Day ZERO [Camp Itasca, MN – Lake Itasca State Park, MN]

MAY 31, 2010

B-R-R-R-R-R-R!

Heard it was 37 degrees last night! [A little COOL for these FLORIDA folks!]

But we were able to hook the sleeping bags together, and Earline’s power surges kept me warm. (HA!)

The day warmed up quickly, though, and we went to the Headwaters of the Mississippi and took pictures.

On the way into the park we actually crossed another bridge over the MR (more like a culvert)….courtesy of the detailed website of ALL the Mississippi River bridges by John Weeks, here is our Bridge #2:

Bridge02
We followed the paths down to the Headwaters, and dipped our rear wheels in the water…..It’s official!

Earline put in wheels at headwaters

Earline dipping trike2

Jon dipping his trike
I understand dragon flies eat mosquitoes, and on this particular day there were LOTS, I mean THOUSANDS of dragon flies, and I would think, some VERY skittish mosquitoes (see one dragon fly in motion right in front of my right arm).

Here is the two of us in front of the OFFICIAL SIGN [with the creepy guy who kept staring at us right behind it….ha].

Jon and Earline front of the MR headwaters sign
Earline decided she needed to play in the rocks a little bit more…..HA!

Earline on Headwaters rocks

Earline on Headwaters rocks2
There were lots of people at the park today. [Remember, it IS Memorial Day!]

The trikes drew a lot of curious questions (as we had hoped), and we used the opportunity to explain the Mission, to encourage others in THEIR dreams, and make dozens of new friends. We even handed out some I-Love-You sign language stickers.

Handing out ILY stickers at headwaters
There were SO MANY warm and friendly people we met today – it was heart-warming. Here’s Eli, with his parents, Mitch and Catie:

Young family at Itasca
As soon as I get a chance, I will put together a book of photos of many of the people that we had chance to meet and have conversation with. Stay tuned!

We even had a chance to walk (ride?….not really) on the VERY FIRST OFFICIAL “bridge” across the Mississippi River [our Bridge #3]:

Lake Itasca and 1st bridge 3 for us
Okay….so I TRIED to “ride” it…..ha!

1st bridge log over MR
Who says Earline is afraid of bridges??!!

Who says shes afraid of bridges
One final photo on the FIRST BRIDGE over the Mississippi River:

Bridge 3 final photo
After leaving the Headwaters area, we went across THIS wooden bridge, our Bridge #4:

Bridge04
Leaving the park we ALMOST got rained on coming up the hill.

Road coming out of Itasca State Park
The rain went around to the north, however…safe for NOW! [Little did we know!]

We had a chance to finally get this internet connection working, so we can send along a few photos here. The Map My Ride application should hopefully be working tomorrow also, as we test it for the first time.

We plan to be up early to head on up to Bemidji – Day 1 is TOMORROW!

Thanks God, for guiding and protecting us. WE APPRECIATE IT MUCH!

TGG,

jon

Day -1 [Camp Itasca, MN]

MAY 30, 2010

We’re SO close to the OFFICIAL start!

Recovering from yesterday’s ride. Slept great…well, almost great. Our air mattress sprung a leak somewhere, and we woke up flat on the hard ground. Ha!

Tent at Camp Itasca
It rained some on the early morning, but we stayed dry, so the tent is doing its job.

After the rain it turned windy, misty, and cold. Walked over to the convenience store for a couple food items. I triked into the Lake Itasca State Park to the see the campsites I had originally reserved. Even though they were tent sites, I was kind of disappointed by all the trucks, and cars, and boat trailers filling up the tent sites. The tent site that I had reserved had a pickup with an RV home sitting in the bed.

I am WONDERFULLY glad we ended up in Camp Itasca.

Stopped at Itasca Sports which is a bike shop that also rents watercraft. Met Sam and Caren – she said she had SEEN us yesterday on the highway! Sam helped me look for a screw for my handlebar.

