51 Year Old Legs


Saturday’s final day of the Ride for Hope was the most punishing of all. 107 kilometres from start to finish with lots of very serious climbing and one major descent. Add strong headwinds and you have a recipe for several grueling hours on the bike.

To be honest, I found the day rather exhilarating. While it was a very tough day, and I could have done with quite a lot more training before the event, my 51 year old legs seemed to remember what to do and carried me across the hills with far more ease than I had expected.

My bike computer tells me that from Monday to Saturday I cycled 528.3 km from Albany to Perth. I cycled with 29 other riders, supported by an incredible team of 9.

I enjoy the cycling part of rides like Ride for Hope but I love what they’re able to achieve. Thanks to some very generous supporters the ride raised over $50 000 between two very worthwhile causes, with around $27 000 so far headed to Compassion to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

If I could communicate anything to you about why I ride it would be that Compassion’s programs work. I know that beyond a doubt because I’ve personally seen it in five of the twenty six countries where it’s working, in both rural and urban areas.

I also know that the programs work because independent research that was released last year shows it very clearly.

Compassion child sponsorship works. Independent research shows that children who participated in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program between 1980 and 1992 stayed in school longer, were more likely to have salaries and white-collar employment, and were more likely to be leaders in their communities and churches than their peers who did not participate in the program. Once Compassion sponsored children, these adults are now making a difference in their communities as mums, dads, pastors, teachers, doctors, even members of parliament.

The ride may be over for 2014 but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to contribute. While we’ve unpacked our bags, cleaned our bikes and put our feet up for a little while, poverty hasn’t stopped. You can still make a difference for those in extreme poverty by donating through my fundraising page. I hope and pray that you’ll consider giving generously.

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I Wanted to Complain


I wanted to complain today. As we left Wagin to cycle towards Narrogin and then onto Pingelly, I wanted to complain about the wind that was smashing into our team of riders on Ride for Hope 2014. I wanted to complain but I couldn’t

I couldn’t complain because my difficult day on the bike was nothing compared to the experiences of the mother and child I sat with in their tiny home in Rwanda. In that small one roomed home with it’s dirt floor and tin roof they told me that if it wasn’t for Compassion they would both be dead.

I wanted to complain about the mosquitoes that buzzed around my legs at our morning tea spot but we had insect repellent. Our discomfort was nothing compared to the devastating results of mosquito bites in many of the countries where Compassion is working. At least the mosquitoes we encountered weren’t carrying malaria or other deadly diseases.

There’s a lot that can upset our days but I find myself less and less able to complain. When I think of the stories of genocide I heard in Rwanda earlier this year I am reminded just how much reason I have to count my blessings. I also realise that I have a responsibility to bring hope and healing wherever I can. That’s why I’m cycling around 520 kilometres in six days, raising money for Compassion.

Can I encourage you to consider all the reasons you can be thankful and then give someone else a reason to be thankful by sponsoring my ride with your donation to Compassion. Please visit my fundraising page today.

If you’d like to hear my interview with Tim Long of 98five Sonshine FM just click play on the audio player below.

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A tough day ahead on the road


A couple of days down and a new day about to begin. I’m on the Ride for Hope, cycling from Albany to Perth, a distance of around 520 kilometres for Compassion. I’m riding with 29 other cyclists and being supported by t a great crew. We’re all determined to make a difference for others and I invite you to play your part by sponsoring my ride.

Day one brought rain, constant traffic and a few hills. It was a tough day. Our second day from Cranbrook to Katanning was a great day for cycling. The wind behind us at time, mostly smooth roads, fewer hills, and an amazing stop for lunch at Tambellup, where we’re always looked after with an absolute feast for lunch.

You can hear an interview I did with Tim Long from 98five before we started our second day by clicking the play button on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

Today we leave for Wagin. The forecast tells us it’s going to be hot and that there’ll be storms rolling in. We’re hoping to get to our destination by the middle of the day to avoid the coming hail storms. There will be hills today to slow us down. It may be the shortest day of our journey in distance but it won’t be the easiest.

