TRIP 2010

Update #21 - August 03rd
Vulcan, Michigan
5,443.97 miles (8,710.35 KM)

Thirteeth update for the trip.

This is my second full day of my ride through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Of all places, I'm staying in the rectory of the St Bernadette's Catholic Church in Vulcan. I met the priest at the Catholic Church in Norway. The two churches had to come together because of a lack of ministers. The priest was pretty nice. I've got a good place to sleep tonight, access to a washer and dryer, use of a kitchen, and internet access.

This encounter tonight was a lot better than the one that I had last night. I got into Iron River kind of late after a long 74 mile ride from Wakefield. Throughout the day, it was overcast and I had occasional bouts of mist coming through the area. Coming into Iron River it started to rain. I saw some activity at Methodist Church. Instead of the pastor, the treasurer was in. The pastor had gone into the hospital for knee surgery. The treasurer allowed me to use the phone book and phone. All I was getting was voicemail messages. Finally, I got hold of a pastor and he told me that he would come over and talk with me.

I had about a fifteen minute wait in the rain. At least, there was an overhang to wait under. When the pastor finally came, he invited me to come into the car. As soon as I got in, he started to grill me but none of my answers really satisfied him. This reminded me very much with the other pastor back in Alabama nine years ago who held me hostage by gunpoint in his office. What saved me that time was me having a voice mail message at the international headquarters of Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia.

This pastor didn't hold me hostage by gunpoint but his grilling went on for almost a half hour. Finally, he told me that even though he didn't truly believe me about my faith and what I was doing but he felt that I was a good person and that he would try and help me. He took me to his house to feed me but he didn't eat with me. Instead of letting me stay in his church for the night, he offered to get me a room at a motel in Crystal Falls fifteen miles down the road and he took me there.

What was so troubling about this encounter was that this minister was so assured that his denomination was the only denomination that was the only way to get to Heaven. Any other denomination was the spawn of the Devil. His denomination was so orthodox in their beliefs was that women had no place in his church with regards to serving and anybody who was not a member of his church would not be allowed to take communion with them.

The thing that really got me was that he told me that one of the most G-D fearing and trusting man that I ever knew, Millard Fuller (who was the founder of Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing) was not a Christian because he invited people of other religions to come together in prayer and work with his ministry. This really bothered me a lot. I will be praying for this minister and his church (denomination).

From Vulcan, I've got between three and four more days of riding to the Mackinac Bridge. After my ride through the lower peninsula of Michigan, I'm going to riding through the north section of Ohio and then ride to the G.A.P. (Great Appalachian Passage Bike Trail) in Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. I really want to ride the G.A.P. again and also the C&O Towpath maybe toW ashington, D.C. I did that in 2008 but I didn't have a digital camera back then. I'm not sure what route I will be taking between Washington, DC and Americus, Georgia. I'll be going through Springfield, Georgia since I've got an invite from a chaplain that works with a truck stop ministry.

I'll try and add a new update every two weeks along the way so the next one will be around August 17th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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