Monday, July 4, 2011

Continued Thoughts on Freedom

Today, 235 years ago, Jefferson's famous and world changing document was read publicly for the first time on the streets of Philadelphia. Jefferson, along with his coauthors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and his cosigners George Washington and John Hancock, knew that the Declaration of Independence from King George III had the potential to change the world forever. Not just the lives on individuals, but the course of nations and world history. I'm not convinced they would believe that their radical experiment in freedom and liberty was still here.

Today, as I sat in the car at 7AM driving to Boston with the hopes of seeing the Boston Pops and the fireworks on the Esplanade in person rather than the CBS special, I was reminded of how this experiment in liberty and freedom has changed over the years, how we have received and denied this freedom and liberty. I was reminded of 1963 and King's Dream. And I quote:

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
It is only with faith in Christ thatwe will be free and our Congolese Sisters will be free. With faith, we can break the chains of our Sisters who have called on us to help. With faith, we can show them that they are loved, that they are beautiful, that they are God's daughters, that they are our Sisters. As I sat today at the Pops concert, country star Martina McBride sang her song "Independence Day," a song that focuses on the abuse of women, singing "roll the stone away / It's Independence Day." I declare to you that today, tomorrow, and in the years to come will be Independence Day for our Congolese Sisters and the stone will be rolled away in their lives through Christ and the Word.

It is American to think our own freedom, but we are called to look outside of ourselves, outside of our nation, to see those who have called upon us to help bring freedom. As I talked about a few weeks ago, our worldly freedom is a blessing, but our heavenly freedom is the only freedom that brings us into a deeper relationship with Christ and ultimately, eternal life with the triune. Many of these women, men, and children don't know this freedom-an obvious observation from my time in the Ugandan refugee camp for Congolese nationals. The Congolese whom we have met along the way in Charlottesville and Portland now know our worldly and heavenly freedom; their sisters, sadly, do not.

Today while at the Red Sox game (which was a great time had by myself, Mark, Marianne, and Gordon), we sang "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch. As I stood there, singing a song that, to be frank, I don't care much for, I began to wonder if our Congo sisters ask for God to bless their nation. I imagine they do, but I know others cannot even begin to fathom that God could do that.

So as I head off to bed this morning after an amazing Fourth of July experience in Boston, which could only have been made better through a delicious cup of New England Clam Chowder (aka "chowda"), I, on behalf of the team, once again declare what some of our sisters cannot:

God Bless the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In Christ's love,

Sunday, July 3, 2011

This is NOT it

Six months ago, Bryan and I (Lewie) revisited Uganda where we spent time in Kyangwali (Changwali) refugee camp. There, we spoke to many women. As we were talking to a group, one lady, clearly fed up, spoke out in frustration. "People like you come here and ask us these questions, but when will we ever receive help? When do we get something out of it?" Immediately convicted, I hesitated. While not wanting to give unwarranted assurance and provide false hope, I did choose to make them a promise. I told them, "Listen. The American Bible Society is working on and currently implementing programs to provide women who are suffering in the DRC with trauma healing. As we speak, there is a program developing in Goma. Now I don't know exactly what help might come to you specifically in this refugee camp, but what I do promise you is that I, along with Bryan and a team of people, will go back to America and ride bicycles from Florida to Maine. As we go, we will tell as many people as possible your stories that you are sharing with me now. Know that even right now people in America are praying for you, and they will continue to pray for you. I know you have been through so much, but the one thing that I want to encourage you with is the knowledge that God loves you, and I love you, and there are people in America who love you."

You might call this a "no turning back" point, and that it was. As we have been riding up the coast we have been sharing that story with people and telling them that we are in the process of following through on that promise. Well now we stand before you, 2,000 miles later, having followed through. We didn't give up; we didn't turn back; we made it--on behalf of our sisters.

Forget the riding. The most powerful aspect of this tour manifested itself not through our legs, but instead through our mouths. For we told their stories at a time when our sisters could not. Ignored for over twenty years, it's time the church (us!!!) stands up and does what it is called to do. Not to say that we have done anything special, because we haven't. But what I can say about each member of this tour is that they gave Jesus their five loaves and two fish and let Him do the rest.

As Jon's blog last night was titled, our last day has finally arrived. But when we say last day, what do we mean? What a privilege it has been to have carried our sisters stories for this period of time, but, while the bike tour may be over, their suffering is not. The Congo is still the "rape capital of the world." It is still the most dangerous place in the world to be a female. Hundreds of thousands of girls are still suffering and traumatized, and every hour, 48 women will again be subject to the trauma caused by rape. As for me, this is a big question. Was this bike tour about them or about me? Yes, I am tired. Physically and mentally, I am tired. But so are they. I have to press on, for in my hands and in my heart I hold a treasure more precious than any gem found on this earth: my sister's stories.

Now what about you?

Last Day (How Original is this Title?)

Delayed Post from 7/2/11 PM

This morning we left from Gordon College early because our last day weighed in at 106 miles. In the morning we went by a yard sale just before the New Hampshire border, and we turned back to go to it after they cheered for us. It turned out to be a benefit sale for Relay for Life by the group Dottie's Darlings and their leaders Jean and Ruth. They gave us some lemonade as we gave them cards and shared the story of our sisters. Further on down the road in Hampton, NH the guys ran into some trouble. While passing some parked cars a driver opened his door right as Jon went into it. He crashed and then Lewie crashed into him. Neither of them were injured but Jon's front wheel was warped beyond repair. So, after some advice they called the authorities to fill out an incident report. To make a long story short, Jon rode in a police car a couple miles down the road to a bike shop where he got a new wheel and continued on his way. After this scare we rode into Maine and then stopped at a car wash for the York girls hockey team. We talked to them for a little while, then they sprayed us with the hose as we went through their line. A little while later we were feeling hungry and we went to a place in Ogunquit that was giving free cake tasting (very good cake). Outside of the shop we met Mary, who was very excited to hear how we were spreading the Word of God to the women and girls in the DRC.

Then we had lunch. The rest of the ride was fairly smooth sailing with no significant stops, until we got about 20 miles out. Then Lewie handed his bike over to Emily so that she could ride the last leg of the trip. Lewie and Mark thereupon decided to run the last 20 miles. At this point it was about 5:00. So, the rest of the group arrived at Windham Assembly of God Church in time to shower and go to dinner. We went to a seafood restaurant called Bob's with Tom Trageser, and it was there that we had Mark and Lewie arrive around 9:45 to eat. After eating we went back to the church and fell asleep almost immediately.

It's still so unreal that the tour is over. The day when we arrived in Florida seems to be forever ago, but the tour has gone by so fast. Now we get to relax a little more and present to some churches in the morning.

Continue praying for our sisters.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Massachusetts: The Land of Arnold Palmers

Delayed Post from 7/1/11 PM

Our assembly of cyclists and navigators arose for an early meal at First Congregational Church of Hopkinton.  After the delightful feast with the men's group, we were allowed the privilege to share our mission and join them in their morning activities. Shortly following the ending prayer and fellowship our team packed up and had Bible study. We went over the topic of "Home" and in Luke 2 how it must have felt for the pregnant Mary to have no place to give birth to baby Jesus.  Homes provide protection, a sense of belonging, and a place for meeting along with many other things. After our discussion we set off for Wenham, MA where we would be staying at Gordon College.

The ride started at 10:30 and we went at a relaxed pace. We quickly made our way to Harvard University - the oldest university in the U.S. (est. 1636). While there we met up with Divya, a friend of Andy, who currently attends the institution. From there the group departed for lunch, and Jon got lost on his own for a little while. Turns out that Massachusetts has a Cambridge St. in every town. The ensuing ride to Gordon College had cool breezes and a beautiful countryside. Upon arrival we were invited by Tom and Lynn for swimming and the evening meal. We were able to relax and fellowship with them for a little while before heading back to campus to sleep. Tomorrow is our LAST DAY and we all cannot believe that the tour is coming to a close. However, there is certainly more to come.

The Meredith Andrews concert is in Easton, PA on July 8th at Calvary Baptist Church. You can purchase tickets at

Goodnight World!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


A doozy of a day, one might say, when considering all which has passed. But who would have known, how much we have grown, by arriving to hopkinton at last. The day started fair, not too hot here nor there, when we left the place we had stayed. But as a hammer with no nail, we pedaled to no avail, and our 8 hour day was delayed. The directions quite complex boggled minds and perplexed even locals who should know what they're doing. But again and again we asked op-in-ions and finished with out any booing. But along the way we were surprised and quite gay about the generosity found in the north. For after ice cream for free we truly began to see the beauty of what had come forth.

Our study tonight on education in life showed us how meaningful schooling can be. For by reading and writing and complex multiplying people can can surely be free. So we want to support many things of this sort that provide children with critical skills. For by giving them this they'll escape and not miss the poverty that constantly kills.

Thank you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The day started with a greaetbreakfast art walnut hill church in Bethel, ct. A bunch of people came out to see us off, and while we were fixing up our bikes, one little kid came up with his bike and so we helped him pump up his tires anid greased up his chain. He ended up donating one dollar to she's my sister!!!