We had an evening meal on the picnic table with Craig and Rosann outside their motorhome. Had some “one-of-a-kind-goulash” that Craig made – MOST excellent. It was a WONDERFUL evening of fun and fellowship, swapping stories and encouraging words with each other. More of God’s provision that we desperately need and ache for.

TGG,

jon

Day -2 [Detroit Lakes, MN – Camp Itasca, MN]

MAY 29, 2010

Dah, dah, DAH…..

[Whispered in a deep voice] “When we last left our fearless, God-blessed servants, they were on their way to Detroit Lakes, MN, trikes in hand, on the mighty Amtrak Empire line.

“Then, about 2:30 am, they were hurriedly deposited on the side of the road, about 50 yards from the lonely Detroit Lakes platform, along with their entire life’s possessions for the next three months. A cool breeze from the south greeted their faces in the darkness.

“They smiled, and took pictures, realizing they were just (according to Google) only about 55 miles from their destination, the headwaters of the Mississippi River.” (cue dramatic opening music)…..

Okay, enough with the third person dramatics! There’s enough here without it…HA!

Jon off train in DetroitLakes
We put the trike boxes outside the door of the station, and moved all our gear inside. There were about 7 people inside, waiting for another Amtrak train headed south.

One of them was a couple, a Mr. and Mrs. Ron Griffith. He was dropping her off at the station for a trip to visit family. His family was actually responsible years ago for introducing a type of bean into the area as a cash crop, and it is currently the area’s second most prolific crop, behind potatoes.

We brought my trike into the warm station for the purpose of putting it back together. (We’re talking a fairly small room here, maybe 20 x 20. After unfolding my trike, I couldn’t get the chain untwisted, and I couldn’t figure out how the chain routed through the tubes and back axle. Never thought to study that. I DID have the “T” owner’s manual with me, and that helped.

Jon assemble trikes
Of course, I am assembling this in front of everybody, and I’m EMBARRASSED that I don’t know how to quickly put it together. ACK!

But we are answering questions about our tour as I attempted to route the chain, and finally Ron and a young oriental gentleman (who never said a word, but helped me figure it out with hand gestures) helped me get the chain routed correctly.

THEN, when I tried to tighten the boom screws and attach the seat, I realized that in my little tools duffle, I had neglected to pack EITHER of the Allen wrench tools. Only the tool that I probably need THE MOST to tighten various screws on the trike.

DOUBLE ACK!!

I just continued to attach what I could.

By this time, most of the folks’ train had come in, so the only ones left were Mrs. Shogren, who was picking up her son, and Mr. Griffith. It was at this point, that Mrs. Shogren said she would go to the 24-hour Walmart and GET an Allen wrench tool for me. AND she wouldn’t take any money. What a blessing!

I truly would have been lost without her offer. Thank you, God!

We then continued to put Earline’s trike together (easier, because of the new way it folds), and added the bottle holders and panniers. We took the trikes outside, tested their maneuverability (to see if I had put them together CORRECTLY), and then added the rest of the gear.

And as you can see, even though it was only a little after 5am, it was already light outside! [Closer to the Arctic Circle.]

Earline outside Detroit Lakes Station
FINALLY got everything fully packed on both trikes (for the first time ever!) and Earline toodled around the station, testing her ability to drive it with all the gear on it. She also remarked (as I had done when testing it a couple weeks ago with a 40 lb. bag of bird seed) that it was VERY easy to pedal, and you hardly noticed the extra weight. (Kudos to I.C.E. for their well-made and designed trikes.)

Had some prayer time, and headed over to the Sinclair station just across the railroad tracks to fill up on water and goodies for the trip up to Camp Itasca. At the station they mentioned that they had just opened this gas station on Tuesday for the first time this year! (Thanks, Lord, for your provision.)

Little did we realize how significant that provision was!

Earline enjoy blue skies and lakes
We headed out on Hwy 34 for Lake Itasca State Park about 8am on an absolutely GORGEOUS blue-sky day.