If you know anything about me you’ll know that I work for Compassion, but I’m not supporting Compassion simply because it’s my job to do so.

I work for Compassion because I am convinced that there is no more effective organisation serving the world’s poor. I have seen no other method of working with those in poverty that even comes close to the way that Compassion is working.

I’ve seen Compassion’s work first hand in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Every time I visit another church that is partnering with Compassion I am amazed at the change it is making in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our world, children.

My fund raising target is $2000. I’m still a long way from achieving that goal so please consider making your contribution while I continue to battle the conditions.

Please consider giving whatever you can. Every donation of $2 or more is tax deductible in Australia. (Donations are still welcome from anywhere in the world.)

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need your support, simply visit my fundraising page.

I can assure you that your money will be well spent in releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

For the 13th consecutive year, Compassion International has earned the highest rating for U.S. charities from Charity Navigator—the nation’s largest charity evaluator. The 4-out-of-4 stars rating places Compassion International in the top one-percent of non-profits reviewed by Charity Navigator

Let me thank you in anticipation of your support for children in poverty.

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I’m sitting safely inside after getting buffeted by the wind on the way here. We beat the storm but it’s coming. I can hear the thunder and see the lightning, We dodged it today but tomorrow maybe a soggy affair.

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The Big Day is Almost Here


It’s cold, wet and windy. Sunday afternoon and I’m in Albany, contemplating cycling out of here in the morning in stormy conditions. I could take the easy way out and jump in a support vehicle but when Ride for Hope 2014 begins, I’ll be on my bike … rain, hail or shine.

I’m not a ‘macho hero’, I’m simply a guy who has seen the end result of rides like this. While I’m cycling over 500 kilometres from Albany to Perth, there’ll be children in extreme poverty who benefit from my sore muscles. While I know that I’ll have a lot of fun on the ride, I also know there’ll be tough stretches when my legs will ask again, why are we doing this? I’m not fully fit, I’m not fully prepared, but I’m willing to stretch myself for the children who will receive the help they need through Compassion.

There are others on this ride, many who you can see in the photo above, who are nervous about what this week holds. This is the first ride for many. They’ve trained but they still don’t really know what tests await them. Like me, they’re prepared to take on the ride because they know of the great benefit that others will receive.

I want to do a deal with you. I’m prepared to face whatever comes and do my very best to make every kilometre if you are prepared to sponsor me. Maybe $5, maybe $10, maybe $500. Whatever you can afford will make a world of difference. You can support me by going to my fundraising page. Please click the link and help a child living in extreme poverty now.

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World Teachers’ Day 2014


Last Sunday was World Teacher’s Day. I could never be a school teacher but I do admire those who choose that profession and who work to build into the lives of young people all around the world. I know that many are selfless and dedicated and that they are an absolute credit to their profession. They are extremely deserving of more than a single day to recognise their contribution to the young lives they help to shape.

I’ve written about my experiences with school teachers before in my post Words that Scar.

I’ve often heard people talking about the amazing teachers they’ve had and the difference they’ve made in their lives. While I’m glad that there are many amazing teachers around the world who have been such incredible motivators and role models for others, whenever I hear people talking about them I must admit to feeling some sadness. I never had one of those wonderful teachers.

So while I can’t claim to have had any teachers who have inspired me towards greatness, I know that each of my teachers played a part in bringing me to where I am today.

On the other hand, I think that there are many people who may not have any official title as ‘teacher’ but who have taught me so much. Close friends, workmates, pastors and others have all played their part in teaching me. While I may be slow to learn the lessons that many have taught, I know that a variety of people have influenced me. My wife and my children have been great teachers in so many ways.

Who are the people who don’t hold the title of ‘teacher’ yet have taught you some great life lessons?

You may or may not have had career teachers who have inspired you but I’m sure you’ve had others in your life who have been unofficial teachers. Who are they and what have they taught you?

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