Saturdays are something special at ARM. On average of two Saturdays a month it is when we get to be with our families and hear more of their story and share ours. It is when our friends from the local community and around the state come out and put their hands, hearts, and a few hammers together to make some much needed repairs on a home. Joining hands in the morning and afternoon to pray together, laughing as we eat, fellowship, and share some reflections about the scriptures; all of these make for a day that looks a lot like the kingdom Jesus said was here and would be fulfilled at His return. And when the day is closing, we can see the light of joy as a person like Ms. Brenda can smile at her new windows that are now water and air proof. Radiating with joy, she beams as she sees new siding and fresh paint. Hugging each “friend”, she praises Jesus! For me, it is a reminder of hope and what living in genuine Christian community looks like. I literally live for Saturdays.
That is why events like our 6th Annual Cycle of Service mean so much. Being one of the main ways we raise funds to support our home repair and children’s ministry, we always look forward to the experience of a celebrated and anticipated finish. So, what does this ride really look like?
- Imagine sitting in a bicycle seat for about 6 hours and getting off maybe once per hour for 15-20 minutes. Can you hear the colorful conversations of 5-6 other fellow cyclists having a similar experience?
- Imagine a long blacktop with some rolling hills. Hills that have you out of breath at the crest but that bring great reward as you coast down-usually at about 27-30 mile per hour.
- Sun…rain…wind-with a myriad of combinations…
- Imagine the evening where your legs and back remind you of the physical sacrifice you just made after 100 miles of pedaling.
- Now multiply that by 3.
To cycle with us, you have to commit to getting sponsors and raising at minimum $1200. Through emails, Facebook, and letter writing campaigns, they get individuals and businesses to make a financial commitment. It is touching how passionate our riders are and how much they care about the ministry of ARM and wanting to be a small part of its influence, outreach, and Kingdom work. On the ride, we are supported by local churches and groups who feed us and provide a place to shower and sleep. Again, it is a reminder of the radical hospitality usually only found among followers of Christ.
As April 24-26th approaches, we are training, tending to our bikes, and working in some long rides before the big weekend. I hope you will surround this event with your thoughts and prayers. Maybe you can give a small donation in support of the ride. Our $25,000 goal will be applied to 10 more family’s houses like Ms. Brenda mentioned above and the Tuskegee Mission Hub we are currently renovating.
We’ll keep you posted as we draw closer to the event. Here is the link to the Cycle of Service web page if you would like to make a gift. Thank you so much! Much love and pedals :))) Lisa