Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Was it a Good Ride?"

Like everyone in the group, I'm asked constantly if it was a "good ride," and I find that I'm not sure what they mean by the question. I thought it would be a good idea to wait and think and meditate on the matter before I made a post. My hope is that distance will bring perspective.

My initial response is that it was a very good ride. It was a very good ride for the reasons Ben and Dan have already mentioned in their recent posts. It was a challenging ride in great scenery. It was a chance to learn to ride efficiently with a great group of cyclists. It was a chance to challenge ourselves and thus learn about ourselves and each other. That's the physical aspect of the ride. It was good.

It was a good ride from a relational standpoint. I didn't know most of the guys before we began, and now view them as some of my fondest friends. We were all in the same foxhole, and that tends to create significant bonds. We teased and encouraged each other, and helped and served each other, and listened to each other's stories. We heard each other share with the people we met our own passion for Bible translation. That listening usually resulted in having your personal passion reinforced.

It was a good ride from the standpoint of raising awareness of Bible translation. Jamie Farr at Orlando said he thought we did more to raise awareness in six days than had been accomplished in two years due to the unusual nature of the delivery of our message (on bikes) and the idea of hanging musset bags on church doors along the route. Kudos to Beth Mersefelder for that stroke of genius!

Whether it was a good ride regarding our fundraising goal I don't know (yet), but that matter is ultimately in the hands of the One who kept us through thick and thin on the ride. No worries there!

It was a difficult ride with regard to Jon's injury and the troubles with the SAG van. We did our best planning, and occasionally had to engage in a "calf-scramble" when things surprised us. We'll learn from that, and do a better job next time, so even with the problems it was a good ride. ("No experiment is ever a total failure; it can always be used as a bad example" is a proverb from my chemistry-teacher days that comes to mind here :-))

Will I do it again? You bet! Will I do things differently? You bet! Will I get saddle-sores again after 400 miles? I hope not!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why Do WE Ride ?

I've been mulling over in my mind what to say about the "results" of our great experience.
It's part of our human nature to want to quantify some kind of results to know whether we have been "successful" or not, and thus justify our expenditure of time and resources. In an event such as this, the effects of our efforts are much more qualitative and the true "results" may not be known for years to come.

So why do we ride? What should I say to people who ask me "How did the ride go? Was it successful? Now why were you doing this?"

I would like to share a few conclusions from my simple mind.

Perhaps from curiosity, cycling draws people in today's world. It's a dynamic, upbeat event. We were able to use that as an entre' to present the Wycliffe opportunity. I think it's more unusual, and therfore more memorable to the people than just another Power Point or speech. Although the team God assembled I think was very well spoken, especially Doug and Ed.

We cyclists were blessed so much more than we could offer by our riding. Just think of all the prayers, the FOOD, the accomodation, the fellowship of beleivers, the scenery, the excercise.

It was good to see firsthand how God is at work in the churches, communities, and people we met. I knew a dear old saint who told me one time, "The hard part's just keeping on keeping on." Praise be to God for those who are salt and light through everyday drudgery and are willing to be keepers of the faith on our home front in the face of ever increasing secularism in the name of "political correctness". Praise for the young people who came out to see us off before school. Praise for the faithful ladies who made white bread tomato sandwiches, Kielbassa and krout stew, spaghetti, and all the other wonderful food. Praise for the opportunity to meet with pastors - and so much more. It renews my faith that we still live in a great country.

Lastly, thanks be to God for the pure joy of cycling. Tooling down a country road in a paceline, seeing Vidalia Onions in the field, horses running, live oaks and moss canopy. As a parent, and I assume as most parents, nothing gives me more pleasure than to see my children having a good time. I believe God our father delights in our joy as well.

The entre'
The fellowship
The blessings
The edfication
The joy

I feel it's proven itself to be a venue Wycliffe can use to connect with the community of faith and assist the realization of the 2025 vision. Most of all, I truly beleive God laid it on our hearts. We were all of one mind and heart in our mission. I pray that God will "enlarge our coasts" and provide the people and resources for the harvest, and let us sow some more seeds in future years.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ride Summary - from my perspective

It is now Monday, May 18 th. I came home last night (late) and my bike should leave FL today in its box and join me later this week.

