pastor at st paul’s joplin, mo, brad godwin-catalyst dallas and myself it would be the longest ride we’ve made at one time. all three of us aren’t cyclists and have been training about as long. tomorrow will be a milestone too, for the three of us as well as a few others as we’ve got about 101 miles to ride. a couple of step hills, but fortunately an easier day. for avid cyclists an 100 mile ride is called a “century” and will be fun to have that accomplishment together as a team for the Present:Hope Tour
today i found myself thinking alot about those folks who pushed through the horrors of those days in april and may when towns like tuscaloosa and joplin were forever change.
on image that i’ve got in my mind is a picture from the sign in front of the Joplin High School. When we went on the ride on Saturday, we came in from the west and rode around the front of the school on the north side. it was an interesting sight to see how the students had renamed their school by dropping a couple of letters and adding others to rename it: Hope. That seems to be the going thread. no matter what may come our way in life our response to it is everything. when we met with the survivors of the joplin disaster, one of the folks we talked to with is Jason. he lost his bride of a couple of decades. Jason was very clear that though he didn’t completely understand what happen…he said he was numb…he knew this much: LIFE wins! those words have been rolling around my head especially today as we were rolling down the road.
there was lots of great conversation and encouragement as we pushed along today. the hills were killers. even on our experienced riders like Gunnar Johnson (a pastor from dallas, tx) said it was an particularly hard day. we climbed over 4,300 ft. (yeah!)
yet i loved this quote from another rider, Nina Kee…
ok…for tuesday….the question we’re working through on the ride is “What wrecks you?” (hopefully that has nothing to do with accidents!) what things take your joy and what is your response? i’m praying that it might be like that from Jason at St Paul’s UMC in joplin...make sure “life wins!” its that idea of wrecking why i’m part of this team. having seen the destruction in Pleasant Grove in june and this past saturday in joplin first hand…i had to do something. grateful to those that invested to make it so. this is work….hard work…but knowing that we are leveraging awareness for those impacted by the tornadoes is so worth it.
on another note, the team has raised in excess of $45,000 for the rebuilding effort. there’s still more to be done. if you’re interested in helping leverage our friends at convoy of hope…click on their name.
its going to be a bit warmer today..when we leave out around 7 am…its going to be 51 with a higher later in the day of 77. please keep praying…and leave a comment…your engagement is a huge encouragement to me and the team. blessings!