So we took off and headed out to Manchester. It was a 50 mile ride, so not a huge deal. Anyway, Lewis and Shannon ended up getting a little lost and wound up somehow way ahead of the group who had stopped for a lunch break. So they stopped and asked a restaurant for some wter. When the waitress found out what they were riding for, she gave them free chili and salad because she was so excited about it. Shannon and lewis left a note for her thanking her and directing her to Matthew 25:40 which says "whatever you do for the least of these you do for me." our prayer is that she is really moved by the stories of our sisters in the Congo and will act on their behalf. Her name was Kate and she was from Germany. The others ended up running into lieutenant Mike asking for directions. When they told mike about she's my sister he said that he didn't belileve in god. So we prayed for him tonight that god might reveal himself to him.

We arrived at a home for abused children and we got to sound some good quality time hanging out with and lovin on some kids. They were all mostly high school Agee, but they were a lot of fun to be around. We played basketball with them, and marks team won every single game. Lewis apnd Andy tried eve real times to beate them but they soon realized how bad they were at basketball, althouh Andy is better than leiwe.

The least of these journey today was on peace. This is a big topic because in the Congo people don't even know what peace looks like. They have lived their entire lives in the midst of conflict. So we realize how blessed we are to be living in peace at least in our own country. Keep praying for peace in the Congo!

The team

Monday, June 27, 2011

TODAY - Psalm 118:24

I am continually amazed at how God works in our lives. Sure, I had seen it before in my own life as well as those of my friends, but it often seemed distant. It took some time to experience it, or it was someone else's experience, and as such, I couldn't quite grasp it on many occasions. But I think today has given me a sense of how God truly works in our lives, and how very real Romans 8:28 is. This verse continues to come to fruition as the trip goes on for me, and today was no different. God works in big ways for our sisters.

But first, since we failed to write yesterday (Sunday), let's begin there briefly. It was a pretty good day. We had some great presentations in Staten Island and the Bronx. Cool opportunities came from both. Over 100 women were helped from the church in Staten Island; I was also given a mug, a keychain, a water bottle filled with candy, and a new pocket-sized Bible on the occasion of my graduation from Pastor Dave. From the Bronx, Gordon and Jon got the chance to be on a radio broadcast this morning (Monday) to get out the word about our sisters. The show gets broadcast nationwide in syndication and all over the world as well. What a great chance to share about our sisters! We had a delicious Thai dinner.

So let's start with Monday's events. It starts at 3:45AM - my alarm goes off. It's a rude awakening. Mark, Andy, and I are at Matt from ABS's home in Weehawken, NJ - a town name I really just enjoy saying. Matt drives us into the city at 4:30, no traffic in sight; we arrive at the Bible House shortly thereafter. Eight of us - Lewie, Andy, Mark, Marianne, Jenna, Emily, Shannon, and I - hail some cabs to get to Rockefeller Center, embarking on our quest to get on the Today Show; Jon and Gordon were sadly not with us, although they had their great chance to share on the radio show described previously. As we arrive at 5:30ish with the posters Jon, Lewie, and Jenna had made, we are one of the first in line. Emily and I find some breakfast at Dunkin Donuts, continuing our tradition of getting lost trying to find something. So the show starts at 7. We're having a blast. During the first hour, we get to interact with some producers and William, the photographer who wanted to learn how to say "You are beautiful" in 50 languages. One producer thought we were crazy, and we also got to talk to Willie and Al during the first hour. Shortly after 8, Al came back out onto the plaza and they set up the cameras right in front of us. Needless to say, he stuck a microphone in Marianne's face, asking her about why were there. She did a great job of telling America about the Bike Tour and She's My Sister.

We had talked to two out of the three hosts, so we now set before ourselves the task of getting to talk to Ann Curry about our bike ride and our sisters. We knew that she is passionate about the Congo and east Africa, and, as we got to talk to her around 9:30, she told us first hand about her experience reporting on the area and her love for our sisters. We gave her a card, along with Willie earlier. So we hope and pray that both of you are reading this.

Our trip to the Today Show was a success, but not because of anything we did. God really had a hand in everything. We would have never thought it possible to get ten seconds on TV, but we did. So thanks to Jesus, Al, Ann, and Willie for giving us the chance to tell the world about our sisters.

This was all before 10AM.

Returning from the Today Show, Mark, Andy, Lewie, and I met a homeless man a block from the Bible House. I think his name was Brett, but I'm not sure; his friends call him Gesus (with a 'G') because he has long hair and a beard. We got him some Starbucks and started talking to him about what he believes. We gave him a Bible, and prayed for him and the world. We ask that you keep him in your prayers, too.

So...11:30 rolls around. Time to meet the ABS NY office. We gave a presentation, shared in worship, and had some fellowship with them over a delicious lunch. They were an encouragement to us, and us to them also. It was a pleasure getting to meet them, to show them our love for our sisters, and to encourage them to become more involved with She's My Sister.

Afterwards, the mad dash to leave NYC began. We arrived in White Plains, NY, our beginning place for riding after the city. Our destination: New Canaan, CT. But the day could not go without some troubles. Big Bertha finally experienced what all the bicycles have experienced on a daily basis: a flat tire! After a long debacle, which ended with Gordon very slowly driving her to our destination, we finally got to New Canaan late to meet with the Young Life staff here and some students involved in their ministry. We had a great dinner at the Bakes' home, where we got to share about our sisters and hear about how the students there are on their way to college. A great night, very relaxing, and some fabulous dining!

We deemed today's word of the day in honor of Al Roker: Lincoln. It's his middle name, a little factoid that a producer told us as she inquired about our green jerseys.

It's now time for bed. The day started at 3:45 for some of us. Now, at 12:45, it must come to an end. We have a 20 mile day tomorrow. Can you say sleeping in?!?!

One last thing. I know I have practically written a novel, but I can't help but go back to the Word. Ps 118 is one of David's psalm's of praise. V. 24 is pertinent today, but I feel the whole psalm is relevant to our trip. We rejoice today because of Christ's death, and all that comes as a result of it. I encourage all of you to take the time to read it below, and meditate on the things that you can give thanks and rejoice for today!

Eis agape,

Psalm 118

1Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

2Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”

3Let the house of Aaron say:
“His love endures forever.”

4Let those who fear the LORD say:
“His love endures forever.”

5In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
and he answered by setting me free.

6The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

7The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I will look in triumph on my enemies.

8It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.

9It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.

10All the nations surrounded me,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

11They surrounded me on every side,
but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

12They swarmed around me like bees,
but they died out as quickly as burning thorns;
in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

13I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.

14The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.

15Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!

16The LORD’s right hand is lifted high;
the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”

17I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

18The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

19Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.

20This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.

21I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.

22The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;

23the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.

26Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you.

27The LORD is God,
and he has made his light shine upon us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.

28You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York City

We woke up at 4. Left our hosts at 430am. Mark, Lewie, Jon, and Andy all ate a quick breakfast and were on the road to NYC. 55 miles in 5 hours? I think so. The ride was an interesting one, but the Lord provided. There was over 100 turns, and the New Jersey roads...well...not the best to say the least. They went to the George Washington Bridge but found that bicycles were not allowed to cross. After some searching, they found a way across on a bike path and it was incredible! Check out the Facebook Info and Updates page to see the video! Once they made it into New York they met he group at the Bible Society and they went to a Catholic Bible Summit where they spoke to many many people about She's My Sister.

After the summit, the team met back at the Bible Society, but Mark and Lewie got lost and ended up becoming inspired by the city's street music. Again...check out the video. Finally they just took a taxi and met the rest of the group. Then we met up and went to a potluck dinner in Weehocken, NJ. A good time of fellowship was had, and the team got a chance to see the skyline from the most beautiful point across the Hudson. We entertained ourselves for at least an hour playing "I Spy" and asking "what if" questions.

Then Emily drove us all back into NYC, except for those staying with Matt, one of our hosts from the Bibles Society. Gordon navigated like a champ and then Jon, Lewie, and Gordon wandered off into Central Park before going back to Harlem. Yea..that's right. Harlem.

Tomorrow we have 4 presentations, so we really want to be used by the Lord to make New York aware of our sisters in the COngo. Keep praying for us please, and for our sisters in the Congo. We all need it.

Friday, June 24, 2011


From the mind of Gordon...

Todays theme came from the reply of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to king Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3. They boldly retorted to the king: "Our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and out of your hand! BUT IF NOT, we will not serve your gods." We were given this message in Charlottesville, VA and since then we have vowed to glorify God through all the circumstances we encounter as we go up the east coast, good or bad. And let me tell you something, the devil was trying to get us to go back on that today!

We left the National Christian Conference Center in Valley Forge, PA in 2 groups. One group at 8, the other at 10.(Some of us wanted a little more sleep) I was in the later group and really enjoyed the extra sleep. We were excited to ride and hit a new state (came into NJ today). So this blog is mainly of our groups calamities today. So hold on to your britches cause he we go!

About 10 miles into the ride there was a nice downhill, we had some miscommunication and Marianne went down. She put on her brakes and her back tire skidded from underneath her. Thankfully she recovered and got the bike back in line, it was a great save! Unfortunately, however, she was about to hit Jon and ended up laying her bike over the other direction and went tumbling into the street! I saw all this from the back of the line and was quite startled by what had just happened. A police officer, Officer Right was his name, stopped as he was passing by and we ended up having an ambulance come clean her up before we continued on out way. Good news- there were no cars coming on the road when Marianne went down! So in the midst of a rough wreck and some pain, the Lord protected her life as she was skidding across the road so praise the Lord for that...Satan's first attempt: FAIL!

