On August 5 we reached the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville, Florida. Hooray! Darla, Grant, Chanel and I put the front wheels of our bikes into the surf. It was 103 days ago we had our back tires in the surf of the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach, California. The pedaling part of hope and Courage Across America 2011 was over. Â As a team (family) we pedaled 4800 miles. We are so glad we emphasized the team aspect of our riding. We always rode in groups of two, three, or four. If you werenâ€™t pedaling, you were supporting those that were. The biggest challenges we had on the bikes were heat and humidity. Not bad compared to some of the things we faced in 2008. God has watched over us well through our journey.
We had some struggles with the truck and RV since Texas. First, I drove under an arch that was at least a foot shorter than the top of the air conditioners on the RV. As the driver, it was my fault but a â€˜low clearanceâ€™ warning would have been helpful. Anyway, it tore the air conditioning units off and damaged the roof. This resulted in an unscheduled, two week stay in Hattiesburg, Mississippi waiting to get the RV out of the shop. Hattiesburg is a wonderful town and we got to know it quite well. They have a beautiful bike trail and we
took advantage of it while we were there. After Hattiesburg we got bad fuel in the truck and had to be towed off the freeway. The next day the RV had a flat on the freeway. All of these events were made more tolerable by State Farm Insurance and AAA.
Since reaching Jacksonville, we have started heading north. We have ministry scheduled all the way home. Yesterday we visited the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were reminded of the power of the clear presentation of Godâ€™s message. We are now in Holmes County, Ohioâ€¦Amish country. In the next five days we will have two evening meetings with the Amish, a community gathering and Sunday service with the Mennonites and several home visits. Pray that we will be faithful to present that clear message of hope in Christ and the courage to use that hope to face mountains. After all, it was never about the miles, it is always about the message.