My Bicycle Crash

I crashed. I’m not hurt, but I did crash.

It wasn’t a physical crash. I didn’t hit anything or fall off my bike. It was a different kind of crash.

Things were going great. I was building up the kilometres on my bicycle, feeling good, but then one day after a ride, I put my bike in its usual place in the garage and that’s where it stayed. I haven’t really been out on my bike for a long time.

All that’s about to change. I’m 15 months away from starting my seventh crossing of Australia by bicycle. I need to reacquaint myself with my bike and with long hours of training.

Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast 2021 will leave Perth on Saturday the 18th of September next year. Over 4,000 kilometres later, on Wednesday the 20th of October 2021, we’ll arrive in Newcastle. We’ll cycle an average of 150 kilometres a day, with some days up around 200 kilometres.

Why am I doing it all again?

While COVID-19 has had significant effects for all of us, I’ve been deeply saddened to hear the estimates of the impact on the poorest people in our world. I heard a friend say that the current pandemic will push back the cause of reducing extreme poverty in our world by 10 years. It’s been estimated that between 40 million and 60 million people will return to extreme poverty. Think about that … between 40 million and 60 million people who had escaped extreme poverty being pushed back into that darkness. I just can’t comprehend that kind of devastation.

I’m riding for those children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in fairly desperate circumstances. I can’t not ride.

Will you help?

We’ve all faced difficulties in this time, but those in poverty don’t have a safe place to isolate. They don’t have any savings stashed away for the tough times. They barely had enough to survive before and now they have nothing.

You can make a very real difference. I’ll do the training. I’ll push my ageing body to do this one more time. Will you contribute to the cause?

I have set a personal target of $25,000. It’s a huge target and I have no idea how to get there, but I know how to ride my bike and I’m hoping and praying that you’ll help me raise funds for the most vulnerable in our world.

Whether you can afford $10 or $10,000, I’m pleading with you to consider donating today through my fundraising page. If you’re in Australia, your donation will be tax deductible. Wherever you are, your donation will save lives.

Please consider the difference you can make in these very difficult times.



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Richmond Wandera – Power over Poverty

When he was just eight years of age his father was murdered in front of his mother. That moment forced Richmond, his mother, and his siblings out of their home and into one of the world’s largest slums. Life had changed in an instant.

Back in February, in what now seems to be a whole different world, I had the honour of spending some time with Richmond Wandera during his short visit to Perth. His life was changed by a tragic event. His life was changed again when he was sponsored by a fifteen-year-old girl through Compassion.

During the many years I worked in radio I had the opportunity to meet a lot of inspirational people. I don’t think any of them were more inspirational than Richmond. He is a powerful storyteller and he has a very powerful story to tell. He has suffered malaria more than ten times, experienced extreme poverty, scavenged for food and seen things a child should never have to see.

Life now is very different. Richmond is a pastor and the founder of the Pastors’ Discipleship Network in several African countries.

The amazing thing is that while Richmond always carried that potential if it were not for the decision made by a fifteen-year-old girl to sponsor him, his life would look very different today.

Richmond Wandera – Power over Poverty

I’m so thrilled that my interview with Richmond is the very first full-length episode of my podcast, Bleeding Daylight.

Please listen to Richmond’s story in his own words at the website or wherever you usually find podcasts.

It will be really helpful if you can leave a review, especially on Apple Podcasts but you can also head to Google Podcasts, Spotify or most other podcast directories.

You can also follow the podcast on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please share the podcast wherever you can.

You can unlock someone’s potential too.

There are hundreds of thousands of children around the world who need someone to step up and help release their potential. You can be the person who brings change and hope to the life of a child. Please sponsor a child today through Compassion.



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When the War (on COVID-19) is Over

There will be an end to the current crisis. Plan now to do something amazing to celebrate when that time comes.

Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast 2021 is a one-month, 4,000km cycle across Australia from Perth to Newcastle, to help raise money for children living in poverty.

Check out the video below for a taste of what the ride will be like. (It’s even better if you watch it in full screen.)

You’re one ride away from changing lives.

I’ve mentioned before that the most vulnerable in any crisis are children living in extreme poverty. Why not plan now to ensure that when our lives start to return to normal (whatever that is) that those in the greatest need aren’t left behind.

We’re currently registering both cyclists and support crew.

For more information, or to register your interest, head to the Ride for Compassion website.



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The Most Vulnerable

I was only away for a week, but I came back to a very different Australia to the one I left.

Before I left, concerns were growing rapidly over COVID-19. Even at that stage a lot of travellers were cancelling their plans. There was nervousness in the community.

People were starting to stock up on what they considered to be essential items.

In the days before I flew out, hand sanitiser was nowhere to be found and there were empty spaces in shops and pharmacies where there used to be face masks.

I left Australia bound for the Philippines on the 3rd of March to see Compassion’s work in action. Within a couple of days, people back home seemed to be ratcheting up the panic.

Social media kept me up to date with life in my home country … and it wasn’t pretty.