A couple more miles down the road we were climbing up one brutally steep hill and what would ya know, Marianne's chain breaks. We walked up the rest of the hill and had to do some chain repairs. Jon did a great job working on the chain and getting that fixed. And somehow me and Mark were able to get a smile and a few laughs out of Marianne! Good news- we had an awesome breeze at the top of the hill on a hot day; just another blessing in the midst of trial... Satan's second attempt: FAIL!

Not very long after, Gordon got a flat tire. We had to pull over and get that fixed to we stopped at a gas station in the shade of some trees and fixed his tire. Mark and Marianne bought starburst, chocolate milk, and refilled our water bottles. Jon bought pretzels, 2 for $1. Keeping our spirits lifted, we moved on. Thank the Lord for little pick me ups! The devil tried to get us down but we weren't having it... Attmept 3: FAIL!

We finally made it to NJ and its about 5:30. We are about 3 miles from our destination of Zerepheth Christian Church and we hit another obstacle, literally. Gordon was looking at the directions very intently trying to figure out where we had made a wrong turn and didn't even see the trashcan that was left halfway in the raod. He hits it dead on and had no clue! He went flying over the trashcan! He was still clipped in to his pedals and dove hands first into the wet pavement, his bike crashing down on top of him. He was the only one who hadn't had any type of falling on the bike and he soared into the club as he flew over the trashcan! His hands were pretty torn up but he came out in one piece. His phone fell out of his pocket and was run over by a truck, his handlebars got twisted out of place, and his "wreckless record" was shattered by a trashcan. Good news- the road was wet, therefore it was slick. He could have been tore up alot worse. Our God is still worthy of our praise!... Attempt 4: FAIL!

Finally we made it to the church and were so pleased that our day of trials on the road was at an end! Unfortunately for Jon though, he realized his tire was flat as we rode up the RV. He can no longer say he hasn't had a flat. So we're all not a part of the flat tire club, and we've all fallen off our bikes! Glad the body of Christ is unified on this trip! The Lord takes care of His saints and today we praise Him for his goodness! He will protect, provide, and strengthen us for all that we encounter...

BUT IF NOT, we still praise Him for being our God and Saviour.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fighting for Freedom in Christ

Our destination today was Valley Forge. In 1778, George Washington and his army camped out during a harsh winter to fight for the freedom of the American colonists. They sought freedom from oppression and the freedom to live lives as they so desired. Christmas Day 1778, the tall general and his army crossed the Delaware and defeated the German Hessians whom the English had hired as mercenaries, a major victory in the battle for freedom and liberty.

In a way Valley Forge is a fitting place to stop. As we ride for the freedom of our Congolese sisters from their trauma, their shame, their lose of self worth, we cross over the mountains, rivers, and valleys to fight against the harm and destruction these women experience. Like Washington, taking up the flag (or at least the picture says he had one), we pick up our crosses to enter into the battle to bring these women the healing and restoration that is found only in Christ Jesus our Savior and Lord. We continue to suffer on behalf of our sisters in order that they may come to see the truth, the love, the hope, the freedom that is the Son of Man. It took Washington a few more years to win his battle. It is our prayer that it take only months and days for the battle over trauma to be conquered.

I imagine Washington's day started pretty early many moons ago. More recently, we learned that Rebecca Black's Friday starts at 7AM. Well, Rebecca, today we had you beat. You see, our Thursday today began at 4AM, an hour at which I have no business being up. The reason: an 11:30AM meeting (arriving by 11) and presentation with The American Bible Society office in Valley Forge. riders left between 5-5:30AM, and we in Bertha were off soon after. Emily and I were the first in line at Starbucks at 6AM, leaving with coffee and a New York Times in hand. As we drove on our way to Valley Forge, we passed through Hershey. I received a call from Marianne (aka M-squared) saying they stopped at her grandparents not too far from the park. So Bertha made her way there, where six of us enjoyed a second breakfast and had a twenty minute power nap. Needless to say, I was Hershey Park Happy.

I have a confession. The meeting wasn't at 11:30, but 12; however, I withheld this information from the team for the sake of factoring in flat tires, getting lost, etc. It was also to motivate them to get there earlier. Well, it worked...sort of. Everyone pulled in pretty close to the 11:30 deadline that had been moved. Lunch and the presentation went well. Following it, we got a tour of the ABS office, meeting the people there and learning about what they're doing.

This evening, we had a second presentation at the National Christian Conference Center (NC3) to support the 5K occurring on the NC3 campus Saturday. You should all be there. It'll be a blast! We learned of a few other advocates whose hearts have been moved by the Holy Spirit. I'm still amazed at the way that God moves people into action, myself included. Got to see some familiar faces: some peeps from Easton, some peeps from F&M, some peeps from ABS (whom we had just met earlier in the day), and a few sets of parental units.

So today, we have two words of the day, both of which were used during the presentation this evening. Andy dropped "respite" and Lewie slipped in "extrapolate." Both words were rather impressive, coming naturally to each speaker.

Well, that's a short narrative of today's events. I never got around to my New York Times (didn't get my Thursday Nicholas Kristof fix), but I did win some DELICIOUS cake balls at the silent auction this evening.

Tomorrow, our day begins shortly before Rebecca's day once again.

Bonne nuite,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LEET Vocabulary 1337

Today we s13pt in. VVe were suppos3d to rid3 40 mi1e5 from Lancaster to Harrisburg. The guys got lost, and they made a 10 mile loop in the wrong direction. The girl5 got to go sVVimming in a river near the destination. VVe made a presentation at Brookfield Bible Church. The guλs are sleeping at the Church and the girls are sleeping in homes. W3 are waking up at 5 in order to make it to \/alley Forge for a luncheon at II:oo


ʝ¤₪ & /\/\∂ЯX

Giant Jumping Pillow

Today felt like finding a lush oasis in the middle of a desert. The day began by riding through rain to get out of Baltimore. We then made the crossover into Pennsylvania. It was cool getting to pass the amish riding around on their horse and buggy. So we were riding around in the croplands when we saw a sign that said one and a half miles to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park. My original thought was that it is probably a jelly stand, but Jon, Lewie, and Mark decided they were going to make it fun no matter what it was. We made our way to a gravel road, and it appeared there was nothing but a small paintball course. We, however, decided to continue following the road when all of a sudden a water park appeared. We thought that this was pretty cool, but as we continued to follow it we found a Giant Jumping Pillow. This pillow was like a giant trampoline, and although some parents probably looked funny at three guys jumping around in matching outfits it was an absolute blast. We then held a race on the go cart track for us and the kids that were there. Lewie came in third place and Jon got a big last place. Once we left Yogi Bera's we found a fresh dairy farm. So we stopped in and got a half gallon of chocolate milk to share amongst the three of us. We sat out on the porch and chewed the cud with a couple of old men while drinking from the glass bottle. Once we made it to Lancaster we were welcomed home with a welcome sign by the Wagners. We then went to an event for people in their 20's, and it was called saturate. They allowed us to answer questions in front of everyone, and the people had a great response. Overall, today was a great day.

Monday, June 20, 2011


We said we would go to bed early last night. Well, early was the morning when we did. However, we didn't ride today, so we got to sleep in late. Then we were able to check out downtown Baltimore and the harbor. The guys went to go eat at the Green Turtle, leaving the girls to find a nice restaurant. But, they ended up at Dick's Last Resort. I think they were tired of being treated with courtesy. Bryan also found one of the best cups of coffee he ever had at Java Roo's. Then we came back to the Dougan household for a great backyard barbeque, where I invented (probably not for the first time) the Durger, a hamburger with slices of hot dog on it. Meaty!

After dinner we went and presented at Central Christian Church in the Baltimore area. We were able to talk with a small group, and they really welcomed our mission. We thank Pastor Scott for having us and Adrian for the connections made. Before bed we had a Bible study from the 40 Day Least of These Journey titled Passion. We talked about how we should stand up against injustice and how anger can be necessary when fighting for what's just. Plus we should not lose this passion in any time or season of life. Indefatigable means not easily fatigued or tired. So, we are to persist in passion for the Lord's will, even when it's late and bed is calling our names... now



So yesterday was a tricky day because we had multiple presentations in different places at the same time! Praise God for what he is doing! So half of us went to Baltimore the night before in order to be ready to go to Mountain Christian church in Baltimore at 730am. Jon and Lewis stayed back with Gordon and Mark in Falls church. So mark and Gordon stayed for the day to do a presentation at the Falls church and Someone even took them ut to lunch afterward. Then they got the opportunity to tour DC for a little before riding up to Baltimore that day. Jon and Lewis rode up at 545 in the morning to make it to Baltimore by 10. It was a hard ride with a strong head wind and a flat tire but they made it. After church the youth pastor took them out to eat with another family.
The group at mountain church had a table at the fathers day car show right next to a human trafficking group. They had a great time of fellowship and found some people who were especially interested in the program. After all of this we all met back at the Dougan's home to rest up. For dinner Mrs Dougan cooked up the famous Baltimore crab cakes and we topped off the night with Maryland's state food...a nine layer smith island cake. Needless to say it was fantastic.
Today we have a day of rest before a presentation tonight at Adrian Bumbut's church in Baltimore. Were going to head down to the inner harbor and run for about 10 miles to help to legs...just kidding. Our legs are sore enough. Keep praying!

Friday, June 17, 2011

We woke up early in Charlottesville va to an incredible African breakfast. For those of you who know...chapati was served! We left soon after for an 85 mile day to stafford va to stay with Pat and Benny who we were excited to see!

