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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Looking Forward!

Huge prayers have already been answered for next summers trip!

I have a camera!!!

Praise God for how He provided! I am so excited for this trip and the chance to tell the stories of what God is doing and what He has done. I am a little nervous too because I have never done anything to this magnitude before.

Yes, I have done it on a bike but put a camera in my hand and its a whole different ball game. So before I mix any more sports metaphors, I will say this: if rides in the past are any indication of what this summer will be like, I expect God to do some amazing things!

"Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf!" (Psalm 66:5 NIV84)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Next Summer!

I am pretty excited about this! I will share more about this later.   FCBA 2014!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mary

Last weekend in all the hustle and bustle of my own life, I did not forget about a promise I made back in March. On our build day in Tupelo, I met a woman named Mary. She was finishing her last semester of college while taking care of her aging Mom, helping look after her grandson and I imagine lots of other activities. She's not a traditional student nor does her life look anything like mine but for that one day, we were a team. She helped me and another rider lay the floor in her Mom's kitchen.

Meeting Mary was a blessing. I think that sometimes its dangerous to help others because we can start to see ourselves as better because our we don't need "help like that." We also must walk the delicate balance of not letting our personal cultural norms dictate how we treat others. It seems like there are two options for helping others, to see them as people or projects.

My natural instinct is to choose projects. Its not as messy that way. There is less entanglement of the heart but its not appropriate. Its cold and judgmental. I admit all of that flutter through my head on that day in Tupelo. But within seconds of meeting Mary and her family, that all fell away. I stopped living in the confines of my head and let my heart lead.

I found myself talking to a lovely woman who was doing the best she could for her family. She knew about the work her Mom's house needed but didn't have the funds or the time to do the work. That's why I love the Fuller Center. That day we stepped in and helped fill in the gaps. And Mary was right there beside us.

Last weekend, Mary graduated from college and I promised I would pray for her. I would pray for her future and that of her family. I would pray she would find a job in her field and take steps towards her goals. You should have seen her face when she talked about graduation and the opportunities it would bring. 

Remembering her is another reminder to me that God is so much bigger than I am. That people are more important than projects, even if it gets messy. There's also great joy to be had. Not because of my work but because of the work of Christ in our lives. Meeting
Mary was a blessing because I looked into the face of a woman who is living proof of that. 

There are people like that all around us, if we are paying attention. I know I need to starting looking around more. And I will start by continuing to pray for Mary and her family. Will you join me?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Final Numbers!

Hey Everyone! I am terribly behind in just post this now but a huge thank you is in order!!!!

Together we raised $1100 for families in need this spring! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

All the Spring Riders raised about $28,000!!! Praise God!

Families all over the globe will be helped because of these funds.

Sadly as I posted earlier this week my 2013 FCBA Adventures are over but thankfully I can relive them here Trip Pictures !

Thanks again and don't worry this isn't the last adventure :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

this summer

As I rode my bike the other day a sad realization came over me, I have had my Fuller Center Bike Adventure for the year. There will be no more Vanilla Oreo's from Tom (his blog) or cheeseburger updates from Kurt, I will get to sleep in a bed and be in the same place every night. And I won't have to eat my weight in bananas and peanut butter unless I want to. These may be simple examples but I am sad that I won't get to experience them this summer.

This is the first summer in three years that I will be home. I know that many wonderful adventures and opportunities to serve await me. But it won't be the same. There is something special about living in such close quarters, riding bikes and helping others that is uncommon in everyday life. Maybe that's because its so removed from everyday life.

Most of us have friends and family around but not to the degree of these trips. We normally have a little distance beyond sleeping, eating and breathing the same air as thirty others. But that is exactly what I am going to miss. My Fuller Center family.

We will ride together again and I will enjoy my summer at home. Yet, knowing they will be on the road without me pulls at my heart strings a bit. It helps me to remember what a treasure, challenge and blessing it is to be a part of this family.

So ride on my family and enjoy the adventure of serving others through cycling. I pray that your socks are blessed off in Christ and I will see you soon!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rain Ride

I can't believe I have been home for a week already, from my ride with the Fuller Center for Housing Bike Adventure. Our ride down the Natchez Trace was incredible. We experienced some of the worse weather I have ever ridden in. We also ate some of the best food I have ever had on a bike adventure. Once again my Fuller Center family grew and I was blessed by my time on and off the bike. I hope to share some of the stories from the ride over the next few weeks. I will begin with this one.

There are days on the bike where it seems like you can't pedal another mile or sit a second longer. There are also days when you and your bike feel like one and like riding it is the thing you were made to do. On this trip I experienced both kinds of days. It was my love of cycling that got me into riding with the Fuller Center but I think it is these adventures which keep me riding. 

One day it was around 40 degrees and rainy making it terrible riding weather. We were to go about 75 miles. As we left in the morning and the cold rain splashed against my face, I couldn't help but think about the people who don't have shelter.Those who have no dry place to sleep out of the wind and rain. We went out in the rain by choice and as the day went on I knew soon enough I would be warm and dry again. But that isn't true for everyone.

