Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rev's Final Reflections

Byron Center, MI
Written by Rev

As we pulled off the ferry and arrived into Ludington, my excitement exploded like a geyser. I was ecstatic to be back in Michigan even though I knew that we had about 3 hours left of traveling. It was a blessing to be back in what us Michiganders call the mitten.

I am now sitting at my parent’s home at my desk, typing on my laptop trying to figure out what to write about a 52 day trip that was 8,603.1 miles long and covered 28 states. This is going to be tough.

There were many things that stuck out to me along the way and if I were to name them all; it would take forever to write. So this is going to be in summary and if you want to know more, feel free to email or ask me in person.

Leaving Michigan in the freezing cold and then having 5 days of rain caused me to wonder if I was ready for this all. Soon and very soon it became evident that this trip must happen as God worked marvelously in many different ways. God works in many ways and before this trip I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong.

There were times when I was discouraged and God provided a beautiful day, a smile or wave from a stranger, an air mattress, places to sleep, places to eat, a text from a person back home with a verse in it, or a conversation with a stranger about justice or a prayer from a stranger. God is good.

It was amazing to see the country that I live in: the United States of America. There is a song that is title, “America the Beautiful.” I was wondering how true this was as we planned to cover most of the climates in America. Everything from desert to mountains, to plains, to hills, to grass, to forests, to many bodies of water; God created them all and they are beautiful. It gave me a whole new appreciation for God the Creator. It was absolutely amazing to see two oceans as well as the different land changes as we traveled. Our biggest temperature change in one day was from almost freezing to 100 degrees! The mountains were beautiful, the plains were beautiful, and the trees were beautiful, each body of water was gorgeous, the snow was amazing and the hilly and curvy roads were excellent.

I was meditating on Matthew 6:24-35 as we journeyed along and this passage talks about worrying. Jesus says in verse 26, “Look at the birds of the air….and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much valuable than they?” This caused me to really focus on two aspects: first, how valuable I am and second, how God will take care of me.

First, how valuable I am. I am not being arrogant, but the same God who created his world, the trees, grass, scorpions, the Colorado River, the Mississippi River, the plains in Oklahoma and Texas, the cacti, the desert, the wooded forests in Oregon, the lakes in Minnesota, the mountains in California and Tennessee—He also created me. Wow! That is absolutely breath-taking to me. Also in that verse, Jesus implies that the God who created those birds, who were meant for flight in every way by the way that they were intricately created, also created you and me and we are more valuable than they are. We are more valuable than they are because we are made in His image as Genesis tells us. That is amazing!

Second, God will take care of us because we are more valuable than the birds. As I often do, I told my mother not to worry, but I found out that I am quit the worrier as well. On this trip, I worried countless times at where we would sleep and where we would eat and if we would have enough money to finish the trip. I was completely wrong by worrying. By worrying, I was not trusting God to provide for my every day needs. He proved Himself over and over again to me that He would provide for my every day needs; everything from providing a gas station when needed, to a place to eat and then a place to sleep. There was no need to worry, God was and is in control. God is good.

I also was amazed at how God worked in people along the way. For those of you who think that God is not at work in the people of America, you are completely wrong. God is working, in marvelous ways. I have seen it first hand. There were so many ways where we were either given money, given a place to sleep—for however long we needed it, given food, had a great conversation with strangers that gave us complete encouragement, etc. The list goes on. God is working in powerful ways and I cannot wait to see the work that He will continue to do in America.

This experience has strengthened my faith immensely. As I have stated before, I have worried and not done as much praying and trusting in God as I should. But I have learned and now as I live my life back at home, I continue to rely and place my trust in God, knowing that He will provide for my everyday needs.

Another aspect of this trip that impacted me was relationships. If you followed our blog you know that we stopped and visited with countless of relatives of Vikings. It was awesome. It was great to listen to both of his grandparent’s stories about their childhood. Viking had heard these stories time and time again and it was awesome to see that. It challenged me to appreciate my grandparents and to visit them more frequently and to listen to every word that they say and to ask them stories about their childhood.

Viking, we made it my friend. I owe an incredible amount to Jonathan. He let God work in him about injustice and that was shown to me at a campfire in my back yard and then a 3 hour breakfast at IHOP 6 months later. Yes there were disagreements and roadside arguments where we didn’t see eye to eye on things. But with patience during frustrating times with peace from the Holy Spirit, we overcame them. I appreciated the ministry partner that came with this awesome ministry. We have been friends for about 3 ½ years now and this is by far the craziest thing that we have done together—I think. No, it is. It all started with a dream, then God working, then God working more and more in our lives and providing immensely for this trip. I am so very thankful for this opportunity and I hope one day that I can tell my nephews and nieces, children, grandchildren and whoever else about this ministry that I took with my best friend. This trip will never be forgotten by me. Thank you for your patience, kindness and understanding through all of this. I thank God for you. Thank you.