The day started a little slow thanks to Marianne, who had 3 flat tires within the first 15 miles. That is a tie to the record previously held by Lewis. But soon enough we made it to stafford and had some kabobs straight off the grill. Truly incredible. Afterwards we went bowling as a group and mark won with a score of 156. Yes, pretty impressive...we know. He played baseball though so it really doesn't count. Also Gordon won a free game! Then we came back and tried to watch a movie called the jerk, but we decided that as a group we would rather sleep. This made Lewis, who recommended the movie, quite sad as you can imagine.

Tomorrow we are headed to falls church, va. Going to be a shorter ride but we are looking forward to what god is going to do in dc. Please keep praying that our sisters needs become our needs. That we no longer listen and do nothing, but take action on behalf of those who need it. They are our sisters.

Adventures from the RV...AKA Big Bertha

"How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed..." God is so good it's hard to believe that I am sitting here now in Charlottesville NC in pastor Peter's house. When all should all have been in bed and asleep long ago but instead am listening to some beautiful voices singing praises in English and Congolese... there are no words to describe it.
Tonight was a wonderful experience at a Baptist church where we were served a true african meal of rice, beef stew, fry bread and the long awaited and anticipated chapati! Braking bread and worshiping with believers who are from Africa and even some from the congo was an indescribable experience.
what a day it was, truly an adventure to say the least. She's My Sister has been advertised very well lately as we have gotten into several 'situations' which today involved local law enforcement as we made our way through the beautiful back roads from Lynchburgh to Charlottesville. Lets just say that God has been bringing the right people at the right time to help us out of our scrapes... which today involved bolt cutters, and Bryan doing a great job of backing down a long country road while our new friends from the Sheriffs department stopped traffic and directed us. We even learned to follow directions like "There is a white pony in a field named Thunder turn onto that road and turn left by the garbage dump". Maybe all the chaos was only hilarious to those of us in Bertha so I will spare the details... however we laughed quite a bit learned a lot about patience AGAIN and had to learn to laugh at ourselves some more! Again as I look back on the last couple of days I can't help but view our team as a hurricane that sweeps through as Miss Becky and I joked about not to long ago! There is no need to worry about people NOT taking notice! Yet there are no complaints as our detours took us down a gravel road which led to some great and oh so spiritual singing of "country roads." It was like medicine to tired and stressed minds and tempers that had been getting a bit hot... Cool and green, the pale blue of the mountains around us as we drove and so peaceful and quiet. The cyclists were blessed with no barking attack dogs, only a friendly beagle who waddled out to greet them. It seemed that today most of the excitment was with the Rv crew. All ended well with a strong challenge from Pastor Raye on Daniel 3... about having the faith to go into the fire, not knowing what's on the other side but KNOWING WHO goes into the fire with us. The fire is not to destroy us but to burn off the chains that still hold us in bondage. Closing in the words of the chorus we just just sang as we prayed together "Oh Yayweh, bless Your name"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Uranium Mining

Can three men army crawl forward on their hands while in a line with their feet on each other's shoulders. Yes! the men of She's My Sister proved this even though it was only for three steps today. Today we rode sixty eight miles ending in Lynchburg, VA. It was a really tough ride today, as Lynchburg is known to be one of the hilliest places in the country. There were however a couple of highlights to todays ride. 1- Marianne said that stopping to get blackberries on the side of the road was a dream come true in her life. 2- While Jon and Jenna were lost they saw a sign that said "no uraniam mining", and just after this they saw a guy working on some big metal tube. Who knows whats really going on in the foothills of Virginia. 3- the ride was beautiful going through the farmlands. We made a presentation to a small group in Matt and Joanna's house where most of us are staying. Shannon had a news spot at 11 O'clock on the local news channel. Tomorrow we head up to Charlottesville, and it is supposed to be about 80 miles. Although our legs are tired, I can say that I always look forward to waking up and seeing what the road has in store for us. Thanks for reading

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another Day Of Fun

Well, let's see...the day began with a large dog chasing myself and fellow sweep, Mark. We crested a hill and began the sweet cruse down. To our horror a billowing bark irrupted behind us, a streak of white and black was caught in my peripheral, and we hammered down on the pedals to make our get away. We made it through without a scratch or a bite. Thank you Lord!
Our route today was 2/3 back roads with scenic farms and fields. (Prime "loose dog" territory. We weren't the only part of the team that was chased.) We went just over 50 miles, but with such amazing "food" for the eyes it went very fast.
We stopped at a country church for snack at about 30 miles and borrowed their picnic tables. The ground's keeper hopped off his mower and hung out while we ate. After the refreshment of Clif Bars, fruit, and Gatorade we were off again. More beautiful countryside, one missed turn, and a final angry pooch, and we safely arrived at our destination...Halifax, VA.
After a swim at the local pool and showers we headed to the church for a potluck dinner and our evening presentation. The food was amazing and the people even more so.
Thank you to St. John's Episcopal Church for hosting, feeding, and supporting our team and the cause we are riding for. We are extremely grateful.

Shannon C.

P.S. For today's word of the day, Andy broke out "pejorative" in conversation about rules and regulations. Bravo to him for using such an amazing word! Look it up and use it in a sentence tomorrow!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

La Poderosa

La Poderosa ha caido. The Mighty One has fallen. What is La Poderosa you may ask? She's my bike. My baby. An old touring bike from the 80s (I think?), she has been through thick and thin. However, today, she fell. I pedaled her into something that, although unidentified, was both big and sharp. It slashed about 3/4 of an inch of the tire.

Now you might be thinking, "Andy, cry me a river. What's all the fuss about?" The fuss, my friends, is over the fact that I thought we were going the distance. I thought she and I could go all the way without a single flat tire. That changed today. Yet a wise man once asked, "Why do we fall?" He proceeded to answer himself, "So that we can learn.... to pick ourselves up." Turns out, as I examined my wheel later, I saw a broken spoke. We must now take La Poderosa, or more affectionately "La", to the shop. But she will pick herself back up. She may be physically broken, but she remains spiritually alive. I'd like to consider the women of the Congo here. Though they have fallen, through Christ's message of hope and light and love, they learn to pick themselves up. Or, rather, God picks them up in all his awesome power.

It behooves us to mention that Jon Felker is the last samurai to have ridden without one flat tire. Let's give him a round of applause. We'll see how long he lasts.

Today, the team cycled through our first day of hill country and did quite well. We left the Brown's house with gusto and arrived at a lovely Episcopal church in Henderson, NC called the Church of the Holy Innocents. The charismatic/brilliant minister, Father Don, took us out to a nice dinner coupled with even nicer conversation. A short tidbit-- he went to college with my neighbors in Albany, GA the Daughertys. So Mike and Syndee Daugherty, if y'all see this, hello. Mike we have got to go golf later this summer.

We live in such a small world, but isn't it amazing when we find that as believers, we are connected in an even more profound way? The night continued peacefully as the group walked and talked together and later did our bible study. Each day, we see the power of prayer, and for me at least, the ease and cohesion with which this team gets along and works together is astounding.

One final thing-- I'd like to start a tradition for this blog. We'll call it.....Word of the Day. Original, right? The Word of the Day, or WOD, will be relevant to the activities or conversations of the day, and more often than not, intellectually stimulating. Such words of past days on this trip have been jocular (Bryan Dougan), lethargic (Shannon Cutlip), cognizant (Tom Trageser), and immutably (Andy Clack). Today's WOD is not up to standard, because I'm not even sure it's a word. But somebody's gotta throw Marianne a bone. And so, the WOD is.....odigy. We suspect it is a synonym for indigestion. Marianne used it at the dinner table this evening. Thanks, Mari. And with that, we bid you goodnight. Fare thee well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Can't get better than this!

What an incredible day! Today we had a little break from biking and had the opportunity to do several presentations. At the Brown's home church (First Alliance) in Raleigh, NC we talked to a youth sunday school and to the whole congregation during a fellowship time. A few of us also went to Celebration Family Church to present. The support and passion from those in Raleigh was fantastic. We could really see God working in the hearts of those who listened to what we had to say and how He moved many to act. The sermon during the service at First Alliance tied in perfectly in that the pastor spoke of the power of prayer and how as Christians it is our greatest tool. Before a delicious lunch prepared by the charming, loving Mama Brown we did a team Bible study from the Least of These Journey. It focused on Isaiah 61 and our mission as Christians. How the LORD has chosen us and sent us to "bring good news to the poor, heal the broken-hearted". After eating way too much as usual, we took our few free hours in the afternoon to nap, have some quiet time, call our mothers of course, and do things of that nature. In the evening we went to North Ridge Alliance Church for the She's My Sister Bike Tour Extravaganza! This consisted of a time of worship led by Jess Ray and the Rag Tag Army along with a presentation. I don't think the night could have been any more amazing. With hands lifted high and voices singing words of praise and adoration, we lifted up our awesome God alongside our fellow brothers and sisters of North Carolina who came out to the event. Jess Ray and the Rag Tag Army were simply fantastic so you should probably check out their music! Welp time for bed and back on our bikes again tomorrow. Thanks so much to the Browns for feeding us (which seriously can be a huge task) and all our host families for giving us a place to sleep. I'll leave you with some of the lyrics from tonight...


"I can heal your pains, I can heal your pains
Will you let me?
Will you let me?