My Bike: it's worth noting that my first road bike - is what many refer to as your third road bike (meaning that it usually takes 3 purchases to figure out what you really like and what works for you and each step is usually a step up in performance and cost). Well, my used 2004 Cannondale R5000 - the bike that God allowed me to buy last fall (to replace my MTB), has served me VERY well! I had minor shifting problems but it was just a matter of making some adjustments to the cabling. It is a very responsive bike: stopping promptly, accelerating and following the path in my mind almost before it gets to my complaints. I've put over 3000 miles on it already this year. [The next dream component for my bike that should help in my on going training is a power meter. I'm watching CinQo and waiting for them to have a unit that will fit my Cannondale SI Hollowgram crankset. I've already corresponded with them with the hopes of getting a trial or lease version - who knows what will happen, but not asking is certainly a 'no' answer.]

The Distance: My 'unofficial' number for the miles that I rode is 527. (I need to go back over my notes and distances, but that number should be close.) It is short of the total proposed riding distance due to the need to SAG (get a ride in the Support And Gear vehicle). The accident and the concerns for Jon and his care immediately came to the top of the priority list. So we stayed there until we all felt it was safe and time to go - and then we SAG'd off the island and down to a point where we could ride in to our next stop in the time remaining. Then after our last support stop (where we riders meet up with the support crew to replenish our bottles and eat something) we rode in to our stopping point for the night: riding about 56 miles on day 5. We later found out that the SAG vehicle had transmission problems and was at a shop overnight to be checked out in the morning. We can not ride (safely) very far with out a support vehicle, so while the details were worked out we lost more riding time that finial day. Eventually we were able to SAG to a point where we could finish the ride at the Headquarters by 3 PM as we were to have a part in the break time. That last day we rode ~ 30 miles. It was still the most miles I've every ridden in 6 days time and I have never before done 4 century rides back to back. And day 1 was my longest ride ever at 120 miles. Due to the pace of the group I found the distance not as taxing on my body as the time in the saddle was on my bottom. There is no replacement for 'time in the saddle'...

Relationships: this was the key part of this ride. There were relationships with us as a team - and we certainly became one before the ride was over; short touches with many people on the way through their acts of hospitality and kindness, encouragement and generosity; being able to pray for many churches and those that go there and live there as we rode past, seeing that there are many who Love God in this still Great Country where we have the freedoms given to us by our rich heritage of years past and present times as many lay down their lives for us at home. I enjoyed getting to meet and visit with many people - a couple each day. It was really neat when we came across churches that had signs up, or the ones that greeted us personally! (Those times are times of casting your bread on the waters - only God knows what comes of that.)

Nutrition: this was an area of initial concern for me. I have certain foods that I like to eat and others that I really like to avoid, so I wasn't sure how that would all shake out. I was excited to see that the Sam's trip yielded some fresh raw spinach and at the end of day one there was Soy milk available too. Cool...! I quickly picked up a few nick-names: ferret (one who likes to ride fast) and sailor man (one who eats raw spinach often) are the two that stick in my memory, but other riders also participated in adding spinach to their PB&J sandwiches (raw spinach is like #3 on the list of nutritious foods-very good for you). I packed some foods just in case, but didn't use much of it. I was expecting to loose some weight, but came home at very close to the same weight as when I left. This I attribute to eating well and not quite exercising at the level that I was expecting to (lower calorie burn).

Pledges: many have pledged support for the DRC scholarship project that we are raising funds for. The goal that I had hoped to reach has been meet and even exceeded! I'm very excited about that as I see my time, efforts and expenses as the investment and the pledges as God's return for those in the DRC. It is not to late to make a pledge if you would like to do so. You can use the link on the right side of this blog to do so online or to find out mailing information.

This has been a very neat experience and I'm very glad to have been a part. Thank you all who have been encouraging and praying for all of us.

[If something is missing that you are interested in, please ask in a comment and I'll try to answer any and all questions. :-) ]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thank you for your prayers!

It has been a very emotional time for me over the past 48 hours. I want to express my depestest sincere gratitude for those who have prayed for me and my family and for our team. There is power in prayer and I was able to see first hand God's miraculous and gracious hand upon my life.

My wife, Angie left me a note for each day of the tour which included a Bible verse. The day of my accident, she left me Philippians 3:12-14. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. I started this tour with the goal of accomplishing 600 miles in 6 days. But the night before the accident, I felt so compeled to pray for revival in every church we passed. It wasn't about the bike ride, but about the people. I believe I stepped on Satan's toes as the country we live in needs to see the power of God unleashed and that begins with praying and being in the Word of God. May the physical pain I expereince be a reminder to continue to pray for churches.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Finishing the course

After 6 days on the road traveling 600 miles, our cycle team completed the final leg of their journey this afternoon, arriving at their destination in Orlando at 3pm to a warm reception from the Wycliffe Bible Translators USA staff.