To be fair, COVID-19 is a pretty big deal and will continue to be for quite some time. There’s a very real need for concern and more than that, for action. I can’t blame people for protecting themselves and those they love.

The difficulty for me was sitting with beautiful, courageous families who are living in makeshift shelters, with no electricity, running water or toilets, and then seeing videos in my Facebook feed of people in Australian supermarkets fighting over toilet rolls.

COVID-19 is stripping away our choices. It is tearing at our security. It is bringing unquestionable pain in the form of job losses, failing businesses, loss of connection and so much more.

When life eventually returns to normal, it will be a radically different kind of normal.

For many, there won’t be the opportunity to pick up where we left off. Unemployment is likely to be the long-term reality for many who previously had secure jobs. Many businesses will be unable to weather this storm and simply won’t be around when the virus has been defeated.

On top of all that comes the anxiety and the disconnection that comes with our isolation. Video catch ups don’t give hugs.

Many of us are likely to either be infected with the virus or be close to people who will suffer from COVID-19. Even worse, some of us will lose loved ones to this horrible virus.

In the midst of all of this, my heart is breaking for the children Compassion serves. Together with their families they are facing even greater risks.

In a time when we’re all feeling vulnerable, I really hope you’ll spare a thought, a prayer, and maybe even a gift for these children. They are the most vulnerable of all.

Past President of Compassion International, Wess Stafford spoke about the vulnerability of children in his book, Too Small to Ignore. While we are hearing that this virus is most deadly for the elderly, I think the paragraphs here still carry a lot of weight.

No matter what the setting, children seem to be a second-rate mandate. No matter what the ill of society, it tends to spiral downward and eventually land with its cruelest and most smothering impact on our littlest citizens.

Small, weak, helpless, innocent, vulnerable, and trusting, they are the waiting victims for our simple neglect and most evil abuse.

No matter what goes wrong, the little ones pay the greatest price.

When hunger and famine strike a nation, adults become weak and hungry, but it is the children who most often starve to death. When disease arrives with all its fury, adults can become very sick, but the first to die are usually the children.

When war erupts over ethnicity or boundary lines in the dust, it is the littlest victims who pay the most tragic price. The wars of the last decade killed more children than soldiers.

Far more children were injured or permanently maimed by our battles. The tragedies go on for years after the last gunshot or grenade blast, as land mines and booby-trapped toys keep wounding, terrorizing, and killing our innocent ones.

The ritual sacrifice of children has been taboo for thousands of years. Yet tragically it is practiced every day across our world.

We sacrifice children on the altars of our most destructive sins. When the sickness of pornography has run to its most evil and destructive end, it takes the form of child pornography.

When prostitution reaches its sickest, most depraved form, it becomes child prostitution. Perhaps a little closer to home is the reality that children are the sacrificial lambs when our homes break up through neglect, anger, hostility, and eventually divorce.

Kids frequently blame themselves for the destruction, carrying deep scars on their innocent spirits for a lifetime.

The last thing I would want to do is minimise the situation we all find ourselves in right now. We’re here through no fault of our own and we are not in control. That’s scary … and it’s pretty much how a lot of those in extreme poverty live their entire lives.

I would simply ask that as we face this unprecedented interruption to our lives, we consider those most vulnerable in our world. Children living in extreme poverty.



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A Transforming Hope

Beyond the countless palm trees and green fields, amongst the sounds of jeepneys and motorbikes, there are lives marked by heartbreak and lost hope.

Many of the people I’ll meet over the next few days have heard the voice of poverty saying, you are worthless. You don’t matter. Your situation is settled and unchangeable. Things will never get better.

I’m in the Philippines with a handful of others, once again seeing the work of Compassion, releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Thankfully there is a hope more powerful than the lies of poverty and I’ll be hearing about how that hope has invaded their lives, bringing transformation and the promise of a very different future to the one they were facing.

As I sit in a sparse hotel room with its peeling wallpaper, looking out the window at a Philippines flag fluttering proudly atop a tall flag pole, my mind goes back to another moment, thousands of kilometres and many years from here.

I remember gazing out an aeroplane window as we gathered speed and eventually took to the skies above Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. It was April 2008 and we had to leave hurriedly as riots took over the city.

It was the time of the Global Financial Crisis, resulting in the Global Food Crisis. Parents had no way to feed their families and in their frustration took to the streets.

“We’re safe.” I thought to myself as the buildings below grew smaller, while at the same time wondering about the millions left behind. That’s when I knew that I had to be a voice for those who have no voice.

If I were a better man I might be helping those in poverty in other ways, but I know that stories are powerful and so I will tell the stories of those I meet. I’ll tell their stories, hoping to connect the need of these incredible children and families with those who have the capacity to share a voice of hope.

In the coming days, I’ll share some stories of courage amidst hardship with you. I hope and pray that you’ll have the courage to respond by reaching across the oceans to let a child know that there is a hope more powerful than poverty.



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