Many giggles and frustration as we tried to get clipped in to our clipless pedals. I guess it takes a while to get the hang of it. Especially important for recumbents, though, because without the clips, you can accidently slip off the pedals (something Earline had happen to her later in the day) and experience “leg whip” as your foot and leg get slammed against the horizontal axle, resulting in bruised or even broken bones. (Earline is alright, thankfully.)

The road was 2 lanes, and very busy, but the road had a wide shoulder that we stayed on. We would stop occasionally to catch our breath and stretch our legs. Met Trudy at her mailbox, who until Earline mentioned thanking God for His blessings, was trying to figure out a way to witness to US! Alright!

Met Mr. Leonard Hammer, an elderly gentleman who waved us into into his yard, and talked about a variety of topics, including showing us the bundle of large Northern Pike fish that he had just caught.

We also discovered that he had just lost his wife of (probably) 50-plus years only 6 months earlier. Pray that God comfort Mr. Hammer in his grief at the loss of his wife.

Jon and Mr Hammer
Earline also found out that you CAN tip over on these trikes, trying to turn too fast on a side road with all the extra weight on board. No serious injuries, but she did get a boo-boo. (See the boo-boo?)

Earline tipped over
Okay….you have to look REAL close!

Boo boo close up
Headed up Highway 37, which had a lot less traffic. We had to visit mother nature….ahem, you know, relieve our bladders….on the side of road, behind a tree [lots of THOSE]. No convenience stores up here!

Earline on the road to Itasca
As we traveled through some farm country, and some more farm country…..and some more farm country…..well, we’re getting tired….

Earline in open MN fields
……(didn’t get much sleep last night….well, actually, I didn’t get ANY), I was getting REALLY sleepy, and found myself dozing off. (One of the hazards, I guess, of the recumbent trikes – they ARE comfortable.)…..and Earline had maybe an hour of sleep on the train.

Not long after the above photo, I suddenly woke up, and found myself headed for the ditch on the LEFT side of the road. Earline was FRANTICALLY blowing on the aluminum whistle I had gotten her for dogs. I averted the ditch, but we were very grateful that there had been no oncoming traffic at that time.

And just a minute or so later, a large semi truck went right past us on the other lane….thank you Lord for your protection!

This ended up seeming like a deserted highway….no stores, not much traffic….

Pretty day but EMPTY
By this time the power on my phone DIED, which had the GPS Google map that I had been using.

We made the turns that I remembered, but it seemed like it was taking us an AWFULLY long time to get to certain intersections. We tried to call Camp Itasca, but after a minute of conversation our signal DIED, and repeated attempts to connect resulted in a “no service available” error message.

We headed up 37 past 113, looking for Hwy. 200. By now our mileage had crept PAST 55 miles, and it looked like we were nowhere close to our destination. Earline didn’t feel she could go on.

Here knees were hurting pretty badly, and this is also when she experienced “leg whip” which didn’t help matters. I tried to help her up some of the hills by holding on to the side of her chair, and pedaling with her, and that seemed to help. (Of course, she didn’t WANT me to help, because then she felt guilty, cuz she knew I was tired, too.)

Mmm….do WE ever treat that God that way? Not asking for His help when we KNOW we need it. Either because we’re too proud, or don’t want to bother Him. (Trust me, He WANTS to be bothered!) If you are a parent, and your child has a need, don’t you as a parent WANT to know about their need? Of course, you do.

We FINALLY reached Hwy. 200, but after turning right we still experienced hill after hill. The sun was going down. HOW MUCH LONGER??!!

I had a little battery operated recharger, that powered up Earline’s phone enough to make a call, and FINALLY found a signal that let me reach Craig at Camp Itasca. Only a couple miles further, he informed us.

Then we went over a bridge over the Mississippi. OUR FIRST river crossing (Bridge #1) on our trikes! (River’s a little smaller here than at LaCrosse, huh??!!)

