I mentioned in a previous post that four things are required to accomplish a major project like Cycling 4 Water: a spark, firebrands, people who fan the flames and people who spread the fire. The spark is the vision. The firebrands are the people who purpose to accomplish the vision.
In 2013 and 2014, an extraordinary team pulled together to cycle for water sfter Mike and I decided to cycle together. The GAiN leadership, Bill Blainey and Dennis Firebach, joined the team when they allowed us to partner with them in their Water for Life Initiative. Soon after, Jennifer Mullen (GAiN promotion), and Bill Vaxevaness, (GAiN web design) began working with us.
We wanted a support vehicle and someone suggested approaching teachers, who usually have two months off per year. Mike spoke with Richard and Jacquie Blasheck. They were quick to join — Jacquie as driver and Richard, an avid mountaineer, as cyclist — even though he does very little cycling.
Next, Mike recruited Eddy Wong as volunteer project manger. He kept us on track as we forged ahead. Not too long after that, Timo Itkonnen heard about the ride from Jacquie and Richard. He’d done a lot of cycle-tourism and he loved our cause. We now had a fourth rider.
Peter Koteles, also with GAiN, helped by contacting many churches along our route. We ended up with 45 speaking engagements in 54 days.
Mike’s wife, Karen, my wife, Anne-Marie, and Timo’s wife, Marjatta, all gave us their blessings. Karen helped with tracking hosts and Anne-Marie did English and French web content.
Fast forward to 2016. Timo and I are the cyclists. A friend from my church, Alain Dupont, who just retired, is our driver. Bill Blainey and Dennis Fierbach have again blessed our partnership with GAiN. Peter Koteles and Jennifer Mullen carry on with community connecting and promotion.
Without this team, it would have been impossible to cycle the country and raise over $285,000 for the water wells in 2014. Without the current team we couldn’t cycle and promote the cause. Stay tuned to see how God provides.