Debi joined our Bicycle Adventure’s first-ever Tour de Florida because it sounded like a fun ride. It was, but the spiritual fulfillment she got was unexpected. Now, she’s hooked.
“Fuller Living” features the people who make this ministry possible, talking about their experiences in their own words.
So, my cycling friend from Atlanta calls and tells me about this bike adventure with the Fuller Center for Housing. It’s in Florida (That sounds good!), it’s in December/January (Even better!) from Orlando to Key West (I can do that!), and it’s only $250. (What???? Sign me up!)
I have done long-distance events of varying disciplines for many years — that wasn’t the scary part. It was the fundraising that was daunting. I’m not a good marketer, I’m only adequate with technology and I hate asking people for money. Oh, and I didn’t use the resources that Fuller has in place to help with fundraising — silly me. I just got resistant, irritable and vowed to “never do this again.”
I was determined to do the ride but afraid I would have to fork over what I didn’t raise before I could get on my bike that first day. The folks at Fuller reassured me that I had plenty of time to raise the funds. They were supportive, kind, and very tolerant of my many phone calls to them. They assured me I would be on the ride.
As I mentioned above, I have done long-endurance events for several years, and I always thought that I would love to add purpose — charitable purpose — to my efforts. My ego was well fed by my challenges and accomplishments, but, like many, I knew there was a much deeper calling to be fulfilled. I never could settle on what that might be until my first few days in the company of my Fuller family as we worked together on a build before we started our ride.
I entered the church where we would all spend our first few days, getting oriented, working on a build, preparing our bikes and our belongings, sharing meals and team-building, and I could feel the sweetness, kindness, the God energy was in every corner.
The experience blossomed from there as our bonds and friendships built over the days and miles. We got to know each other as we had lots of time on the saddle to chat, laugh, explore and learn. The connection to Fuller and to our mission, to end substandard/poverty housing, grew and grew.
Something else happened during that week. I reflected on my own spiritual journey, my own relationship with Jesus, my deep and continuous longing for connection to my divine, beautiful, holy, kind, loving spiritual Self. It was there, holding us all in His hands.
Most will sign up for a Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure ride because they love their bikes, they love to ride, and they love to be outside and exploring the world. Come for the senses; leave with fulfillment like you never imagined — whatever that is for each of us.
I just finished the Tour de Florida a few weeks ago and have signed up for the Natchez Trace Spring Ride in April of this year. My plan is to do the cross country in 2021. I have found purpose to attach to my athletic endeavors that will serve others and a way to give of myself on the builds that we are fortunate enough to work on. I also see this as a journey with delightful, wonderful people, and a walk with God.
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Thanks for sharing your story, Debi!
Debi, There are many ways to provide for the needs of others while enjoying a long distance bike ride. Thank you for the generous, sacrificial use of your healing hands whom several benefited from during the ride, including myself. It was a pleasure cycling and serving with you. God bless you wherever your journeys takes you.
Yeah, Deb. So well written and loved witnessimg your transformation take place. Thanks again for all the support you gave me in several different ways. You are very special and I look forward to more adventures together, serving and sharing (hopefully no Epley) on the Natchez! Thanks for your commitment to the Fuller mission and thanks for just being you!!
You are such an inspirational, caring, and thoughtful person. Your desire to help others is sincere and welcoming. I am so glad I had the opportunity to met you, and very thankful for your help with yoga to stretch my aching back and my legs. It helped me so much.
I am looking forward to Future trips with you.
Thank you for sharing. I was so happy to see a friend on this new adventure where so many others were returnees. You have such a calming and generous spirit helping others at every opportunity. I too found a new family in this group of service-minded people and I love the mission of the Fuller Center for Housing. Regardless of our stage of faith each one of us can grow through caring for the” least of these” and get excited to help people find comfort and security in adequate, safe housing. I also signed up for another ride— the West Coast which is four weeks. I know there will be plenty of service, challenge, and personal growth in this. I hope to share another adventure with you soon — perhaps the Coat to Coast! Who knows?
Looking forward to meeting you on the Trace and continuing the mission!
The few of us, that met and fed the Florida group, from Cocoa Beach Community Church enjoyed the chance to share our space and spend the night with the group.
The attitude of each person, I had a chance to speak with, showed true faith and spirit that is alive and growing in a very divided world. The work done by so many volunteers was missed by many people and we know that the next trip through our area we will showcase the Fuller Center it’s mission and it’s volunteer’s.