FIRST bridge over MR on Hwy 200
Here’s a view FROM our first bridge over the Mississippi:

View FROM 1st bridge
Finally rolled into Camp Itasca, after 78 miles total! We had long ago run out of food and water, so we were VERY grateful (and hungry, and thirsty)!

And Craig and Rosann were wonderful – they had a spot all picked out for us to set up our tent. Rosann actually drove Earline over to the convenience store across the street to get some food and drink.

We quickly got unpacked, set up our tent, enjoyed a quick (and NEEDED) shower, and headed to bed. Thank you, Lord, for safety AND provision. We could not have done it without the strength of Your promises, and the wonderful way that You worked through all the GOOD that people we ran into extended to us.

We are TRULY grateful.

jon

Day -3 [St. Paul, MN – Detroit Lakes, MN]

MAY 28, 2010

What an interesting day!

Highlights:  A wonderful night’s sleep in a real bed! Yea! Spent much of the day at “Uncle A” and “Auntie Liz’s” house….met all our “cousins”….tasted some of Auntie Liz’s FINE cooking.

Earline took a faith walk (WITHOUT telling Auntie Liz – ooooo, she’s in trouble!).

Earline met a painter with a passion for music and teaching, and 2 of his recent students are Deaf! Jesse Buckner is his name, and apparently his mother was also a famous motivational speaker – Mrs. Thelma Battle-Buckner. Plans are in the works to develop a collaboration – stay tuned!

However….

Our efforts to find a ride to Lake Itasca were coming up EMPTY….what does God want us to do?

NO ONE offered to drive us up there [except Uncle A, bless his heart, but we told him no, but thanks!]. We understand it IS a long way – almost 4 hours drive each way.

Among the many avenues we explored was getting a ride on Amtrak a little further down the road to Detroit Lakes. It just means we’d have to add about 50 miles to our route BEFORE the, ah….start of our route!

(In other words, this mileage won’t count!) (Shhhhh….don’t tell Earline!)

SO…..we went ahead and made reservations for 2 to Detroit Lakes (but we were told that we would NOT be able to take out trikes to Detroit Lakes with us, because it was not a MANNED station. In fact, they said there was no freight delivery anywhere between Minneapolis and Spokane, Washington!). Wow!

Well, this would not do!

One more interesting quirk:  I went to pay for our tickets to Detroit Lakes at the Mpls. station, and when the desk clerk asked for my photo I.D., it was not in my front pocket where I keep it.

What??!!?

We called Auntie, and she was looking all around the bed where we slept. I had NO clue where it might be. I couldn’t begin to remember when the last time was I used it.

Possibly in Orlando?

Earline was fussin’ about me not keeping up with my stuff, and I felt terrible. (I’m a perfectionist and I HATE to make mistakes.)

Then I noticed Earline’s license in her little pouch, and something told me to pick it up and look at it. When I did, something fell from behind her license…..MY license!

I don’t remember putting it there….Earline doesn’t remember putting it there. So how?????

One day ALL things will be revealed, and that’s gonna be one of the first things we check out!

HA!

So we asked God, why did this happen?

Two, maybe three things we can think of:  God wanted to deal with Earline being quick to get angry at me (no, not Earline!!…yes, Earline)….God not wanting her to get perturbed so quickly with me.

And for ME to learn to trust Him more completely!!….even when the unexpected happens!

Another reason is I have a birthday coming up pretty soon, and this was a way for God to REMIND ME to pay a license tag for our car that I forgot to pay before we left home. (Yes, God IS interested in the details of our lives….Matthew 10:30)

(By the way, YES, our trikes arrived safely in Mpls. Yea!……BUT.….)

I stood at the end of the line as passengers handed in their tickets to board the train. When I got up to the conductor, and before he could punch them, I said that I would like to use those tickets, but I couldn’t!

