TRIP 2002

Update #2 - Jan 11th
Sopchoppy, FL - 195 miles (312 KM)

I thought that it would be good to add another update from Sopchoppy, Florida to clarify the feelings behind the last update. I'm pretty frustrated by the reception given to me by most of the pastors that I've come in contact with here in Florida. It seemed like nine out of ten pastors that I came into contact with didn't want to help me and referred me to another church or agency.

I do not know whether it was because they are having problems with their congregations or have been burnt by the transients who come to their churches for help. There does seem to be a major problem with transients coming into an area here in Florida and swallowing all of the resources available and leaving nothing for the locals. What bothered me the most is how they automatically grouped me into the homeless catagory and directed me to homeless shelters. They could not believe that my riding around is a form of ministry. I had to remind them that Y'SHUA the Messiah and his disciples didn't really have places that they can call their own.

When I do come in contact with a minister, I explain to them that I'm not there to ask for money. This ministry is supported by faith. I leave it up to the other person if they want to help or not. I'm quite content in living off the "Road-Manna" (loose chainge) that I find alongside the road. I only limit myself to just three basic items : water, a piece of grass for my tent in good weather, or a place on a floor (in a fellowship hall or a Sunday school classroom) in bad or cold weather.

What gets me the most is the pastor's lack of compassion. It states in the New Testament that it is almost a requirement to help out the needy and the unfortunate. Whatever you do for a person, you do for the Messiah. Y'shua the Messiah was quite specific about it. You need to do good even to your enemies. Y'shua never turned anybody away. He found the time to help people in need.

My mind is still reeling on the comments given to me by a pastor's wife. She told me that I should get off the bicycle and get a job and not be "on holiday" expecting others to take care for me. She didn't give me the chance to explain to her my calling. Being out here is not a holiday. It is quite hard sometimes. You never know when some crazy person in a car or truck would hit me or make me crash. I might have to deal with several very close-calls in a day. I never really know where I will be staying each night or if I would have enough supplies to keep me going. I do have to admit that there have been some times when I've been almost penniless and have to go on short-rations. I'm not complaining about this. Adonai provides things at the right time and puts in my path people that have the heart to help me out.

Case in point- I've spent the last four days with a United Methodist pastor and his wife in the little town of Sopchoppy, Florida in the church parsonage. I met him last October and he told me that if I was ever in the area to look him up. We have had a great time together and he is planning to find ways to help support my ministry and also to help me take it to the next level. In another case, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent in a motel room that an assistant pastor at a Presbyterian church in the Melbourne, Florida area paid for. These are just a few examples.

I will be in Florida for maybe a week more. There is about four hundred miles left to the Alabama State Line. I'm heading to Waveland, Mississippi near Biloxi to check out a ministry that has been asking for volunteers. Eventually after spending a short time in Mississippi, I'll be heading towards Baldwin, Lousiana to see if I can volunteer a little while at the UMCORP Saeger-Brown Disaster Relief Center. From there, I might be riding through the Southern part of Texas waiting for it to get warm enough for me to head north.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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