It was that thought that kept me pedaling all day. By God's grace I didn't turn into an ice cube and my bag was close enough to the door of the trailer that I could change my socks at each stop. This day was one of the hardest days I have ever ridden both physically and mentally. I'm not telling this story to boast about my accomplishments but rather to say how tremendously blessed I am.

I often look at my struggles and wonder how I will make it through difficult times but I have been blessed with options. We all went to bed that night warm and dry. These are such simple things and tremendous blessings. I am not better than the person who does not have a place call home, nor have I done anything miraculous to earn such a place. But God has given it to me and that is why I ride.

The riches I have in Christ spill over into want to help others because of  the blessings I have received, even in that means riding in the rain. Those who didn't finish the ride that day are no less interested in helping others or less blessed but perhaps a bit smarter than I am. :)

I guess what I am saying is that from that day I was reminded how much I really have. And it took a cold day in the rain to remind me of that fact. "Look at what God has done!" Using a miserable day on the bike to remind me how He has been taking care of me. That sounds about right. :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Road Trip

We made it to Jackson safe and sound! We had a police escort into town which was awesome! It was a great week and another wonderful adventure with the Fuller Center Bike Adventure!
We are currently driving back to Nashville. (I am blogging from my phone)
I am sad to leave this great group and already looking forward to the next time I can ride with them. Stay tuned for more from this week as I get home and process this adventure to help families in need.
Thanks again for all support!!! I wouldn't be here without you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

MISSISSIPPI

Tupelo build day!

Official Fuller Center Blog

Hey Everyone! Greetings from Houston, MS! We had a short ride today which was a bit chilly and beautiful. Please check out the links above for a news story and blog about our build day yesterday in Tupelo.

I will write more about the ride when I get home and have a computer so for now little snippets like this will get us through for now. Thanks for all your support and see you soon!

Monday, March 18, 2013

An Update from the Road

Fuller Center Bike Adventure Blog

Hey Everyone!!! Please check out the link above for tales of our first day of the ride courtesy of my fellow rider Dan.

Today's adventure was equally exciting as we rode 55 miles the rain. (Some might have called it a thunderstorm at times.) I was cold but I was surprised how much I enjoyed myself. I hope tomorrow's   96 miler will be just as fun and perhaps drier.

Thank you for all your prayers and support! Praise God for all He is doing that is bigger than me. Our socks are getting blessed off in Christ!

Please stay tuned for more stories for on Wednesday we build!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

So Close!

Praise God!!!

Just a few more days and the Spring Ride will begin! I am so thankful that the weather was nice enough to ride outside both yesterday and today. And that I have reached my fundrasing goal!!!

A few days ago, I was feeling nervous about all the details which makes a trip like this possible but as I have watch God provide I have grown in confidence that He is again doing some wonderful things. I look forward to see what He has planned for the trip itself.

Please pray for us as we travel and build relationships with each other and those we meet along the way. People are really want make these trips special.


So stay tuned for all the stories of adventure to come. I leave on Friday! :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Two Weeks to Go!

I can't believe there are only two weeks until the start of the FCBA Spring Ride! My hours on the trainer are increasing. With snow on the ground here, I am praying that sometimes before I leave I will actually get to ride outside.

My Mom so graciously reminded me yesterday that I will have to keep my bike upright once its off the trainer... I hope I remember how. I watched this "instructional" video to jog my memory:


What can I say? I am bananas about helping families in need. :) Will you consider Helping Too?

THANK YOU!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Three weeks to GO!

Hi Everyone!!!

We have three weeks until the adventure officially begins! I am getting really excited and spending more time on my bike to get ready.

Please pray for us and our preparations. I think a pretty cool group is assembled and I look forward to catching up and growing my FCBA family. You can see who I will be riding with here: Meet the Riders

THANK YOU to Everyone who has donated thus far. If you are still considering donating to ride, please do so at My Personal Fundraising Page. I am about $350 away from reaching my goal of $750.

Together we can help families in need one prayer, one pedal and one penny at a time!

Thank You!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meeting V

Today I met a woman named V. She is 99 and half and will be 100 in June. I don't think I have ever met anyone as old as her before. Talking with her touched my heart. Her hands were warm and she has a beautiful smile. She told us some random stories about her life making it clear she has seen a lot in her near century of life.

It was humbling for me to meet V. She and her daughter (who is in her 80s) live in a house that has fallen into disrepair. They nor their family have the means to fix it up. So with some fellow volunteers (with The Pittsburgh Project) I went to V's house for the day.

We painted and replaced part of the ceiling which had water damage. I also got to spend some quality time with V's great (possibly great great) grandchildren in between working. Somewhere in the midst of all this I realized as much as I like the practical help we were giving V and her family; it was meeting her that made the day special.