Well, the two gentlemen had puzzled looks, and I explained that our trikes had just arrived from Orlando, and we needed them to go with us to Detroit Lakes. He said that that was not possible. I then explained how there was a place at the front of each car for carry-on luggage, and that the two trike boxes that I had loaded myself in Orlando would both fit there nicely.

He looked flustered, but then he told me to go and see if the boxes would indeed fit.

(I had just explained that I KNEW they would!…..but, as instructed, I went to check anyway!)

I hollared at Earline to bring the bags, and I talked to the attendant for the Detroit Lakes car, and explained to her that these bags represented 3 months of our lives!

I then went BACK to the conductor, verifying that indeed the boxes WOULD fit…..and he said, “well, don’t make me late!”

NO PROBLEM !!!!!!

I quickly found Don the baggage guy, explained the situation, hustled to the warehouse to get our boxes OFF the palette they had just come in on, ripped off the plastic wrap that was binding them together, and stuffed them on the Detroit Lakes car. They fit!! [Of course!]

Within minutes, the train left the station with us, our bags, AND our trikes on it….YEA!! High fives all around (well, quietly, at least, because we didn’t want to get any Amtrak personnel in trouble!)

No, it didn’t look good, the situation looked dire, but God DOES know our needs, and the Mission IS POSSIBLE, and WE ARE ON OUR WAY to Detroit Lakes. YES!

Thank you, God!

Now to make sure we don’t miss our stop, which is only 3 stations away: St. Cloud, Staples, and Detroit Lakes.

It’s about midnight, and I am TOO excited to sleep.

TGG,

jon

 

Day -4 [Chicago, IL – St. Paul, MN]

MAY 27, 2010

At daybreak we were making our way across Indiana, headed for Chicago. Saw these HUGE 3-spoked windmills, like the kind from the Siemens commercials. HUNDREDS of them, on the west of us, traveling north of Indianapolis.

Didn’t have to switch our bags in Chicago because we had checked them in D.C.

Earline at DC Amtrak station
Earline at the D.C. Amtrak station. Sure, these bags will ALL fit on our trikes. Hmmm!

Headed across southern Wisconsin (Hey, Wied!), and came to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and got our FIRST visual of the Mississippi River, and went over our FIRST bridge (all be it on a train).

FIRST bridge of MR with barge
A barge on the Mississippi River beside the train bridge between LaCrosse and LaCrescent.

Saw a GORGEOUS sunset as we traveled north along the west side of the Mississippi River.

Sunset north of LaCrosse

By the time we got to St. Paul, it was dark, and when we got to the station, the lights were OFF!

Apparently they had just gone OFF.

But Earline had insisted that we take a big, heavy LED flashlight with us and “VOILA” we needed it!! (When people stop praying, the coincidences stop happening!!)

Got picked up by “Uncle A,” and “Auntie LIZ” and had a wonderful sleep in a REAL bed! Thank GOD!

Was able to contact (Lutheran) Youth Encounter, and actually talked with Larry Johnson, who was the director of LYE when I was on teams back in the mid-70s….wow! He’s putting the word out, to see if there might be SOMEONE who knows SOME WAY that we might be able to get up to Lake Itasca tomorrow. We’ll see!

KEEP PRAYING!

jon

Day -5 [Washington, D.C. – Chicago, IL]

MAY 26, 2010

Interesting summer, to be sure.

Spent all day on the train, and met some interesting people along the way.

From Kenny, a 25 year Amtrak veteran who was so helpful with our luggage, who said he was in early to work that day because his wife kicked him out of the house…

To Nancy, our car host and a 32 year Amtrak veteran whose quick wit and enthusiasm for her job made you laugh…

To Bob of “I Know Bob Durstock” fame [check out his T-shirts], a young Kentucky college student who will be going on a mission trip to Ireland later this summer….

May God continue to use us as we minister and meet those folks whom God wants us to pray for this summer. He KNOWS the details of EACH of our lives. [Matt. 6:25-30]

Saw some of those “beautiful details” today on our ride over the Appalachian Mountains. [I will add some pretty photos later].

