Friday, July 31, 2009

Mission Accomplished! 4 kids 400 miles for $16,000 for kids 8,000 miles away

From all of us!!
"I have finished the course: I have kept the faith." 2 timothy 4:7

...We Raised $16,000 for the children of the leper colony in Rajnandoan, India!! We did it!!

Can you say, miracle?! I can. On Saturday night, our last eve before the final ride into Mackinaw I needed to get away with my dad for a pep talk. I really believed that we could raise the monies needed for their vehicle but when would it happen--today or next year? These kids were depending on us. My dad shared wise words that have been passed down the line..."God is seldom early but He is never late, he told me." He encouraged me to ride the final miles with the HOPE that God had a special plan and said, "Barrett, God placed this passion in your heart, He will see you through no matter how long it takes."

Our contact from World Hope Intl. was scheduled to meet us at the bridge to welcome and congratulate us and that alone was something to look forward to on the ride in to Mackinaw City. But again, God had a different plan. Our contact, Ann O'Dell, fell ill in Haiti with food poisoning and was rushed to a hospital in Miami. We were informed she would not be greeting us. That was a huge disappointment.

On Sunday morning we woke to pouring rain and slick wet roads. Our spirits were damp. We had breakfast devotions and my dad read us a story from a WHI/HOPE for Children booklet, "The Road to Opportunity". It has stories about children for who World Hope Intl. has provided opportunities. The story told of the faith and strength one of the kids had to come from poverty to receive education and eventually achievement. When asked if we had any c0mments or words to share, Ben spoke up, "Read us another story." We would do anything to stall and stay off the wet roads. Meanwhile, my mom was in the camper blogging our stories and asking friends to pray for the rain to cease.

Mr. Bennett, our route guide, gave us our maps for the day and my dad shared his final words reminding us WHO we were riding for and how important it was to reach the goal. Then, I think it was my Uncle Jim (cook/s extraordainaire) who told us that there was a SURPRISE waiting for all of us in Mackinaw City. Even my dad was surprised.

As we mounted our bikes and headed out to the entrance of the camp, THE RAIN STOPPED AND STARTED TO MOVE OUT OF THE AREA! Again, God was not late.

We had a DRY and AWESOME ride through the tunnel of trees and stopped and played along the way because we had no clue what awaited us except Mackinaw City and maybe some family members who were going to surprise us. That would be fun.

We rode into the final stretch under I-75, made the left turn single file and then lined up behind the "chase vehicle" that was going to lead us to the base of the bridge and the fort park. We had already decided we were riding 4-WIDE and PROUD as can be that we made the goal. Now it felt like TOUR de FRANCE!

There was family waiting for us. The other vehicles and our moms were lined up cheering us into the final block!! We circled the block and pulled alongside the sag wagon to be congratulated. WE MADE IT.!!

As we got off our bikes, my Uncle Jim handed my dad a piece of paper with a phone number and said that we needed to call the number right away. We gathered in a circle to make the phone call. On the other end of the phone was Mr. Scott Drury from Alexandria VA, World Hope Intl. He congratulated us and shared with us how proud he was of our efforts and hard work. THEN HE HAD ONE MORE THING TO TELL US, the children were going to get their vehicle. Not only had we made the 400+ mile ride successfully, WE RAISED $16,000! We all let out a huge "whoop" and cheers then there were tears! We did it!

AGAIN, GOD was just in time!
From all of us!!
"I have finished the course: I have kept the faith." 2 timothy 4:7

I am just 15 years old but... my friends who came alongside to ride with me and you CAUGHT my passion! WE ALL DID IT!

What's next?! [AJ Bennett thinks we just won the Super Bowl!] We want to go to India to see the look on Dr. Devedas' and the children faces when they learn about their vehicle.

THANK YOU THANK YOU.....please keep checking our blog. We have great photos to share and more information! We are now waiting for the pledges to come in and the mail is still delivering donations! Your response was unbelievable. You can smile and know that four teenagers are very excited and pumped up that they could make a difference. Our faith is strengthened. Our lives are changed.

THANK YOU for all your prayers and financial support to make this happen. YOU ALL know who you are and you know that without YOU this would not have been possible. God uses people to make dreams come true. The children of Raj India have been praying as has Dr. Devedas and, THEIR prayers have been answered. OUR dream and passion has been fulfilled. The monies via pledges and donations are still coming in and being calculated at WHI. Barrett, Ben, AJ and Abby you have a passion?! I do. Wait and see what God can do with this 15 year old and friends coming next year....stay tuned.

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