As for me, I will be leaving July 15 for a mission trip with the youth group from my church to Biloxi, MS for one week. Then I return for a week and half, and then headed to the east coast with my girlfriend’s family. Then a two week break and seminary starts for me. I will be attending Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids to achieve, Lord willing, my Masters of Divinity and continue my work as the Youth Director at my church. If your interested, I do have my own blog and the web address is:

I still sit here and really can’t imagine that I actually circumnavigated the United States of America—on a 49cc Honda Ruckus. Wow. Amazing isn’t it? But the fact that I did this isn’t about me. It’s not about me doing this to just to say “Yeah, I did it”. It was for those who aren’t free. It was for those who can’t speak up. It was for those who are victims of beatings, sex slavery, and the like. It was for God’s glory. God allowed me to do this and all glory goes back to Him for what He did in my life and those who we came into contact with.

I want to thank you all who have supported us during this trip. Whether it was in the form of money, prayers, a place to stay, a prayer on the side of the road, a simple conversation, showing interest in our bikes, etc. Thank you all. I cannot describe in words how amazing it was to have support of people all over the country. Thank you.

May God bless all of you who read this.

To God be the Glory.

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

A Viking's Final Blog Reflection

Hudsonville, MI
Written By Viking

Most of our personal reflections will be saved for the upcoming book (not sure if that's a joke or not), but while it is still fresh, I wanted to express some of my thoughts in a final personal blog post. I will be primarily reflecting on the lessons God taught me through the experiences of the summer.

First, though, a short reflection on the magnitude of the trip. Honestly, looking back, this trip seemed very short. Maybe for those who have kept up on the blog or Facebook can better appreciate the distance we covered, but being on the scooter, it seemed like a minor trip. The few times that the reality of the trip hit me was when I was in familiar places like Washington D.C. or the west coast; places I've driven to before.
I decided to look online at some distances, just to grasp how far 8,500 miles is.
If, as the crow flies, we were to start from my home, Minneapolis, MN, and ride to London, England, we would ride just over 4,000 miles.
Moscow, Russia? Just under 5,000.
Santiago, Chile? 5,602.
Beijing, China? 6,288 miles.
Dhaka, Bangladesh? 7,686 miles.
What about Johannasburg, South Africa? We could have come within a day's ride of Johannasburg, with that city being 8,922 miles from Minneapolis.
Soo... don't tell Rev, but I think we could circumnavigate the globe (24,901 miles) in one summer.

Doing something that is unprecedented is pretty wild. We missed out on likely being the first people to play speed scrabble in the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon, so the scooter trip was an adequate compensation. Even so, just as my Marine Corps career is quickly fading in my memory, so shall the 'glory' of this trip. However, the lessons and observations from this summer will never fade, as they are taught through God's unfading Word. "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever." I Peter 1:24-25

"On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate." Psalm 145:5

There were so many times this summer when the beauty of the creation we were passing through was so moving that I would just fill my lungs and yell. There have been three times in my life when I was captivated by the Lord's creation, but this trip increased that number exponentially. Some sights (Grand Canyon, Glacier) were expected but other sights and experiences (Yosemite, rapids, Cascades, desert buttes, plains) were extra blessings that we basically stumbled upon.
All of this served to increase my awe and admiration of our creator God. If I were commissioned to make the most beautiful landscape my mind could conjure, it would be so very.. lame.. in comparison to the majestic beauty that God creates in every square inch. On the side of the road in Arizona, I was running around, astounded at how fine the red sand was, and how the wind had sculpted it into a beautiful waving desert floor. It's easy to drive right on by, even on a scooter, but our tailbones and the setting sun compelled us to stop, and God had a special blessing in store for us. That 'simple' sand is beyond my finite imagination, and it serves to direct my eyes and my praise toward God.
I also appreciated a difference in personality between Rev and I. I don't know how to express it, except that Brady notices a lot more of nature. Almost always. I was pretty excited when I saw two badgers that he actually missed. I have a tendency to put my head down and push forward, but it was good to stop and enjoy what we were traveling through. I am grateful for that difference between us.