[Here are some pictures I promised to add]:

Appalacians1

Appalacians2

Before midnight we actually entered for the first time one of the 10 states we will be riding thru this summer. Do you know which state?

Thinking, thinking…

Okay, a hint:

It starts with a “K.”

Got it? Good!

See you tomorrow!

TGG,

jon

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

Day -6 [Orlando, FL – Washington, D.C.]

MAY 25, 2010

Wow….say it backwards….WOW….say it upside down….MOM !!!

We were BOTH up all night. We are on the train right now (not too far from Torin…just stopped in Jesup, GA, headed on our up way thru coastal South Carolina.)

Don’t know exactly what I could have done differently….deleted doing some of the things that were on our “to-do” list? But most of the things on our list were really necessary TO DO!

As Earline says, it’s all about “time management.”

I hate rushing. I seriously do.

I would’ve LIKED to have had our trikes all geared up and packed 2 weeks ago. I would have LIKED a nice “spiritual experience,” easing into the train station a COUPLE HOURS ahead of time, prayerfully and smoothly submitting our trikes for transport, checking our baggage at the counter, and quietly (and tearfully) saying goodbye to friends and associates.

Didn’t happen. Not even close.

I was frantically trying to get our panniers and accessories mounted on the trikes Monday night so that we could pack them, so at least we could have a fairly good idea of what we wanted to take or not take with us on this 3-month excursion.

Kids, do NOT try this at home…..HA! (I AM SERIOUS!)

I finished prepping Earline’s trike at 5am. Mine at 6am.

Earline prepped trike in living room
Earline’s prepped trike.

Jons prepped trike
Jon’s prepped trike.

Then we had to figure out WHAT to pack, and WHERE to pack it. What will fit and what won’t.

Panniers are interesting creatures. Especially the good ones, like ours that we got from Jandd Mountaineering in San Diego. Lots of little compartments. Wonderful, sturdy construction. Obviously a LOT of thought and research went into designing and making these bags.

Trouble is, I don’t KNOW the history. I don’t KNOW the REASONS FOR those thoughtful designs. (Maybe some kind of user’s manual, or a guidelines sheet?) Ack!…I wouldn’t have had time to read it anyway!

Finally finished packing, and then had to UNPACK the trikes so that they could be boxed and shipped. (I did NOT know what I was doing…much praying and sweating.) (BLBLBLBLBLBLBLBLBLBLBLBLBL.)

THANK-YOU, Phyllis for all your help in packing the trikes! (Phyllis throws a mean shipping tape roll!)

So Earline and I are frantically packing, grabbing and going (sorry, Miss Pat, that we left the house SUCH a mess!!)….and we arrived at the station about 35 minutes before we were scheduled to leave.

Not good.

Amtrak said “uh-uh”…..said the trike boxes were too big (not nice, and long and skinny like the Amtrak branded bike boxes. And they were a LITTLE heavy.) (Okay, so I threw a pannier or 2 in each box to “fill them out a little”…..final weight, 80 and 85 pounds…whoops…..the limit is 50 pounds.)

They made us ship them as freight the next day (for an additional $100). If we waited until tomorrow ourselves to travel with the trikes, it would have cost us an ADDITIONAL $200.

So we are traveling tonight, sans trikes, and they will HOPEFULLY arrive by the same train albeit a day LATER in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Friday evening.

Getting on Amtrak in Orlando
Some folks boarding our train.

One other note that folks might be interested in. The most they would insure the trikes for is $500. After much angst and cajoling on our part, they upped it to $1500 for the 2 of them.

The question I want to ask at our next layover station: “Is $500 your bicycle rate or your maximum freight rate? If freight rate, does that mean you never carry freight worth more than $500?”

Just wondering.

Or if it’s your bike rate, why was I charged freight rate, just because it’s shorter and fatter? The overall linear dimensions were less than Amtrak’s own available bike boxes (VERY long, close to 8 feet, but only 8″ wide.

