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Vancouver to Abbotsford to Hope

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Kawkawa Lake (Hope, BC)

Two weeks ago I participated in a cycling tour that was going across Canada called Love In Motion. You can sign up for a day, for a week or for however long you wanted. I signed up to bike for a week from Vancouver to Vernon, BC, along with my church. We had about 30 riders from our church and about 70 or so riders that were going at least to Vernon, while others were going to Regina, Toronto, and across Canada.

I’ve never done anything like this before and I was relatively new to road cycling, commuting for about a year before to get to work. The night before the early registration was about to close for this ride in February, I was in a particular mood of wanting to take on something challenging. 5 months later, I cycled 570km to Vernon and was definitely challenged!

Our first stop for the tour was the beautiful, church-in-every-corner, city-you-only-go-to-if-you-have-to, Abbotsford, BC. A whopping 99 km for the first day! It was a bit of a maze to get out of urban Vancouver, but oh, the Abbotsford country air was calling! Though, it’s true that when you arrive in Abbotsford, you realize that Oh, wait you’re still in a city. Oh well. The country air, country roads, country scenery, country animals were coming the next day when we would bike through Chilliwack and then to small town Hope.

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Chilliwack, BC

We stopped for lunch in Chilliwack where a charity called Ruth & Naomi’s Mission hosted a wonderful Canada Day meal for all the riders. One of the purposes of Love In Motion is to raise funds and awareness for organizations who are helping people in their communities who may be struggling with issues like poverty, homelessness, and drug and alcohol addictions. Ruth & Naomi’s Mission was one such non-profit. They are a recovery centre that helps individuals struggling with addictions in downtown Chilliwack receive residential, long term care (up to 3 years). A portion of the money the tour raised was specifically going to purchase housing for people in the program to live in as they receive the care and support they need to get back into the community.

It was incredible to be in this building and to hear from the staff how encouraged they were to see so many riders who were cycling to bring hope to people who need it. (To all who sponsored me, you’re money was going somewhere good! Thank you, again!) I didn’t realize in the beginning that we, as cyclists, were riding for more than just taking on a challenge, trying to be in better physical shape, or having a really great adventure. We were riding for a good cause — helping people and bringing hope to those who need it. Everyone needs hope. That was the tagline of Love In Motion: “Riding to bring hope.” It is simple; yet profound when you really think about it, especially while you are cycling up a mountain. You definitely need hope then! Again, thank you to my sponsors for your donations!

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Swimming in Kawkawa Lake

When we arrived in Hope, a few (more adventurous) of us decided to bike up a couple more GIANT hills to a private dock off Kawkawa Lake that was home to the parents of a cyclist in our team. The short trek was definitely worth it! Judi, thank the Lord for you and your parents! Thank you for the chips, the pop, and the beer! We joked that the other riders left in the camp site who resigned to swim (and bathe and do laundry) in a nearby (freezing) river, were making mud pies; while we, in a beautiful (warm) lake, surrounded by shining glory and mountains, were making sandcastles in the sky! I love mountains and I love lakes. This was such a treat, especially after two days of cycling and already 200 km that our thighs somehow pedalled through.

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Happy Canada Day!

I felt so blessed as I was swimming in Kawkawa Lake. Nature and Beauty definitely reveals the glory and goodness and majesty of God, I think. Or, at least it reveals something much higher and greater than ourselves, something that extends beyond us and me, something we can’t ever define or explain. Oh, just surround me with mountains and lakes!

I’ll write more about the rest of the tour soon.

XOXO,
Leah

There Is Still Life To Be Lived

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Today I went strawberry picking in Ladner. It was at a farm called Emma Lea Farms. I went there last year and had a great time, and am now back again this summer. This was my third time there, actually, always going there with different people: co-workers, friends, my landlady. Strawberry season will end by the end of this week and this morning, there were certainly less berries than there were when I first came to pick last week. What a short season. But it’s really worth it, I think.

Lately, I’ve been preparing for a cycling tour I am doing with my church and a charity called Love In Motion. On Tuesday, I got some spare tubes and other tools I need to fix flat tires while on the road. I’ve also been baking pies and bread to give to people who have donated towards my fundraising. I baked a lemon meringue pie and a strawberry pie this morning after I went berry picking. The lemon meringue pie was really tempting to eat because I haven’t made it in a while. Actually, all the pies I have made for this fundraising have been tempting to eat. But I held back!

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We leave to bike to Vernon next Monday (June 29). I’m really excited for the trip and also a little nervous. I’m a little scared of all the hills I have to climb. I know it will be worth it after I climb the hill, it’s just the climbing part that’s terrible.

"The Front Porch" title for my blog is looking really good. I’m glad to have it back. It reminds me of the time I was sitting in the front entrance of an old renovated church in southern Ontario where about 12 students lived and I could see tall, white windmills at a distance and also perhaps almost hear the slight, gentle waves of Lake Erie that stretched just beyond an asparagus field. I was reading a book and certainly journalling, thoughts spilling onto Moleskine paper, longings making their way into dreams, prayers waiting to be heard.

Maybe I will write more on this blog. It’s a nice space.

To beginnings again,
L

Flowers in a Tin Can Outside of a RestaurantSeattle, WA2014

Flowers in a Tin Can Outside of a Restaurant
Seattle, WA
2014