Oh, If you ask me, you will receive,
If you seek me, you're gonna find me,
If you knock, the doors will come swinging free
So come on and ask me, ask me

So come on and ask me, you can’t make me weary,
Come on and seek me, I’m not hiding
Come on and knock down the doors,
My kingdom’s yours! My kingdom’s yours!
And love me, You’re gunna love me"

-You're Gunna Love Me by Jess Ray and the Rag Tag Army

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pig Pickin' Goodness

Today we arrived in Knightdale, NC at Gordon's house where Mr and Mrs Brown and Mr Jack Monroe had been preparing all day for a good ol' North Carolina pig pickin. Mr Brown rolled out the big cooker at 6 am to start the pig. We had 3 shoulders and a chicken. Needless to say, it was delicious! Those folks in NC know what they're doing! This was a well needed night of relaxation and enjoying the night after the end of the week we had.
Friday was a very long day. We woke up at 4:45 to catch the ferry from Ocracoke, OBX and then completed a 130 mile day arriving in Goldsboro, NC. We had some mishaps along the way. Marianne took a spill coming over some railroad tracks and ended up with a few scrapes and a sore shoulder but being the trooper that she is continued riding another 50 miles before stopping for the day. Once we all made it to Goldsboro late in the evening, members of Faith Alliance Church fed and housed us for the night. And that is a summary of our long day on Friday.
This morning we took our time getting out of Goldsboro and had a good Bible study with a few of the host adults. Today's ride was 60 miles and rather slow after the long day we put in yesterday but once we arrived in Knightdale the slow ride faded from thought as we rode up and smelled the pig on the grill. It was great!
Tomorrow we have a couple presentations at First Alliance Church and Celebration Family Church in the morning services and Sunday schools. And tomorrow night we will be at North Ridge Alliance church for our "Night of Worship" and presentation that has been set up for us. We're looking for the Lord to do great things tomorrow and are excited to report what He does.

Until then "see ya when the road ends." (Sarah Finch)

Good night world!
-The Gordon Brown

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Outer Banks!!

We had a nice relaxing day today! Woke up bright and early and ate a nice 6 am breakfast courtesy of Mrs. Brown's delicious cooking in Beaufort. We only did 40 miles of riding today, so we left at about 6:30 in order to catch the ferry that took us to the Outer Banks. We had bible study on the ferry this morning, which was a beautiful thing. We talked about the power of Scripture- how it truly has the power to change lives, and how it should be the basis for everything we do. We got to our camp site and got to hang out the rest of the day and enjoy the beauty that is the Outer Banks. Some people went to the beach, some relaxed and watched a movie- it was a lot of bonding and relaxing. This evening we took another ferry to Cape Hatteras to see the huge beautiful lighthouse! The most important event of the day without a doubt is the fact that everyone's bike is officially named! Gordon took awhile to warm up to the idea of naming his bike, but the deed has finally been done. Here's are the official names of everyone's bikes:

Jenna's= Latika
Marianne's= Adrian
Mark's= Frau Masi
Jon's= Pocohontas
Lewie's= Chin Cheng
Andy's= La Poderosa
Gordon's= The Duke
Shannon's= Nikki

That's all for now folks- we got an early one tomorrow, and 110 miles- keep the prayers coming!


p.s hi mom

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Introducing Andy Clack-Our Newest member!

Well, everyone, today was a big day for the team. Andy Clack, who has been riding with us for the past week has qualified as an official team member! Check out his bio to find out more...

Today was a long day. Only supposed to be 87 miles, it ended up being almost 100 because of a few wrong turns here and there. But hey, we could use the extra miles. The sweeps (Jon and Jenna(the two riders designated to ride behind the group and make sure everyone makes it)) got lost and somehow ended up in front of everyone. We still are not quite sure how that was possible, but it happened and we are at peace.

During lunch today we studied the Least of These and the topic was Victims. We took that time to pray for people all around the world who were suffering or grieving as a result of injustice.

The beginning of our day started with a ferry ride. It was really nice to start the day on the water. Lewie decided that he wants to live at sea for a while. Does anyone have connections with a cargo ship that might be looking for laborers?

Once we arrived at the church in Jacksonville, NC, we went out to the Golden Corral with the Pastor and his wife, as well as the worship pastor and his wife. A nice time of fellowship and eating was had by all.

Tomorrow we ride to Beaufort and spend the day at Gordon's beach house. We have some hefty days of riding ahead of us so some rest would be wise. Keep praying for our sisters in the Congo, and especially for Consolatta that she might walk again! Goodnight!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I miss Mayberry

We woke up bright and early this morning to have breakfast and to hit the road from Myrtle Beach to Southport, NC. It is only a fifty mile ride which is a light day(can't believe that). From what I saw it was a smooth ride for the most part. However, while Lewie, Mark, and Jon were naming off all the candy bars they could think of in a game of categories, Marianne was being chased by a dog. Apparently, the dog chased her a good ways, and came within inches of her foot. Lucky she's so fast on that bike. We made it into Southport at around 12:30 to stay with Gordon's friend Sarah.

A major highlight of the day was several of the riders getting to participate over the phone with a group of women who have agreed to pray for the women in the Congo. This is extremely encouraging for our group, as we are continuing to pray for these women. A specific prayer request we continue to exalt is our sister Consolatta, and her strength to walk again.

We had dinner and the blessed opportunity to speak with five adults about our sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After this we all walked around in Southport, an incredible city along the coast. Several of us recognized that it has the feeling of Mayberry from Andy Griffith. We walked out onto a pier that was covered in fisherman, and our recognizable group in gray shirts with Imani's face on the front spread out to speak with all the different types of people. Last night we had a Bible study on persecution in the Church, and it was convicting to our group that we are not persecuted more for our faith. We can see the way that Paul is boasts in his sufferings in 2 Corinthians 11: 23-27. We are praying for boldness in not only sharing the stories of our sisters, but also in taking every opportunity to share the Gospel with the people we run across. Have a great day and God Bless!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Go out there and give them Heaven!"

I continue to be amazed by the work that God is doing on our trip. Perhaps I've never taken the time to notice how much good He does. Perhaps He's never shown me. Regardless, I'm seeing it now and wow- what a blessing it is!

We've spent the weekend at Risen Christ Lutheran Church in Myrtle Beach. Pr. John (a friend of mine's dad) is the pastor here and so graciously allowed us to do our outreach here this morning during the services. I gave a little thirty second blurb about the Bike Tour (which was difficult given that brevity is not a gift of mine by any stretch of the imagination) at both services. At the second service, Pr. John talked about how we will all ascend with Christ into Heaven, where He will have already prepared mansions for us. This got me thinking that I can't wait to be neighbors with the Congolese women for whom our Bike Tour will inevitably show the power of Christ's Word and healing power.

After both services we had the opportunity to talk with everyone in the narthex (today's word of the day), during which time I met a woman who graduated from the same high school I did (yeah-Baltimore Lutheran!). It was pretty cool to connect with someone who graduated 15 years before I had. I had also met another couple that had lived in Baltimore for a period of time prior to moving to Myrtle Beach. So overall, a very Baltimoron day for me!

After having some time of fellowship with the congregation at their volunteer luncheon (the menu was a 30 foot long sub from Subway), we trekked over the to beach for a few hours. While there, five of us had a nice little siesta time, a much needed siesta time I might add.

Tonight's Least of These Study led us to discussing boldness and proclaiming the Gospel. Pray with us for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith in a much harsher way than we experience here at home. As we look for more opportunities that we might share the Gospel, pray that hearts may be opened to listen to the Holy Spirit's movement.

After our study, Pr. John and his lovely wife Fran stopped by one more time to say goodbye, pray for us and our sisters in the Congo. His words of encouragement to us were both funny enough, yet serious enough, to make our title for this entry and our latest tweet.

Tomorrow, we have an early morning as we look to get to Southport, NC - a 55 mile ride - by lunch, our first stop on our journey through the Outer Banks.

In His Peace,
Bry (pronounced Bee-rye)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Hello, My Name is Steve."

Good Evening America, Gordon Brown here writing about the days events. So lets count them down chronologically.
1. the girls woke up to the flooding of the RV shower with grey water from the drainage tank, they came out pretty good for the way that RV smelled.
2. The guys woke up and tore down camp in 9 minutes- rather impressive if I may say so myself.
3. After eating breakfast Jenna decided to put on a clinic for the neighbors while they were enjoying their breakfast. She entitled it "Laying over your bike." Needless to say they found it rather interesting. (She came out fine, nothing broken but her pride.)
4. The group got split up during our 27 mile ride and Lewie was stranded with a flat tire and a pump that wasn't cooperating, and his cell phone was dead... it took him 2 extra hours to get to the church, but he made it just in time for lunch. In the mean time, Mark and Marianne had an interview with the local ABC news station and made it on the 6 o'clock news reel! Woo!
5. Had a great dance party!
6. Alone time and a powerful prayer circle came together to pray for Consolatta. Continue praying for her to be able to walk! The Lord is going to heal her and increase her testimony for His glory! We are confident and believing in that!
7. Tonight after dinner we went to walmart for a few items and then is was off to SpyGlass Mini Golf where we held up the line behind us rather successfully. That place was packed tonight! But we had an overall winner- Jenna Leiw! So congratulations to her for having the best overall score tonight in mini golf. Other BIG news that was discovered today includes Lewie Briggs singing "Firefly" by Jimmy Needham, being added to Jimmy Needham's Facebook page. So hold on to your britches cause Lewie is about to be famous!
8. Tonight's devotional was a thought provoking discussion on God's sovereignty and the smallness of man compared to the greatness of our God. Praise the Lord that He is revealing himself to us as we continue to seek him.