Their house isn't especially clean or nice. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. But even amongst that this place is already a home because of the people who live there. We were just helping to solidify their surroundings.

And that made today a gift. A blessing to me. This is the reason why I ride my bike with the Fuller Center. For people like V and her family. Whose surroundings need a little work to become a simple decent dwelling for the home which could be/is present there.

There are so many people like V, each with their own story and need. And when the opportunity arises for their stories to intersect mine, I am not sure who is more blessed by it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Thanks to my Mom!

Four years ago, when I announced to my parents that I would be leaving for a week to ride with The Fuller Center they were a bit apprehensive. It wasn't like me to just leave with strangers to ride my bike. When I got home there were lots of questions and probably a bit of relief. 
We have come a long way since that first ride. My parents, especially my Mom, have become some of my biggest supporters for riding with the Fuller Center. Its been anywhere from buying me a travel towel and toiletry bag to Clif bars to picking me up at the end of the ride. My parents no longer believe that this is just a chance for me to ride my bike. Its about helping other families get into simple decent homes. 
My Mom works at the local high school and has used their special jeans days as fundraiser for The Fuller Center. I am so blessed to say that this year she helped raise $220
Praise God!
I think its so great when my biological family and my FCBA family are joined together in a common goal!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Six Weeks!

The Spring Ride starts in six weeks. Six Weeks!

I am both excited and a bit nervous. I have been riding my trainer but I am not sure I will actually get to ride outside before the trip. Its currently snowing here in Pittsburgh.

Over the last few weeks since I signed up for the trip I have been thinking about my previous adventure with the Fuller Center. The video below captures one of my favorite.
We were on a build day in Craig, CO clearing a lot so the Fuller Center there could use it. Although we were having a lot of fun we also were doing some serious work. We moved around 2 tons of debris that day which took two trips to the city dump.

Its work like this that seems hard and tedious but clears the way for providing a family with a simple decent place to live. And for that reason I ride and "twig farm" for the Fuller Center for Housing! 
 
Please consider helping support my fundraising effort by visiting Support the Bike Adventure and choosing my name from the drop down menu.

Thanks for you support in the adventure!  And may twig farming continue where ever we are! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Prayer, One Pedal, One Penny! (at a time)

Dear Friend and Family!

Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is shaping up to be a year of grace, peace and adventure! My plans for this year are slowly coming together. I have decided to work with The Fuller Center for Housing http://www.fullercenter.org/ again. They are an affordable housing ministry which builds or renovates homes for families in 57 cities in the United States and 16 countries around the world. What's this work you ask?

It's to participate in The Fuller Center Bike Adventure's Spring Ride! It is a week long 400(ish) mile ride from Nashville, TN to Jackson, MS on the Natchez Trace Parkway. The trip is from March 15th-23rd (roughly 8 weeks away!) We will be also be working for a day with a Fuller Center Covenant Partner. http://www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure/springride

I cannot THANK YOU all enough for your support thus far and I could not resist the opportunity to be a part of this adventure, especially when I consider the past.
Did you know that in the last two years be have raised about $8000 for either new builds or renovations of families homes!!! To give that amount some perspective it is enough to build two homes in Sri Lanka!

Together we have been doing some awesome work! It may not feel like that to you, but to me it has been a been a tremendous blessing! And because we can trust that God is at work in ways we don't even know; we can be sure that every prayer, pedal and penny is being used for His glory and our good! How amazing is that!

Please consider joining me again on this adventure and follow it as it unfolds at my blog: http://sarahdcycles.blogspot.com/

The following are more ways to participate:

1. Pray: Please pray for us. Our requests to God are powerful and in Christ He hears us! Yet, there are risks in taking on such an endeavor. Therefore prayers for safety, community, and opportunities to help and serve are always appreciated.

2. Pedal: Please consider joining us! Whether in person or spirit. These trips are about serving others out of the overflow of Christ's work our behalf. I pray that you would seek ways to do serve in whatever area this makes sense in your world. However, I pray doubly that riding with the Fuller Center would be that option! :)

3. Penny: Please consider donating to the work of the Fuller Center. All of the money given goes directly to Fuller Center projects and is tax-deductible. I am merely a mouth piece on a bike. :)

This year I am raising $750. I hope to be able to do all my fundraising in person or via email and facebook. This would allow me to use the money I would spend on stamps can go to the Fuller Center instead. So I am raising $700!

You can donate by two ways:

Online: http://fullercenter.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=4    Please make sure to choose me: Sarah Doren in the rider drop down menu.

Or

By Mail: By sending a check with Sarah Doren Spring Ride in the memo to:

The Fuller Center for Housing
Attention: Bike Adventure
701 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Americus, GA 31719

Friday, January 11, 2013

FCBA Spring Ride 2013!

Here I come!!! I am looking forward to riding with my Fuller Center family again in March!

More details to come very soon but for now check out the Bike Adventure page: http://www.fullercenter.org/bikeadventure/meetthespringriders#Sarah_Doren