Saving Kids — Today

This could be the most uncomfortable thing you ever do.

Ask any teacher you know–any teacher–and they should tell you that there are kids in their classrooms who don’t have a champion. A child’s champion (often called a mentor, but that sounds so tame for a job so mighty) is someone who commits to remembering their birthday, attending special events (no matter how small), taking them out to ice cream or pizza once in awhile, and asking them how their life is going on a regular basis. Whether in the suburbs or the inner city or Podunk, USA, the United States of America is chock full of kids who lack someone like that in your life. You may have been a child without a champion yourself.

The exploited children of our world, those kidnapped and forced to be soldiers or sex slaves or laborers, need every adult to champion a kid near them. Obviously you can’t champion a kid in Latin America if you live in Middleville, MI–that’d be a heck of a commute for ice cream or a baseball game. But I guarantee there’s a kid in your community that could use a champion.

Ask at your local school or daycare center or youth camp to see who you can champion today. But remember: a champion is someone who commits.

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Gordon Food Service

I’d like to let you know how things are going on our front.

  • Steve and I have been blessed by Axiom Performance Gear–the company that provided our racks and panniers–and their decision to allow us to keep the racks and panniers for future adventures. We’ll be loading them with weight when we ride from now on to keep our legs strong. You should feel our flexed quads after only a week of bike travel!
  • Gordon Food Service, for whom my beloved Aunt Pat works, donated hundreds of energy bars for our trip–but again, our planning was so short-term that we didn’t get the bars before we left. Good news! The Esperanza Movement mission workers headed to Escuintla, Guatemala at the end of the month will be taking these high-carb granola bars down to the kids! Thanks to Aunt Pat and Gordon Food Service!
  • I will be applying for an expedited passport on Monday so that I can head down to Guatemala with the mission workers. This is an opportunity that has been opened to me because of the bike trip not going as planned. I am excited about this opportunity, as I will be praying for God’s white hot passion for these children to seep into me while I am there, and I will be writing about and hopefully photography my experiences to bring back and share with my students, my community, and any other interested groups that are willing to have me come and tell them about the Hope Movement.

Be encouraged! I’d like to use this site to post updates of our small piece of the Hope Movement and to perhaps post one way to help the kids each day.

Talk to you soon. Love, Dave

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Done, but not defeated

Dear people involved in the movement of Hope,

Look at how I’ve addressed you–as a people involved. Now, though this bike ride is over, we are all involved, we have all gotten dirt on our hands, whether through giving money or spreading the word or simply giving time each day to follow this journey. We are all, each of us, on the road to the flood of hope and love for all children. The flood is coming, but your prayers and your blood and your sweat are still required.
In regards to the temptation to consider the trip a failure and myself defeated, I take such encouragement from these words, given by a dear friend:

And even though you didn’t make it to San Fran, you still achieved quite a lot. For one thing, you got more people talking to God than they probably were before. That, in and of itself, is something to be proud of. And you biked the frickin’ Appalachian Mountains, man! So don’t be discouraged that you didn’t meet the final goal. Sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are not the plans God has for us.

If the first Esperanza Ride brought only these few words to this one person, I would consider it a raging success. But consider these other successes:

  • Dozens of encouraging messages sent to Steve and I via the website or email–and are not words of encouragement a victory considering the self-addiction that ravages our world?
  • Over $2000 raised for the work of the Esperanza Movement Foundation (and still counting).
  • 711 mile sponsors–711 individuals who are now involved in this movement of hope, who know of this problem and who God may call to use for these children at any time.
  • 2 newspaper articles–1 in the Sun’n’News, one in the Grand Rapids Press–the latter of which reaches thousands in West Michigan.
  • You, who are reading this.

Consider again the words of my friend: Sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are not the plans God has for us. What beauty lies in this one sentence!

God calls us all to leave behind our comfort zones to enter into His big story. The goals we set for ourselves in response to that calling our largely up to us, as are the plans we lay to get us to those goals. The goal that Steve and I set was bold; the plan Steve and I laid was rushed and, in many ways, unwise.

But though we are done, we are not defeated. No–we are only stronger.

Thank you all, so much: for your giving, your service, your involvement, your prayers, your messages. You have been such an encouragement to the children, who hear of what is happening here through the workers for the movement who are with them. This will be the first of many posts, written or audio, as we continue to travel down the road to Hope.

The Lord be with you!
-Dave

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Dave’s audio updates from the road to hope #32

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Dave’s audio updates from the road #31

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Dave’s audio updates from the road #30

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Dave’s audio updates from the road #29

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