The above picture shows your cycling crew this past Thursday with ten people biking together, the most yet! We have had a total of 19 cyclists on the trail with us thus far and several more as shadow riders, cycling from home. I think it is one of the most encouraging things to see people bike alongside the crew as we head to Virginia. There have been 4 people who have taken up our “#dayridechallenge”, found on social media. We eagerly listen for more people who want to do the same! Will you, or someone you know, be the next person to ride with us? Comment here or contact us on Facebook or Instagram to learn more!

“We’re still in Kansas, Toto”

Our time in this state has allowed for a lot of contemplation of the fields and the sky and the wonder of God’s creation. There are truly very few things to distract from the open road and our heavenly Father. This Monday we passed 65 miles from Garden City to Rush Center in the first of four days of 100-degree heat plus humidity. The team led worship at Larned New Beginnings Church, while others helped out with a ministry opportunity, at the local movie theatre. It was a blessing for both the team and the church congregation to have extra volunteers.

Our second day took the team 66 miles from Larned to Sterling. The wind was was exceptionally annoying, 15 mph headwinds for the first 20 miles, even though it wicked away some of the humidity experienced by the riders. Our campground sported a refreshing community pool, a lakeside view, and power for our RVs. A small world connection brought Lloyd Thorpe, former computer science professor at NNU, together with one of our leg riders, George Zickefoose. Lloyd graciously showed a group of the team his 1887 house restoration project. He then woke up at 2:50am the following morning to drive to Wichita and back to bring George up to speed with the crew! God continues to reveal to us that He has us in his hands, unknown details and all.

While we still may be in Kansas, the exotic animal farm we saw on Wednesday transported us far away from the corn fields we see each day. The owner of the farm tours around the country with zebras and ostriches, training them for races. His property was home to caribou, zebra, ostriches, giraffes, long-horned cattle, camels, elk, and several other interesting species. While this detour was exciting, it led to a jaunt that would take half the crew 19 miles off course, in South Hutchinson, not Buhler. 45 miles of 100-degree heat brought the crew from the Quiver Wildlife Refuge to Hutchinson. What seemed to be a mistake would lead to a blessed encounter the following day. That evening however, was a big milestone for Pedal to Plant! Two services were held, one in Hutchinson and one at Indian Hills Church of the Nazarene. The service at Indian Hills was covered by two TV stations, the local subsidiaries of PBS, called KPTS, and ABC, called KAKE. The PBS connection came from a connection with leg rider Grant Dewey, and the ABC connection came from one of the congregates at Indian Hills. The broadcast clip from KAKE can be found at here: | Wichita, Kansas News, Weather, Sports

The third and fourth riders from our #dayridechallenge came on Thursday, making 10 riders, our largest yet! While the heat was stifling, our cyclists powered through. The detour made the previous day lead to the discovery of the perfect end point for the crew. Tammy, daughter to friends of friends of the Roskams (follow that?), graciously opened up her home for Gatorade and cookie bars after a grueling day in the heat. After her Nazarene parents discovered, while playing cards of all things, discovered the Pedal to Plant crew would cross her path, passed on the info to their daughter, and the rest is a special memory. The Nazarene church in Newton rallied for an intimate time of worship and sharing, and put the riders up at homestays. The evening rains that fell encouraged the agricultural town of Newton, and cleared up in time for the riders to head out in the morning.

Leaving from the Tammy’s house, the team added Gene and Larita Schandorff back to the trip, after they enjoyed time with nearby family. The weather was mild, a balmy 83 degrees with humidity. The riders were grateful for the break from triple digits. Friday the team cycled 63 miles from Newton to Eureka, ending with frozen drinks from our new favorite stop, Sonic. The evening service for the crew included a meal, and a testimony from our very own, Ruthie Hughes! Her honest words about how she overcame addiction moved powerfully in the hearts of the people gathered there. Later that evening, with some help from the Severy Church of the Nazarene, the team was able to find beds to stay in!

The flatlands of Western Kansas have given way to the rolling hills leading to Missouri. The ups and downs of the ride tested the riders in their endurance, going 63 miles from Eureka to Chanute. Flat tires on bikes and support vehicles made for a difficult Saturday. We continue to face opportunities to rely on God’s providence to get us through, as tiresome as those opportunities may be. In the end, we made it safely to our campground and homestays, anticipating a restful Sabbath.

The morning services at Chanute Nazarene were filled with the movement of the Spirit. The worn spots on the altars, observed by Mike Roskam, indicated that this church is a house of prayer. In the second service, the number of people who came forward to support a congregant who is leaving, supported that observation. All in all, this week has been overflowing with blessing and memorable encounters. We are thankful for your support of this trip and actively prepare to update you in our week 8 recap post! Check our Pedal to Plant profiles on Facebook and Instagram to support the team financially and prayerfully!

Churches who’ve hosted us; Churches visited this week are below in bold

  • Liberty Bible of Barberton, WA
  • Hilltop Church of Astoria, OR
  • Tillamook Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • Lincoln City Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • Church on the Hill of McMinnville, OR
  • Eugene Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • Sisters Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • Mission Church of Bend, OR
  • John Day Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • Baker City Church of the Nazarene, OR
  • McCall Church of the Nazarene, ID
  • Grangeville Church of the Nazarene, ID
  • Missoula First Church of the Nazarene, MT
  • Bitterroot Valley Church of the Nazarene, MT
  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Dubois, WY
  • Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene, Kinnear, WY
  • Riverton Church of the Nazarene, WY
  • Jeffrey City Community Church, WY
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Rawlins, WY
  • St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Granby, CO
  • High Country Church of the Nazarene, Buena Vista, CO
  • Lincoln Park Church of the Nazarene, CO
  • Garden City Church of the Nazarene, KS
  • Larned New Beginnings Church of the Nazarene, KS
  • Indian Hills Church of the Nazarene, Wichita, KS
  • Hutchinson First Church of the Nazarene, KS
  • Newton First Church of the Nazarene, KS
  • Jefferson Street Baptist Church, Eureka, KS
  • Severy Church of the Nazarene, KS
  • Church of the Nazarene, Chanute, KS

Check back soon with us to follow our pedaling journey across the country! If you’d like more instant updates on where we are, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, where we will regularly post our status and location!

Pedal to Plant is an extraordinary endeavor biking 4,200 miles to raise $600,000 for 6 church plants overseas next year. Will you partner with us to make that dream a reality?