So those are the major events of the day. Pastor John at Risen Christ Lutheran Church has been very welcoming to us all today and it has been nice to meet him and his wife. We will be joining them for church in the morning and enjoying our day of rest in North Myrtle Beach, SC.
Gordon's knee was pain free during the ride today, so rejoice with us that our God heals the hurting! He was anointed and prayed over and the Lord was faithful answer the prayers of His saints!
Well America its time for bed. So as we close down for the night, consider this important question. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

God Bless,
Gordon Brown

4 Flats and a Night Under the Stars

Right now we are just cleaning up from the campsite we were staying in last night. Yesterday was a pretty interesting day in itself, and we are excited to be riding only 27 miles today as opposed to the 75 yesterday.

Yesterday we knocked out the first 35 miles pretty easily, but right before our first stop Lewie (who hadn’t gotten a single flat tire the whole trip (and who bragged about that (but he gave all credit to the Lord))) got two flat tires and took a hard spill. We were all drafting in a line to fight against the pretty strong headwinds and Lewie’s tire hit Mark’s and sent him flying into a ditch. It was pretty amazing because even though it was a hard spill, he got up without a scratch. Except for on his back which he found later…but when he got up and old man appeared out of nowhere according to Lewie (the rest of the riders said that he was there the whole time) and Lewie thinks it was an angel sent to protect him from that fall. After that he got another flat tire, and so did Marianne (which was also her first one).

We finally got to the campsite and found out that we were only allowed to have 6 people on the sight and the rest had to go to the primitive site that was about a mile away. So the boys all hung out until about 11. We ate dinner together which Emily made (she is an incredible cook by the way!!) then walked over to the primitive site after the ranger came and was wondering why we hadn’t set up the tent in the daylight. It was all one big debacle haha. But we made some friends with our neighbors Eric and Mary who were so gracious to us. They offered even to let the girls stay in their RV so that we didn’t have to walk over but the park ranger was pretty intent on keeping us on the primitive site. It ended up being a great time, and the boys woke up to Marianne calling and saying Eric was coming to pick us up so that we didn’t have to walk. So we shot up and packed up the whole site in 9 minutes. Yes. Beat that Bear Grylls.

Anyway so today we are off to Mrytle until Sunday. Keep praying that God gives us energy and protection.

Friday, June 3, 2011


So yesterday was a day. you might say. hey hey hey.

We ahd to wake up extra early so that we could be out of the house by 630am. We had to go 110 miles and be in Charleston by 5pm. We actually made it out by 640am, which is a feat for us. The Lord answered our prayers and the weather was truly wonderful. A cool day, and we knocked out 80 miles before lunch. You might be saying, wow those kids are incredible...well we are. THanks be to God. At lunch we studied the passage where Jesus is talking to the little children and the disciples are telling them to go away; it opened up a lot of discussion on what childlike faith is and how we can achieve it.

Andy and Lewie took some serious spills. Andy's elbow was pretty whack and Lewie's gearshifter was bent up pretty bad. But they, like true men, prevailed. Gordon had some knee troubles, and actually rode 5 miles only using one leg! So be praying that he is healed so that he can continue riding.

We also met Bob, who was riding from the Florida Keys to Canada. 41 years old and still living the dream. Bryan and Emily had to turn the RV around on a very small country road, which, as you might imagine, was a task. GOrdon got chased by 3 dogs, then had to turn around and when he got back, there were three more. And these were not your everyday cute little house puppies. These kats (dogs) were showin teeth and just waiting for Gordon. It's like they knew he was going to come back. Mark and Lewie met Officer Reed, and Mark went up to him on the road and said "Officer, we aren't going to fast are we?" Officer Reed said, "No no no! You guys are fine. What are you guys doing anyway?" Bam. Another opportunity. Bryan finally found his precious Dunkin Donuts coffee that he has been desperately searching for for three days.

We finally finished the 110; it took about 12 hours, 8 solid hours on the bikes. We arrived at the house and it was incredible. We showered and went to a college group Bible study to present. Lewie led a Bible Study on Matthew 9:34-39. Bryan, Jenna, and Gordon did an incredible job of sharing about She's My Sister and everyone was really touched. Be praying that God continues to work in their lives. Really, a very moving night.

Next we have only 75 miles! It all seems so easy now. Keep checking out our tweets! Get constant updates throughout the day. Peace

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pray for Consolatta

Yo my name is Jon and tomorrow I'm going to ride with my She's My Sister bike shirt on. We had a nice little flow session after our presentation, and Jon came up with this after about five minutes of thinking. Our group's talent is not freestyle rapping. Today we got up and left the Baker's house in Savannah to take a nice ride into downtown. We had lunch at a place called Olympia cafe that was right by the river. We made the cross into South Carolina(our second state). We all recognize that Florida by far has the greatest sign for entering the state followed by Georgia and South Carolina pulls up the rear. Our ride was slow, and we finished the forty miles at about six. We spoke with a group of youth in Blufton, South Carolina. After the talk Andy and Marianne showed off their trick shots to the youth on a mini basketball hoop. I think they only actually made one shot, but they got a good reaction on that one. So we got back to the house, and we now realize that we have a hundred and twenty miles tomorrow. We are praying expectantly for a nice tail wind. We continue to pray and speak for our sisters in the Congo, and we ask that you would join us. A specific prayer request is that our sister Consolatta would regain strength in her legs and be able to walk again. God Bless

Shout out!

Also, we forgot to mention the wonderful ladies at the gas station when we so desperately needed a break! Thanks to Chris and the rest of you who really blessed us! You brightened up our day!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Doozy of a Day

So the morning began great with an awesome Bible Study lead by Jenna and some breakfast sandwiches that Emily made. And then it became...well........a debacle and doozy of a day.

The directions became the problem of the day. The riders (and Big Bertha) couldn't find a road. The riders rode back and forth trying to find it, paging Big Bertha for help, who couldn't do much in this circumstance. Break came at Piggly Wiggly in Eulonia. Prior to stopping, the group met a guy named Al. Al is walking from Florida to Maine to raise money and awareness about Veterans issues; he is 72. Gordon and Lewie chatted it up pretty well. The riders also found a group of kids trying to raise money for camp by selling lemonade. Oh the good ol' days of innocence. Lewie and Gordon again talked it up, giving them some marketing tips.

Lunch came along and we skyped with Amanda, whom we all LOVE AND ADORE!!!!!! It was hard hearing her sometimes as truckers came along with their rather loud engines.

So we get to Savannah and Big Bertha is out in front, blazing the trail the riders are following. She gets to a road that has a sign "Bicycles Prohibited." Uh oh...So we are forced to reroute. We pull over on the side of the highway and Bryan calls Lewie with directions. Big Bertha gets luck and the next exit is near where the reroute begins. Meanwhile the gang is hanging out at a gas station waiting to proceed as a unit. Bertha looks to find the first road, unable to find it. We run into a nice old man in a pick up, who directs us in that direction. Needless to say, the road was wrong. We hit our first dead end. Emily is sitting with Bryan's computer, hotspot in action (yeah 4G). We can't move. Luckily, we have a guy drive up behind us who has a painting business. They had enough space in their lot for Bertha to maneuver. We move out and find the road we're supposed to be on. Needless to say, we get lost again. Bertha finds the riders and we're all off, on the right path...

...or so we thought...

We follow the directions Google Maps had given Big Bertha. We turn down a "Dead End." Google told us it would turn into a new road. It didn't. We get to the end of the road and I (Bryan) decide to take matters into my own hands. I turn into a driveway and pull in and begin to pull out. I had some difficulty getting Bertha out, but luckily the people whose driveway we invaded didn't care. In fact, he offered us a bedroom if we needed it. His wife wanted to buy an RV, but he had refused on MANY occasions. Eventually, we turn around, with Mark's AMAZING skills at knowing how to turn a trailer.

In the end, we get Mark friend Jack's house. But it was a long day.

The riders rode 95 miles today when it was all said and done.

Needless to say, I (Bryan) am pooped.

Love to you all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tang and Bang

This morning we woke up bright and early to an incredible breakfast prepared by Marianna and George. While having breakfast, we went through day three of the least of these journey. We then headed over to Mandarin United Methodist. Most of us rode in the RV, but Jon, Lewie, and Adrian had to outdo everyone by riding their bikes over to the Church. Dan Stanley had us do the presentation to his sunday school group. The group was extremely interested in the She's My Sister program in the Congo. It was encouraging for us as a team to be with such a passionate group of elders, and they were encouraged in the same way to be with us. After the church service we had a time of fellowship with the congregation with cake and tang. Not only do our lime green and purple shirts make us easier to see while biking on the roads, but they also shout visitor to anyone in the Church. Following the service a man named Steve was kind enough to have a few of us to lunch with some folks from the congregation. Once everybody made it back to the house within thirty minutes our whole team was scattered around the living room sleeping on the floors and couches. Slowly the team woke up and moved around the house having much needed alone time. We then ate like kings once again with a feast of chicken, pork chops, salad, fries, and haagen-daz bars to finish it off. The family had us do a presentation to them. We are eternally grateful to Marianne, George, Adrian, and Andrew for treating us as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are currently finishing our night up with a team watching of Apollo 13 while drinking some Tang (the first drink drank on the moon). Thanks for the movie and inspiration, Mr. Larry! Great day to be alive I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes. There are some hard times in the neighborhood but why can't everyday be just this good.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hospitality to Strangers

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2

The word entertain here can mean "to be received hospitably" (Strong's Concordance).