"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable." Isaiah 40:28

"The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." Psalm 145: 14-16, 18

I don't know that I told anybody but Rev, but I left on this trip with just enough funds to pay for gas. No food, no places to sleep, just gas. We finished the trip with an overabundance of funds. If you've kept up with our trip, you know how my first scooter died in New Mexico. You also know how the Lord's guiding hand was in that entire experience. The Lord upholds all who are falling. It didn't really hit me until Harriet began acting up in Washington, and I was able to see Rev's reaction.. our attitudes always initially improved when trials arose. (That's not a normal human-nature reaction, but an assurance of the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives) When Harriet was hurting, Rev knew that was from God, based on the events that led to it. And when it was Harriet's belt, Wilberforce's entire engine, a tornado warning, the loss of an ipad, a desperate need for an air mattress, a place to eat, or a place to sleep; we called on God. To watch him answer in such clear ways was so empowering and strengthening for my faith and trust in God's provision for the largest and smallest of the needs of my life. The trials became exciting times for us because we knew and trusted that God was going to provide for us in some way in which only God could receive the glory.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Well I've begun and cut several paragraphs out of this reflection now. I want to keep it short, for your sake, and so that I don't try to smash 52 days worth of God's work into a sound-byte. So, I have just two more things.

What's in store for Viking?
In September I will be returning to Minneapolis to continue my arduous task of upper-education completion. I view it as a necessary evil, so maybe you could pray that I see and seize the opportunities for harvest in that world and during this season of life.
Prior to the summer's end, however, I have a couple... opportunities. (There isn't a word in the english language to describe my level of excitement) On July 17 at 6pm at Whitneyville Bible Church I will have the opportunity to share from God's word and to provide a 'debrief' of our scooter trip. Unfortunately Rev will not be there with me, as he will already be gone on another trip, but he will have an opportunity later in September. It would be a delight to have you at one or both of these opportunities that we have been blessed with. We assure you that your faith in God's provision and power will be strengthened.
A few days later I will be flying to Haiti to spend some time with Haiti Bible Mission. (this is the beyond words part) To be on a foreign mission field, to see how God is going to use the experience in my life, to see how God is going to use the ministry in the hearts of the people of Haiti.. pray that I don't die from overdosing on inexpressible joy. After that, there's still a month of summer left, and I can already see God arranging many more blessings for that time. God is good.

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17
A year ago I was trying to convince Brady to go on a scooter trip with me. The logistics and justification of the trip was ridiculous, and I am not surprised or disappointed that he couldn't go on the first trip. However, as I completed the trip, I began to see the potential of a successful ministry trip. I could think of only one friend who would actually go with me, or who I could maybe tolerate for the duration of the trip. So I told Rev he was going with me. Of course, this length of trip is unheard of, so it remained a dream for a while. As you now know, though, the trip became a reality, and God blessed it richly.
This trip did not happen without our fair share of disagreements and roadside arguments. Or even arguments as we rode down the road. If that surprises you, take a close friend or spouse, travel for 52 days with them, only be alone for bathroom breaks (some of them) or showers, throw a meaningful, important ministry into the mix, and let us know how it goes. If you're still speaking at the end, you did great.
However, these disagreements were necessary. In some ways, our ministry was made more effective through our differing ideas, or just being more open with each other ultimately served to strengthen our friendship. I am grateful that we never did stop praying together, and I am blessed that prayer for each other also never stopped, even as we prayed before we parted ways in Grand Rapids.
I am grateful for Rev's willingness to embark on an adventure only a person who enjoys suffering could come up with. His patience as I occasionally misled us with poor navigation and his graciousness as we stayed with relative after relative of mine did not go unnoticed. As far as lessons go, I learned more lessons in regards to relationships on this trip than anything else. I feel that this trial by fire has served to invaluably prepare me for future ministry relationships, as well as personal relationships that God may bless me with.
I'm not sure where God will lead Rev and I as we are geographically separated, but Brady, I will never, ever forget this summer. I will always rejoice at how God was able to use us for two months, and I will love you and cherish the invaluable friendship that God has blessed me with. Here's to writing the second and third verses of World Traveler!

Thank you all for your support, for your interest in our ministry, and for upholding us with your intercessory prayer. We pray that your knowledge of Jesus Christ grew through this blog.

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." II Peter 3:18

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Call To Action (Part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of five blogs. (They will be interspersed among the others) If you don't read any others, please read these. This is the heart and soul of our summer.

In Part 1, we saw that there is a problem in the world. In Part 2, we saw that God is not silent about his heart for justice. In Part 3, we saw that God has a command to followers of Christ to take action on behalf of the oppressed. Now, in part 4, we would like to offer tangible opportunities for involvement in the work to stop human trafficking.

First, we would like to offer up a small disclaimer. We are not experts in this area. Our suggestions are not professional counsel. We have simply researched this problem, we have been convicted to take action against it, and we are offering suggestions based on what God led us to do in our own lives.

