Reality Bites

Do you have big plans for 2018? I know that I certainly do.

I can no longer put off the urgency of what I’ll be doing by saying, ‘next year’.

This is where reality bites. Later this year I hope to be cycling right across Australia.

The Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast will be a huge event that will make a major impact for children living in extreme poverty.

The ride will start on Saturday the 15th of September. We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, NSW on Tuesday the 16th of October, having cycled over 4300 km. There’ll be 28 riding days and 4 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be just over 150 km. Our longest days will be just under 200 km.

I have quite some experience with the ride aspect of the trip having cycled across Australia five times previously but knowing that this time will be in support of Compassion is an extra thrill for me. That previous experience doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. Far from it.

So far, I’ve cycled across Australia in my twenties, thirties, and forties. This year I’ll be in my mid-fifties. The distances will feel longer. The training will be harder. The aches will last longer.

So, what’s getting me back on my bike after all these years?

For just over four years I’ve been working for Compassion, a Christian international holistic child development organisation.

I’ve visited Compassion’s work in 7 of the 25 developing countries we serve and I’ve met many children living in extreme poverty who are being released from poverty in Jesus’ name. I recall the faces of children like little Ammanuel in Ethiopia as his mother stood in the small room with its dirt floor that is their home.

She told me through her tears that neither of them would still be alive today if it weren’t for Compassion. That story and many others like it compel me to do whatever I can to bring hope to more children.

If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.

You can sponsor a child living in poverty. By using that link your sponsorship will count towards my fundraising goal while releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

The other way you can support my ride is by making a direct donation to my fundraising page. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund.

Every child in poverty is vulnerable, but some children are at risk of the most deplorable situations in the world.

Children whose parents who have left, died, or are unable to provide for them, children exposed to exploitation and children with special needs are highly vulnerable. They often find themselves on the edge of extremely dangerous situations like child labour, gang violence, trafficking, and life on the street.

The Long and Winding Road

So there is quite literally a long road ahead for me this year but the journey starts now. I’ll be doing my best to fulfill my responsibilities in training, fundraising and then riding. Will you support me on this massive venture?

It’s unacceptable that millions of children are living in extreme poverty so I’m putting my body on the line to do whatever I can to make a difference for as many of those children as I can.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope? Sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.

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Ride for Compassion 2016


I woke up this morning a little sore but mostly feeling extremely satisfied as I reflect on the week that has just passed.

Every year since 2009 I’ve cycled between Albany and Perth, a distance of over 500 kilometres. Last week I was out there again with around 20 other cyclists, supported by a wonderful support crew, riding 526.5 kilometres from Albany to Perth over six days. We arrived home, after a fantastic trip, yesterday afternoon.

As well as having an amazing time with an incredible group of people, we were raising funds for some children who are living in extreme poverty.

Ride for Compassion

Funds raised from this year’s ride will increase access to toilet facilities and services for 530 children and 300 adult beneficiaries through construction of 10 toilets at two Compassion centres in Tanzania. The project will raise awareness, skills and knowledge of registered children and parents/caregivers on good sanitation and hygiene practices.

The facilities will reduce the risks of disease outbreaks to 530 registered children, youth and other users in the centres.

In 2015, the World Health Organisation and UNICEF found that 663 million people worldwide still lack improved drinking water sources, while 2.4 billion people lack improved sanitation facilities.

Inadequate access to safe water and proper sanitation has a devastating effect on people’s health, especially children’s. Around 760,000 children under five die of diarrhoea each year, mostly in developing countries—that’s more than 2000 children every day.

A 2005 UN study showed that, by providing improved sanitation and teaching simple behaviours like washing hands, we can reduce cases of diarrhoea by 35 per cent—and deaths caused by diarrhoea by 37 per cent.

That means that while we were out enjoying the richness of Australia, we were providing for other people who we’re unlikely to ever meet. What an absolute honour to serve others in that way.

Why Compassion?

If you’ve been reading my blog for any time 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, Rwanda, Thailand and the Philippines. 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.

If you’d like to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need your support, it’s not too late to visit my fundraising page.

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

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Keys for Ministry Longevity

Ministry Longevity

For some it may just be a season, but for others it becomes a long term issue that can even end their ministries. We might not like to admit it, but most ministry leaders go through times where they lose their passion and energy for the things they used to love.

Over time, many pastors and others working in full time ministry suffer from burnout, mental breakdown or serious illness. Other causes, such as moral failings or loss of faith, see leaders leaving the ministry or even walking away from God.

How can you ensure that you remain passionate and effective over a life time of Christian ministry? What are you doing to give your ministry team the best opportunity to go the distance and finish well?

Compassion Australia is partnering with 98five to present a one day seminar for a range of Christian ministry leaders. If you know any ministry leaders or pastors in the Perth area, please feel free to pass on the details. You could even just use the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post to share the details through Facebook, email or whatever.

Keys for Ministry Longevity is a one day seminar with Keith Farmer, Peter Brain and Rob Furlong. It’s an opportunity for you and your team to benefit from many decades of ministry experience and learn practical ways to continue serving God and others over the long term.

Date: Thursday 16th June 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Venue: The Rocks, 26 Cecil Avenue, Cannington
Cost: $60 including morning tea and light lunch. Group bookings of 10+ $50pp.

Click this link to register.

You can click on the photo below to see a larger version and to read more about the three speakers.


This seminar is a valuable opportunity to support you and your team as you seek to engage your community. We hope that you’ll join us.

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Tourists at Home


For the last several weeks we’ve had an extra person in our home. Malo is a French exchange student who lives on Reunion Island. Last Saturday we did the tourist thing and headed a little north of Perth to Lancelin for some and boarding then on to the Pinnacles.

It’s funny how we often forget so many of the attractions in our own areas until we need to show tourists around. Over the past five weeks we’ve seen a fair bit of our own city and surrounds.

What are some of the ‘local attractions’ around you that you only enjoy when visitors drop in?

Below is a handful of the photos I took last Saturday while on our adventure. Click on the images for a closer look.

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National Camera Day

Courtesy of: SnapKnot

I’ve just found out that it’s National Camera Day. It’s not a day that’s celebrated in Australia but I reckon any day is a good day to ‘focus’ on taking photos.

Even without knowing that the 29th of June is a day to celebrate cameras, I did manage to grab a snap or two while I was out and about this afternoon.

Here’s a photo I took of a magnificent old tree in Kings Park, overlooking Perth, Western Australia.


You can click on the photo to see a slightly larger version.

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