This morning we went over the second day of the 40 Day Least of These Journey . It's title is POWER, and it talks about how those with authority, power, and wealth should defend the poor and bring justice to the oppressed. Following the study we had a great breakfast cooked by Daddy Dougan, and then left St. Augustine for Jacksonville. The ride was around 45 miles today, so we were able to take it easy and have some fun. Lewie, Mark, and I practiced drafting and tried to keep up with some local cyclists (no luck). Near the end of the ride we ran into a Georgia fruit stand, where we got some complimentary samples of peach and mango from the vendors, Jonny and Cassy. Further down the road we ran into Jim who is an avid cyclist from the Jacksonville area, and he gave us some cycling tips while he rode with us to our destination (if you read this: thank you for your help).

Right away upon arriving at the Bumbuts, our host family, we were served a wonderful Romanian styled lunch. They really made us feal at home. Following some relaxation time we went to the beach and played volleyball and soccer. For dinner we had another great meal (thank you Marianna, George, Andrew, and Adrian). Now it's time for bed.

Overall, we got hospitabilized like crazy today.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Yaaayy we rode today for the first time!

Welp, today we had our first day of biking! And man was it great. We started off from Daytona Beach across from El Caribe where a small group bid us farewell. Our dear friend Larry came to say bye and even brought us doughnuts! Also some staff from El Caribe a local newspaper (The Daytona News Journal) ,and a local news crew (Fox35) saw us depart. While we were sad to leave all of our new friends in Daytona, we couldn't have been more excited to start our tour. Overall, our ride went really well. We rode about 26 miles before breaking for lunch. Bryan and Emily (our steadfast RV drivers) had a delectable meal prepared when we stopped. After about an hour break, we continued 30 more miles before arriving in St. Augustine. Minor mishaps of today's ride include...1. Marianne having a minor fall while stopped along the road 2. Gordon getting a flat tire which he quickly fixed with ease and 3. Marianne almost falling again as we arrived at our destination.

Although we planned on camping for the evening, Aaron (our new friend from Venture Expeditions) hooked us up with a sweet house only a few blocks from the best part of St. Augustine. The building is used as a mission house for a local church and is run by a friend of a friend of Aaron's named Gardner Gordon. So many thanks to Gardner. We all took much needed showers and gathered on the porch together. With a cool breeze, a slight rain, and the sound of a worship band practicing in the house, we all had our quiet times and personal reflections for the day. A couple of team members were not dedicated enough to stay awake and took catnaps on the porch, but the remainder of us enjoyed each other's company. Finally, we went to a trendy burrito place called Burrito Works. It was delicious, but still not as good as Moe's Southwest Grill (probably the best restaurant in the United States). Now, we congregate in the den and plan for Day Two of the ride. We can hardly stay awake. God has truly blessed this group and this ride.

ALLSOOOOO sidenote: our own Lewie Briggs had a radio interview this morning with Stephanie Riggs from a Colorado radio station. awesome!

Ok bedtime.

The best looking, fastest, most awesome cyclists on this tour,
Andy and Jenna

"We're off..."

Just got a text from Lewie at 9:29 a.m. saying, "We're off..." So the time has come. Many, many thanks to you cyclists and support team for this amazing investment of time and talent to make this CongoSister Bike Tour happen. In January 2010, Lewie and I, along with a delegation from American Bible Society, were in the Eastern Congo and repeatedly promised: "We will not forget you." Thank you for helping the church in the U.S. remember our Sisters in the eastern Congo who are suffering so severely. Ride on, cyclists! - Robert Briggs, American Bible Society

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Night in Daytona

This is it. Last night in Daytona. Emotions awry. Today we rode our first training ride as a group, 24 miles. Tomorrow we head out at 9am to begin a 67 mile trek to St. Augustine.

Today was our last day with a lot of people that we've met in Daytona. After our ride we had a BBQ with some of those people, and it was quite a blessing. If you are reading this, thank you so much for all the help and support you have given us. Also to First Baptist Church, you all really encouraged us so thanks for that. And Willie, keep sporting that shirt we gave you!

For those of you who don't know...Willie was a homeless man who came and talked to us after we spoke to the First Baptist youth group. He wore nothing but a pair of pajama pants, but he encouraged us a lot with his words. We ended up giving him a She's My Sister shirt and he promised to wear it all around and tell people about the Congo. It's amazing who God has already brought into our path, and we are excited to see who else He might use.

Keep us in prayer. And if you're reading this, stop quickly and say a prayer for our sisters in the Congo.

As Gordon once said, "The east coast better hold onto its britches cause we comin through!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Joe Joe and Junior

Woke up this morning to look outside and see Lewie asleep on the beach. We then got all trained up on how to do bike training. Tonight we spoke with the youth and elders at First Baptist Church. We then got lost while looking for a coffee shop where we only knew the street name. We said a prayer and there we were. We spoke with about thirty people outside the coffee shop, and it was really encouraging to talk with Joe Joe and Junior, who grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They moved over here in 1999, and there gratefulness is incredible.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

God Moving In Amazing Ways.

The last two days God has been moving in great ways. Yesterday, we were blessed with the Engage Your Strengths program presented by Dr. J.E. Caterson. J.E. is a great presenter and got us to really think about how we as a group will come together as a unit, but also for the rest of our lives. After taking a test where we were asked if "You are zestful," we all got our top five strengths out of a list of 34. The group has diverse talents and I am excited to see how we come together.

Last night, we had the blessing of meeting with a couple named Mark and Christina. A few months ago, their son Bruce was killed in a bicycle accident. They had us over to meet us and to pray for our safety and for our trip. It was a powerful experience to listen to their story, their struggles, and their joy that they've found in his death. We shared with them the story of the Congo, and their hearts went out to those women there. (Picture of us with them:

God this morning blessed us with a great opportunity to meet with a group of pastors and church leaders at big church. Everyone's heart was touched by our message - God's message - the story of the women in the Congo. The prayer they spoke over us was incredibly moving and powerful. Jon said he could feel that the Spirit was there and moving in the words. (Picture of us praying with the group:

So this is kind of a boring post, I suppose. I'm having difficulty putting into words how God is doing amazing things in this group and to the people to whom we are presenting. I've become speechless. Only God can seem to do this since we know few people can actually accomplish this feat.

Gordon gets in tomorrow. Some have dubbed him "Gordy" before he's even arrived. Hope he takes it well!

Shout out to Pat, Gail, John, and Bagu - the ABS staff who presented today and left today or tomorrow. You all have been an inspiration to all of us riding. You've made this bike tour become a reality. You all love the youth, and it shows through your actions.

Go in peace,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Training week Day 3

Yesterday we did our first presentation at a church! It went pretty well, but we still have a lot of work to do on it. Afterwards, a businessman from that area came up and volunteered to help us make our presentation better! So he came in later that day and gave us a "Sales 101" class, to teach us the basic principles of presentations. So thanks Larry for all of your help!

Afterwards, we went to a church BBQ and talked to a lot of people. There was a Christian Motorcycle Association there that was really interested, and a lot of people were touched by the stories from the Congo. We can really see God moving here.

Today we woke up around 7am and had a three hour long first aid and CPR training. Now I feel equipped to handle any nosebleed or sprained ankle that might come our way. Also, I decided that I am not going to try and do the whole bike trip only drinking soda. Apparently that's not good for you. Also, we asked Bill and Nanette (the best CPR teachers that most of us have ever had!) what you do if two people need CPR and you are the only one to help. Do you choose one or do you go back and forth? Bill said that you just have to pick one.

As you can imagine, this causes a very serious moral dilemma that could be very detrimental to the team dynamic. So we (Mark and I) decided that we need to make a priority list of who should be saved over who so that in the event of a "choose," there would be no moral consequences. This is the list: (If you who are following the blog have suggestions/reasons as to how we might improve this priority list, please comment below.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Training Day 1

Day 1 of training is over. What we thought was going to be an easy day actually was quite tiring! But we went through a lot of stuff. First we got introduced to Tom Trageser, who is helping us with church coordination for the whole tour. Incredible guy and his wife Laura is amazing too! Spent the day at his house, and we cleaned the RV which they donated to us for the whole tour. The RV is pretty ricidulous...sleeps five people comfortably. Word on the street is that the girls get to sleep there while the guys have to sleep in a tent outside...but hey, that's life. Did a little swimming and ate lunch before diving into presentation training.

Presentation training key points:
Mark Jacobs and Andy Clack are very nice to look at.
Lewie needs to articulate (I should have listened to you all along Dad!)
Jenna and Bryan, well they're perfect.
Jon keeps time very well.
Emily and Marianne work the slides like professionals.
Shannon likes to take pictures.

We all have become much better presenters now, so watch out east coast.

Then we took the RV out, Bryan and Emily drove like champs. We only crashed twice (just kidding...but almost). And then we went to the Break Youth group and played the craziest game of Basketbrawl (a strange mix of basketball and UFC) and got to share with them about She's My Sister. The kids really responded and a lot of them committed to be advocates!

