On this day next year, the 18th of September 2021, I’ll start pedaling from Perth, Western Australia towards Newcastle, New South Wales. Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast will be my second time cycling across Australia for Compassion and my seventh crossing overall. I’ll be riding with around 30 other riders for a common cause.
We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, NSW on Wednesday the 20th of October, having cycled around 4,200 km. There’ll be 28 riding days and 5 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be 150 km. Our longest day will be just under 200 km.
Why would I do such a crazy thing?
For decades, the number of people living in extreme poverty has been falling. There have been huge leaps forward in consigning poverty to the history books. There was still a long way to go but the trajectory was promising.
Then …. 2020. While COVID-19 has affected us all, it has hit the most vulnerable the hardest. The World Bank has estimated that between 71 million and 100 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty due to the pandemic. I find that absolutely heartbreaking but it also motivates me to step in and do something about it. I need to be part of the solution.
This ride is part of my efforts to bring a solution.
If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.
You can sponsor a child living in poverty.
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. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s work.
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.
In the midst of these ongoing difficulties, COVID-19 has had a massive effect on children and their families. Now, more than ever, they need people like you and me to step in and play our part in showing them love, kindness and practical care.
Registrations for the ride close soon but if you’re interested in joining me on a bike or as part of the support team, head to the Ride for Compassion website.
I need to get fit. Really fit.
Over the next twelve months, I need to get myself into better shape than I have ever been. I’m going to have to be strategic and focused if I’m to drop a bunch of kilograms and put plenty of kilometres into my legs. I’ll need to be able to ride around a thousand kilometres a week for just over four weeks.
Taking part in the ride will take a huge effort.
But every effort I make to be part of the ride will be worth it because some things are unacceptable. It’s unacceptable that millions of children are living in extreme poverty. Next year I’ll put 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? Please sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.
Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading One Year Today? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.
Melinda Tankard Reist founded Collective Shout ten years ago, a grassroots campaigns movement for a world free of sexploitation in all its forms. She’s an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls.
Melinda is best known for her work addressing sexualization, objectification, harms of pornography, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and violence against women.
Constant abuse and sometimes even death threats have become common occurrences for Melinda Tankard Reist. Those reactions only serve to highlight the seriousness of the topics that she raises in our society.
I was honoured to have her join me on my podcast, Bleeding Daylight. You can hear our discussion by looking for Bleeding Daylight wherever you find podcasts, or listen using the media player below.
The issues raised are very important and so I urge you to share this episode with others.
Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Melinda Tankard Reist – Rejecting Sexploitation? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.
Dad was a FIFO worker before there was such a thing. These days FIFO stands for ‘Fly In Fly Out’ but back then dad would ‘Float In Float Out’. He worked as a cook on ships, mostly heading up and down the Western Australian coast. That meant that dad would be absent from our home for weeks at a time.
When he was home I don’t know that he really knew how to interact with his children and I’m not sure that I knew how to interact with him.
Even though there was often both a physical and emotional distance between us, my dad was a good dad who did the best job of fathering he could.
I’m now coming to realise that there are many things that I see in my self today that can be traced directly back to my father and the influence he still has on me.
Maybe I could point to things I wish were different when I was young but really, I didn’t miss out on much. Life was pretty good and a lot of that was down to the love of an imperfect father. These days I’m an imperfect father, so the last thing I want to do is blame dad for the things I may have missed out on while growing up. Instead, I blame my dad for a range of other things.
I blame my father for the fact that time and time again I suddenly find myself awake in the middle of the night. I wake up and sense someone is in the room. Someone small and furry … with whiskers. It’s one, or often both of our cats wanting to get in under the covers. I love cats. I love them because my dad loved cats. He loved most animals but especially cats.
I blame my father for some of the music that is still stuck in my head. Dad was almost 44 years older than me and so his musical tastes weren’t exactly ‘current’. Which explains why to this day, among a very wide range of music in my collection, covering many different styles, I still listen to Bing Crosby, dad’s favourite singer. (Just don’t mention that I also listen to Sinatra. Dad was certainly not a fan.)
I blame my father for the fact that I’m a qualified chef. Dad was a chef and I followed that career for a number of years. I completed my four year apprenticeship then decided it really wasn’t for me, but it has given me skills I’ve been able to use ever since. It also meant that some years later I was able to work alongside dad for a week when he was cooking at a camp on Rottnest. It was a memorable week.
There are many more things I can see in me that come from my dad. Some good, some not so good. I also know there would be many other parts of who I am that I don’t even recognise as coming from dad but are still part of his influence.
My dad was a good dad who provided for his family well and did the best he could.
It’s Father’s Day in Australia.
This is my nineteenth Father’s Day without my dad. George Thomas Olsen passed away in August 2002, just a few days before his 83rd birthday and around a month before Father’s Day of that year.
I really do miss dad but it’s not with an overwhelming sadness because I know he’s in a better place and I know I’ll see him again one day.
I still wish he was able to see Emily and James grow up into the wonderful young people that they’ve become and to get to know Pauline even better. I reckon he would have really enjoyed getting to know Emily’s husband, Josh. I wish Emily and James had more time to get to know their grandad.
I look forward to a new day when we’ll catch up on everything we’ve missed over the years.
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
Today won’t be a sad day because I’ll be spending the day being a dad to my own children and working hard to ensure that there are many ‘good’ things that they’ll be able to blame me for in the years to come.
(Yes, that’s me with my dad and mum in the picture above. You can click on it for a closer look.)
Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Father’s Day 2020? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.