Tag Archives: goals

16 Wells Pledged


This sounds like a joke… What does a farmer, a chiropractor, an old friend, an 11 year old girl, a moving company and a church have in common?

In this case it is a wonderful combination. Each has pledged to cover the cost of one water well. That means with 16 wells pledged we are 27 % toward our goal of 60 wells.

Wow this is exciting! Picture GAiN’s crews drilling wells in 16 villages. Think of the look on the faces of about 16,000 men, women and children when clean water starts to flow from a deep water well right in their village. I like the picture!

THANK YOU to our first 6 partners and the 10 others that have followed! We look forward to hitting the 60 well goal together.

Timo Itkonen: Joining the Cross Canada Team!

Timo (far left) was born in Finland. In 1956, at the age of five, he moved with his parents, two brothers, and one sister to Northern Ontario. Six years later the family moved to British Columbia, which he now calls home. At the age of 19, he returned to visit the land of his birth, attended a Bible College, and met Marjatta, who later came to visit Timo in Canada. She stayed, they got married, and now they have four grown up children, and five grandsons! Timo had been a commercial fisherman in the past, and in the winter months, continued his education, eventually selling his fishing boat, and going to work for the Canadian Coast Guard for seven years. In 1981 he went back to college, and became involved in youth ministry at Finnish Bethel Church in Vancouver. He later continued his studies at Fraser Valley College, and Simon Fraser University. He is presently a high school teacher in Mission B.C.

Often seeing long distance cyclists pedaling along the highway near his home, Timo thought that he would like to do just that, pack up some gear, and ride away. Over the last decade, sometimes with Marjatta, or with other friends, he has pedaled various routes in British Columbia. One summer, Marjatta and Timo packed up their bikes for a four week adventure in Finland. They did a most memorable 500 km loop above the Arctic Circle, sometimes sharing the road with reindeer!

Every fall for the last ten or so years, Timo, along with friends, John and Daryl, goes on a two day, 200 km fundraiser ride for the B.C. Lung Association. But to ride across Canada this summer, what a challenge!

A few years ago Timo had the opportunity to visit a long-time friend in Uganda. Africa left a deep impression, having witnessed the struggle that the people had with lack of the basic necessities of life, including clean water. Since then, he felt the need to do something significant, and something that would have a long lasting effect. When Timo heard that a couple of sexagenarians were planning to ride across Canada in order to raise funds for wells in Africa, his first thought was, “Who are these guys? Do they need another rider?” But then, he later wondered, “Could I make it across Canada on a bike in 60 days?” Timo’s conclusion: “It must be attempted, the cause is just too worthy, too necessary, too important, to not give it my best effort.”

New Team Members

Richard and I are not cyclists! We are mountaineers and avid outdoor enthusiasts. I have known Mike for many years and during this time we have learned that we share a similar sense of adventure. When Mike told us about his plans for his 60th birthday, to cycle across the country to raise money for clean water, we weren’t completely surprised. Since Richard and I are both secondary school teachers, with time to spare in the summer, Mike asked if we would be interested in coming along as the support vehicle for him and Rob. Always up for an adventure ourselves, we agreed to come along. Of course, we quickly decided that we would like to do some cycling as well. Richard really wants to cycle the full 8,000kms…and I love making green protein smoothies…so it looks like he’s on the bike, I’m driving the RV and looking after the crew. The logistics of this adventure is daunting, but extremely exciting. We already regularly do painful activities for fun, so we are up for the challenge. Let the training begin!