The team will be posting the final details of the journey soon right here on the blog, but I'd like to thank you for your continued prayers for our team. They are excited and energized by their interactions on the road, and you can see photos of their final arrival here.

I'll leave the rest of the details to the cyclists, but thanks again for taking this journey with us.

God bless.

Update on Jon

Thank you all for your prayers on behalf of the cyclists, and specifically for Jon Barker. Jon is currently recovering from surgery this morning, and the doctors expect him to being a small amount of physical therapy very soon. The surgery went well and he is now resting at the hospital with his family.

Thank you again, and we will post updates soon about the team's arrival in Orlando.

God bless.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

URGENT: Prayer update for the cycle team

Thank you for your prayers thus far for our Wycliffe and JAARS colleagues. They have been cycling from the JAARS center in Waxhaw, NC to the Wycliffe USA headquarters in Orlando to share the message of Bible translation with churches along the route.

Jon Barker, one of our JAARS riders, was involved in an accident this morning near Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach, Fla., and will be undergoing surgery later today to repair damage to his femur and leg. Please pray for healing for Jon and safety for the rest of the ride team as they continue making the journey to Orlando later this afternoon. Jon will be joined by his family today as they are en route to Amelia Island at this time.

We will update this blog once more details are available, but please feel free to leave comments and encouragement for Jon and the team here in the comments section of this post.

-Dustin Moody

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This is a picture of my son, Austin and my daughter Abbi when we departed Waxhaw, NC on Saturday. It's been a very fun time riding our way to Florida. If I stop to think too hard about the miles we have put in, I might not get myself up off my air matress tomorrow morning! This has definitely been a God event and we have seen His hand of protection and provision for this team. I struggeld with a migrane the first 2 days of this event and the outpouring of prayer support has sustained me. This morning I lost a medication I take every day. One of the guys told me this morning that he was having his prayer team pray for me. God sustained me through the day until I could get my prescription refilled at a CVS just a block up from a church that we are staying at tonight. So even in my ability to loose things, God has a solution.
[Photos: not in time order
- a shot of the group riding down the road after entering FL this afternoon (taken low from handlebar level.
- one of the churches we passed today, there were three people waiting on the porch for us to pass by. So we stopped and visited and had a time of prayer together. Pastor Charles sent us off with sweet and wonderful prayer!
- one of our sag stops today showing the van and trailer and some of the bikes. The table with food is not shown. (Don't want you all to be jealous....)]

About 30 miles down the road we came across a church that had some people on the porch and we waved and greeted --- then about 20 feet down the road started thinking "Hey we need to stop and go back..." -Slow thinkers. So we went back and had a nice visit with Pastor Charles and two church members. One of them said she was older than everyone of us, and we have a couple guys in the 'experienced' ages, but sure enough she was older and we all laughed as she gives credit to God and is doing Great! We visited briefly and then prayed together. It was more fruit from the efforts of those who went before us through prayer and 'hands on' delivering the information about us being there. If you look closely at the picture you can see the sign on the door that was part of the information left the weekend before we got there. It was a great reminder that God has his people and we are not alone - even if we don't know who or where they are ... they are there.
Tonight we are at Crossroads Family Worship Center in Callahan, FL. Pastor Herb took us all out for Mexican food after we cleaned up. It's been neat to have such hospitality and to be just welcomed in - a common occurrence these last few days! I think he's running to the store to pickup some food for our breakfast tomorrow - very kind...sure enough. Breakfast stuf has been purchased and delivered, access to the washing machine, keys, ... so kind.
We haven't had our meeting yet, so I'm not sure what details lie ahead for tomorrow. It is supposed to be another 100 mile day.
We're praying for more meetings with people like we had today. It was a sweet day in that regard! It has been great to meet those who are equally commited to God
It's almost 10 - so I'm signing off for today. It was a great day in every regard!!


Today was a disappointing day at the end. (I realize that I always seem to be grousing on this blog, and that's not really how I feel about this event) I was forced to retire by saddle-sores after 384 miles in nearly four days of riding. I feared problems with my knee. I wasn't prepared to be defeated by something as mundane as saddle-sores. That's where the 21 years since the last time I did something like this made themselves felt, I guess! :-)
I'm so proud of the guys I've ridden with. God has forged a team out of a disparate bunch of cyclists who had never ridden before. It is soooo much fun to ride with them! I'm so blessed by the church-people we've met along the way. May our effort encourage them to "Go the distance" in the field that God has placed before them for harvest. I'll help with the SAG and watch the others ride on with (the proper sort of) envy.