Keep praying for us. We're definitely going to need it!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Formation of a Group

As a (future) sociologist, I find group dynamics to be incredibly fascinating. How do people, when brought into a group, form their identity in the group? What makes groups "click" or not "click (a technical sociological term)? I just really find interesting how random people come together to form a group and create a group identity and come to function as a group.

So naturally, as people showed up to Miami and Daytona, this has made the future intellectual in me go crazy. This morning, Jenna, Lewie, Marianne, Jon, and I headed into Miami to hang out and kill time while waiting for Shannon to arrive. We found a cute little cafe on the side of Ocean Drive. We had a delicious a cheap brunch, then decided to take a stroll on the beach. It was gorgeous.

The conversation has been great and group has opened up to each other quickly, both in Miami and after meeting up with Mark and Andy in Daytona following a four hour drive that involved discussing Matthew 6, farting, vomiting, and Kids Across America (a camp where Mark, Jon, and Lewie had worked for two summers). We've come to share our testimonies (some twice since we shared as the five of us in Miami recounted them while sitting on rocks getting sunburned on the Miami beach).

So going back to my sociological mind...we have all found our common denominator: Christ. It's amazing that so diverse a group of people from different parts of the US get real extraordinarily quickly. I could go down a Durkheimian explanation of solidarity or religion's role in society (aka religion=society), but Durkheim has religion wrong. We won't discuss that now, considering my lack of knowledge of the debate regarding Durkheim and not having a Ph.D. Part of my wants to believe, however, that sociological theory cannot explain a group of Christians coming together to bond and share their love of Christ and the women of the DRC.

Til next time,

Curt's Cyclery

So, if this isn't answer to prayer I don't know what is. But as me (Lewie), Jenna, and Marianne were bike shopping we went to a bunch of different shops to compare. Our pastor Tim Ackley referred us to Curt's Cyclery in Nazareth, PA and we went and talked to Curt. He was so supportive and ended up getting us a great deal on our bikes. As if that wasn't enough, when we had to get our bikes packed and shipped, they did it for us for free! We couldn't believe it. So if you ever need any bike stuff, Curt's is the place to go. Curt is a Christian and really identified with our mission this summer, and that was such an encouragement. So Thanks Curt and Mike for all of your support and help!!

And for those of you who are interested, you should do the Century ride that they are doing June 11th...that's right...100 miles in one day! Check out their website at

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Flight troubles

So I show up to Allentown airport with Marianne and Jenna. We take the bus to Newark, stand in line to get on the plane, and Marianne and Jenna get on but my ticket doesnt work. THe lady looks at it and tells me I'm on the wrong flight. My flight didn't leave for another 5 hours. Thanks Marianne (who booked my flight). Needless to say, I had myself a good sit.


An Adventure To and In Miami

So I (Bryan) had an early morning: 5:30. Rolling out of bed at 6, I leave for BWI (Baltimore) to catch my 8:36 flight to Miami, arriving at 7. I figured that this was plenty of time to make my flight. would prove to be close. They called my flight, yet I, along with at least two others (so I couldn't blame my hearing loss), didn't hear it. I figure this out at, say, 8:05. So I get my boarding pass. I call my mom. Per her suggestion, I look to see if I can get escorted through security. But the airline has six people working two LONG lines, so they have no extra staff. I return to the line. While standing in line to go through security, I prepare to run. I put everything in my bookbag (shoes, belt, cell phone, etc.) and have my computer in hand. I clear security and I am off to the races. It's 8:26 or so and I am running through the airport with a computer in hand, in my socks (argyle, of course). I make it to the gate with probably seconds to spare, out of breath and pained feet.

So I make it to Miami. I wish they had the Will Smith Song "Welcome to Miami" playing on loop, but they don't...After checking into the hotel, I decide to go to downtown Miami-South Beach. So after a 20-30 minute taxi ride (you can imagine the cost), I'm set to explore. But it's hot, I have eaten nothing beyond three tiny cookies (that term is questionable for them). So I find a pizza place. Largest slices I have ever seen. I get some water. I walk down to the beach itself. The water is actually that clear blue color you see on the travel commercials on TV - who knew?! No water, however, coupled with the heat sends me into a state of feeling dehydrated. I'm bored and hot in an unknown city. But I did learn a thing or two (in no particular order):

1-Never travel in taxis alone for long distances. It will hurt your wallet.
2-Domestic airlines can never provide as good of a food service as international flights.
3-Before going into a city you've never been to, look up what there is to do!

Tomorrow, we travel to Daytona and meet up with more of the group!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two flat tires later...

Me (Lewie), Jenna, and Marianne went on a ride together today. It was supposed to be about a 50 mile ride, but we had some trouble. First, in Nazareth, I got a flat tire. Luckily for me, we were right next to Curt's Cyclery where we purchased our bikes, so I got it fixed ad we kept riding. Then, about 30 minutes later, Jenna got a flat tire in Bath. I guess it was good to get it now cause we learned how to repair it, but it seriously inhibited our ride. I called Tess (my little sister) and she picked Jenna up; me and Marianne rode back. Ended up going only about 30 miles today. But we left our bikes at the shop to get packed up so we can ship them to Florida through UPS. 2 more days till we leave!!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Lewie's Training stories

Story #1:
Was on a ride with Jenna Liew for about 20 miles. We were going down a hill and I was looking at Jenna's iPhone to see how far we had gone (lesson learned: don't look at phones while riding). As I was speeding down the hill without hands on my bike, a little weiner dog ran up to me. I didn't want to hit it, so I slammed on the breaks and flipped over the handlebars. I didn't want to look stupid though so I laid on the ground still looking at the phone for about a minute until Jenna made me get up. Both me and the phone were okay.

Story #2:
I just got my new bike and was riding it all around. It has these funny little slots that you are supposed to put your feet in, which I did. Small problem though. I was going down a grass hill (shortcut: not suggested) and the wheel clipped on the side of the sidewalk and the bike was tipping over. I tried to put my foot down to catch myself but it was caught in the foot slot and I fell right on my side. It also pulled down the left side of my shorts and cars were passing by! Trying desperately to save as much of my dignity that was lift, I jumped up and fixed myself as fast as I could. Just a little embarrassing haha.

Story #3
Went on a 50 mile ride today. Rode 20 then took a break. For the next 30 miles, I forgot to bring anything to eat or drink and hit a wall at mile 40. I felt like I couldn't move my legs anymore and most of all my arms were sooooo tired! Pretty crazy. I was going up a hill (very slowly...) when I heard someone yell HEY! I turned around, and two people had come out of a pizza shop and yelled "YOU CAN DO IT!!" I just laughed and yelled "THANKS!" and pushed up the hill. Then I just had to stop. I could barely move, so I went to a Walmart to use the bathroom but the guy wouldn't let me take my bike in (I shouldn't have asked!). So, since I did not have a lock, I went to Giant across the street and just walked in with my bike. No one said anything. body feels tired, but my toosh feels okay! And that's all that matters. Praise God. I'm riding with Marianne and Jenna tomorrow before we ship off our bikes to Florida.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gearing up

Okay, the countdown begins. We've got our bikes and we've got our plane tickets. We are all flying down to Florida this week to start the tour. Please be praying for us, and tell all of your friends to support the tour! We are trying to raise $500,000 for our sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and 100% of the money donated goes directly to the Scripture-based trauma counseling programs by the American Bible Society. Follow our blog and stay updated about the things we see and experience along the way!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What is an Advocate?

Would you like to become an advocate? We need you!

An advocate commits to doing 3 things:

1. Take a "40 day Least of These" Journey- a 40 day study of what the Bible says on poverty and justice created by the American Bible Society
-available thorugh email! * Click on 40Day study above and choose 40 day web/email Least of These to start your journey*

2. Tell the situation in the DRC as well as what the bike tour and the She's My Sister project is doing in DRC to your home church, organization, school, group, etc.

3. Commit to aid 100 women and children by raising $1,000 for the bike tour and She's My Sister project (this can come from a church offering, some other creative event, etc.)

Click "Become an advocate" to join!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DRC Project Overview

CONTEXT: Since the war began in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1994, many people were forced to watch as their relatives, siblings, parents and spouses were tortured, raped, slaughtered or abducted by rebel forces. The guerillas burned homes and entire villages, forcing millions of Congolese to flee into the jungle.

NEED: Today, many Congolese remain displaced in the country or live as refugees abroad. Many women and young girls who became pregnant through rape are left to care for unwanted children some of whom are HIV positive. Other women remain physically handicapped for the rest of their lives, suffering with indignities and disease. Rape survivors, often rejected by spouses and family members, live with unimaginable stigma. Church leaders are desperate to help the traumatized people in their communities, but need training and materials to address the overwhelming number of suffering people.

SOLUTION: American Bible Society (ABS), in partnership with the Bible Society of DRC, local churches, and other faith-based organizations will work with church leaders to help traumatized people in Goma, Eastern DRC. It will use Scripture-based trauma healing counseling programs to help survivors recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beard Fundraiser

I was recently able to convince one of my friends to agree not to shave his three month beard until enough money was donated to the She's My Sister cause. The fundraiser has been an overall success. It is a great encouragement that any amount of money we are able to raise provides relief and Gospel sharing to these women. I am continuing to look for different ways to reach the rest of the Furman population. I am currently working on a 3 on 3 basketball tournament. See you all Soon!