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!