It has been a while since we posted an update about Gloritrek. So, here are a few things we're working on.
First, and most pressing, is getting dates scheduled along our route. Even with Emily and several other people assisting, not to mention a mission organization, this is proving to be a challenge. On any given day we receive e-mails that are an encouragement, and others that discourage.
Kevin & Cindy Grindstaff (the couple on the right in the picture), from Malvern, OH; have been a great encouragement to us! Is it that I've known them longer than I've known Brenda? Or, is it that they've been here to Taiwan and seen what we do first-hand? Or, is it that their daughter is leaving for the mission field soon? Kevin & Cindy have accepted the challenge of coordinating our last week of Gloritrek from NE Ohio to NYC. They even drove our proposed bike route, taking note of churches along the way! I wrote Cindy recently, and said,
"I believe I could write a book based on the varied responses from churches -- some are amazingly encouraging, and others are much less. "Sorry, the timing of your visit isn't convenient!" As if there really would be a convenient time between programs and sermon series to talk about unreached nations. I wonder if it speaks to the overall health of the church, or more to the known/unknown factor. That is, we tend to not trust those whom we don't know. With Gloritrek, this is something we've had to get over real fast -- trusting in people and churches we've never met! Do we always look with suspicion on strangers, even Christian strangers? To me, that's really sad! Perhaps that's why we see the admonition in Hebrews to "entertain strangers." To be sure, we're not angels; but we do have a unique message which we believe comes from the Lord (BTW, "angel" does literally mean "messenger"). Truly, if it wasn't for the belief that God is sending Noah and me, we wouldn't be doing Gloritrek. After all, I've never put much stalk in visions, so why start now? Except, like Jonah to Nineveh, our God has a message we're compelled to share; and if we turn our backs and run away not only will we forfeit the opportunity to see God do amazing things among the nations, but we'll continually be looking over our shoulders for some big, old fish to swallow us whole! Sorry to ramble, Cindy! Thanks much! You are a real blessing to us! Wish I could bottle your spirit and sprinkle droplets on churches from coast to coast, we'd already be set. Kind of like Lucy's bottle of healing ointment in the "Lion, Witch and Wardrobe." :-)
Second, we are getting ready to print Gloritrek t-shirts and wristbands! Chad Edwards, another great encouragement to us, has done a fantastic job on our designs for Gloritrek. We'll be posting examples on the site soon, with instructions on how to purchase. We are praying you like them and buy them! Remember, any money given goes to Team Expansion and the mission of reaching the unreached nations!
Third, training is going well for Noah and I. We've done some longer rides, including 60 milers. We'll be doing another long ride over Easter break. Just last week, on the 60 miler, I had to dodge traffic twice, with one near miss involving a bus! Yikes! Oh, how we need your prayers for safety!
What am I asking the Lord for, more than anything else right now, "Peace!" "Don't be anxious about anything...!" says Philippians. I have a long way to go in that department! :-) Thank you for praying!