(Aha! It’s discrimination against height-challenged tricycles!)

(Actually, Amtrak’s bike boxes are bulimic!…..Travel healthy. Go trikes.)

So we dragged ALL our luggage on the train (we were too late to check them…ALL of them.) (Well, except, of course, the bags I stuffed in the bike boxes!)

Thanks AGAIN, Phyllis, for helping us get everything thrown unto the train! (Hopefully we’ll be able to check our bags the next 2 legs.)

I sure hope we didn’t forget anything important! (Did I pack Bob Robinson’s guidebook of the Mississippi River Trail? Sure hope so! I guess we’ll find when we unpack!)

(I DID find out later when unpacking the boxes that I DID forget something CRUCIAL…..read about THAT challenge in Day -2.)

I faked this photo
I faked this photo…..I really did!

Oh-oh. Just had some AWFUL train food….YUCK! Earline had some vegetable pasta that wasn’t too bad, but our table-mate’s (Harold) medium-cooked steak bellered at him when he tried to take a bite.

I had some Mahi Mahi fish that was dry, and the cup of broth they supplied with it actually stunk! (Stank?) Phwew. (Earline had a great idea to put some RANCH dressing on the fish – that made it actually, ah, kinda good!)

But I am NOT complaining.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity. It’s exciting! And as Earline stresses, we’re pedaling with PURPOSE.

I have got to believe that God has some very specific reasons for this trip.

Alright….sleep time. Pray for our strength, okay?

THANKS!

jon

Day -7 [Orlando, FL]

MAY 24, 2010

Trike in living room

Gradually packing our trikes (for the first time)….has anybody else ever been this delayed getting prepared for a trip?

Figuring out where to put the clothes, where to put the electronics….what do all these pockets mean? What is best?

Cartoon loaded down cyclist

 

I guess we’ll find out.

Once we get the panniers packed with everything we need, then we’ll quickly have to UNPACK (or at least unload), fold the trikes, and see if we can get them to fit into the boxes we got from United.

Pressure’s on! HA! (Looks like it’s gonna be a late night!)

Be strong and of good courage.

jon

Day -8 [Orlando, FL and Plymouth, FL]

MAY 23, 2010

Wow….I’m going to need that 3 day train ride to sleep!! Up all night – finished the DVD for this morning’s service about 5am.

Great time with the CORE group – handed out assignments for the summer!

Rushed back home, because I still had to do the program for this afternoon’s prayer service. Here it is:

What a humbling service – had over 150 people or so come, people I haven’t seen for a long time, new friends that I met for the first time – very thought provoking. Reinforcing what I have been saying – that so many people are investing not only dollars but their energies and prayer time in make this trip successful. And THAT is a beautiful thing.

As you can see on the program, we did a foot-washing of 11 various leaders in areas of our non-profit, God’s Hands Agency [GHA], who have been instrumental in growing and expanding our efforts and work with the Deaf in Central Florida.

GRATITUDE is SO important!

Many tears.

Received the letters from Pastor Mills, just like Nehemiah receiving letters of recommendation from the king. I am also including here PDFs (portable document format) of those items.

Letter of Recommendation  /  Evangelism Certificate

Will finish up errands in the morning, pack the trikes out with hopefully EVERYTHING we need, and THEN, tear them down and try to fit them in boxes. (Should be INTERESTING!)

TGG,

jon

Day -9 [Orlando, FL]

MAY 22, 2010

Cartoon man cluttered desk

Working CRAZY busy today / WILD Saturday:  jab designs’ projects that we need to complete before we leave, trying to think if we have EVERYTHING we need to the trip. Reviewing other riders who have listed their supplies, like Don Saito, who rode all AROUND the United States last year.

Problems with our printer (ACK!). Flags came today (Whew – thank you, Ti!). Gotta do a DVD for church tomorrow. Gotta go!

Though God’s Grace,

jon