The Ragman

Written by: Brian Niedert

It was hard to believe the ride was coming to a close as we made our way to Tougaloo College today in gusty head winds – the kind that make me wish I were back in West Texas.

This morning’s pre-ride devotional was particularly moving… the story of “the ragman.” The story is an illustration of what Christ has accomplished and continues to accomplish through his people. The ragman goes about, giving of himself, until there is nothing left to give but his own life. Death in this case is not the end of the story. This ‘ragman’ is brought back to life and offers the opportunity for those who would follow him and his way to experience the same victory over the grave. His offer is to surrender one’s own life and prerogative for his purposes; to give of oneself for the sake of the world.

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Reflections from the Trace

Today started out with a great devotion from Dan Hepp. He discussed an experience he had on a previous FCBA ride in which a rider got lost and the entire town turned out to track him down. This demonstrated how God will use a potential problem to His purpose: making an entire community aware of the Fuller Center and our cause! What a fitting concept to keep in mind when we experience adversity.

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Pitching In

Written by: Cindy Hepp

FCBA is not only about the ride but about the people. We come from different parts of the country with different backgrounds and experiences. Today we were reminded that though we come from a variety of church denominations, we worship and serve only one God. He equips us with an array of talents to use for His glory in a variety of ways.

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Right Time. Right Place. Right Everything.

Written by: Crystal Anderson

There is that split second at 3am when I ask myself, “Why am I awake right now? What is going on?” Simultaneously, I realize that I need to make an early morning trip to the restroom (per usual) and that I’m shivering a bit because I may have made a poor choice of sleeping spot.

There is that follow up split second when I ask myself, “Did I really just drive nine and a quarter hours to sleep on a floor and to turn around and bike in frigid temperatures? Why didn’t I just find the closest volunteer build location and go build for a day? My work in the office and at home will pile up. And I have to break away from the ride early to get home to another commitment. Why do I have to always choose the most challenging path? Can I do this? Will I have the will to do this? What was I thinking?”

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Headwinds

Written by: Jeff Gabriel

Against the wind. The last two days we’ve had strong headwinds the entire day – and the rides were long. Both days were about seventy miles. But there’s one thing the riders learn. It’s much easier going against the wind if you work together. Riders form small groups with people of similar speed and take turns in the front of what’s called a pace line. The leader of the pace line breaks the wind for the other riders and the riders take turns at the front of the line.

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Discerning the Why

Written by: Jennifer Elpers-Wells
So why do you suppose someone would decide to ride a bike for miles upon miles, complain about the “hills” they are challenged to climb, how their buttocks hurt from riding, or how sore and tired their legs are to then work on building a house the next day? Or even more challenging is to ride in the rain when it is 48 degrees.  Each of us could be at home doing something we find more pleasurable. What would compel someone to ride about 240 miles and have 2 build days all within 6 days?  Well I asked a few of my fellow teammates why they were doing what they were doing.  Here is what some of them had to say.

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The Big Century!

Written by: Alan Stanford

Hello FCBA blog followers!  Great ride today! We had blue skies and temperature was in the 70’s. I had my first century ride today, 100 miles. I kept biking after our destination until I hit 100. I am thankful for Connor and Jim biking with me until I got it. I rode with Jennifer, Jeff, Connor, and Jim today. Wow, they are fast… I think they slowed it down a little for me.

Once we got to our destination, Beach Springs Free Will Baptist Church, we shuttled over to Morganwood Camp. It is a large facility built for accommodating youth camps. There are 2 cabins, one for men and one for women, that we will be sleeping in. The bunk beds look pretty comfy. I know everyone is going to go to sleep well after the long ride.

This is my first time with the FCBA and I am having a really great time. I am enjoying spending time and getting to know everyone on the trip. We are from all over the place and everyone has a different story of how they joined the FCBA. We all seem to have one thing in common though- we want to help others who are struggling to afford a decent home. Next build day is Thursday!

Below is a picture of everyone on the ride in their 20’s and Jack, support driver/role model, that turns 90 this summer.

 

The Beauty of the Trace

Written by: Kelley Westenhoff

There is nothing better than starting a long ride day with a fantastic breakfast send-off. Shady Grove Methodist Church in Duck River fixed sausage, eggs, and pancakes in great quantity. In fact, I think I saw Connor enjoying a sausage pancake sandwich at our first rest stop later in the morning.

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New Normals

Written by: Kim Kegler

Friday, it rained. Saturday, it rained. TODAY, it rained. And, I mean RAINED. Yet, today, we got on the bike.

Back at home in South Carolina, there’s no way I would have started a bike ride with a drizzle. That’s why we have trainers and spin class, right? But, FOR REAL, I really would not have been outside on a bike today but for #FCBALife.

“When in Rome”, follow the crazies, right.

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