The informations we shared in Part 1 only begins to scratch the surface of the problem of human trafficking. The first action we would suggest is to become more informed about slavery in today's world. Or, in keeping with the routine of the four 'gets', get informed. You can do this by reading books, attending conferences, or watching documentaries. On the right column of the blog we have several resources that would serve to expand your knowledge about trafficking. A critical aspect of this becoming informed is being exposed to the reality of this problem. If you can, read accounts of rescued or escaped slaves. Read about the girl from Mexico who was chained to a post in a Texas backyard. Read about the 15 year old slave in suburban Detroit who was assaulted in unspeakable ways for two years. Read about the women in east Asia. Read about the Millions of slaves in India trapped in bonded labor, working to pay off unpayable debts. These are not easy accounts to stomach, and they shouldn't be. On our trip we witnessed the damage of numerous natural disasters: fire damage and smoke, hurricane winds, flooding, avalanches, and tornadoes. It is so easy to see the damage on the television and continue sipping our coffee, but when we rode or walked through the damage, it hit us in an entirely different way. As you become informed, you will begin to see the problem in a new way, and the urgency and seriousness of the problem will become clear.

The second 'get' is get involved. Fortunately, there are many organizations that are working in the fight against trafficking. These are found on a local, national, and international level. There are many different skills and fields of work that can be used and offered to anti-trafficking organizations. There are also a multitude of un-skilled volunteer opportunities that are critical for organizations to continue to operate. These organizations can be found around the United States. If you do have an interest in getting involved with an organization by volunteering your time, we would be thrilled to be in contact with you and point you in the right direction.

The third 'get' took some creativity, and it is get your wallet out. Or, in other words, offer financial support of faith-based organizations that are working in the world to fight for the oppressed. Again, there are multiple organizations doing great things, and they are all dependent on the support of donors. This summer journey was not and is not a fundraiser. We simply desire to highlight the problem and what God has to say about it. However, if you are feeling led to support an organization with the financial blessings God has given you, we do have a webpage set up at where you can support International Justice Mission. (If the link doesn't work, simply search 'moped justice mission' at first They are a faith-based organization that we met and prayed with on this trip, and who we prayed over for the duration of the trip. One donation we would suggest, based on our summer trip, would be donating one cent for every mile we traveled. One cent times 8,500 equals $85. Or a tenth of a cent per mile. Or a dollar per mile. That's just a suggestion. Feel free to contact us if you want to know more about the work IJM is doing, or you can investigate their website at

The fourth and final and overwhelmingly most critical 'get'.. is get on your knees. Pray for the victims, pray for the traffickers, pray for those who are working to bring justice to the oppressed. Pray for God to strengthen the hearts of the victims and liberators and to call the evildoers to account. God hears our prayers. Trust us. If you don't trust us and our testimony to God's faithfulness, trust in the truth of Psalm 10:17-18
"O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more."
God is also specific in Isaiah about his desire and design for fasting in our lives.
"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?" Isaiah 58:6

As we mentioned earlier, there are many different skills and career fields that are needed in the work to fight modern-day slavery. We cannot predict how much God is moving in your heart, but it would be no surprise if you too saw the severity of this problem and the need to become involved. This work is not confined to investigators and lawyers. There are many other needed fields, including but not limited to: nursing and medical professions, political science, journalism, public relations, Bible/theology, linguistics, social work, and business.

As God lays on your heart a concern for this problem, making others aware of the problem comes easily. All you need is a moped. Okay, you obviously don't need that, and you don't even need to be a trained professional, fully immersed in the fight against injustice. We have both applied the four different 'gets' in some way, but that's all. And now we've gone on a trip, with the desire to bring more people alongside us to make waves in the work to rescue people from slavery. If we met you on our trip, we prayed for you before we met you, and we prayed for you after we met you. We pray that God's passion for justice radiates through the passion he bestowed upon us. We pray that God is doing a great work in your heart to continually draw you closer to him, as he continues to do in ours.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God's Command to Believers (Part 3)

This is the third in a series of five blogs. (They will be interspersed among the others) If you don't read any others, please read these. This is the heart and soul of our summer.

In Part 1 we saw that there is a serious problem in the world today. In Part 2 we saw that God is not silent about this problem and that he has revealed his heart for justice in scripture. Now, in Part 3, we will again see from scripture that God has a plan and purpose for believers in the work against evil and the care for victims of oppression.

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body." Hebrews 13:3

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." Matthew 23:23
Jesus seems to have held justice and mercy in high regard. He, at the very least, commands that they, along with faithfulness, not be neglected.

"Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause." Isaiah 1:17
Early on in our trip a gentleman saw our shirts that read, "Seek Justice" on the front in bold letters. He said that message was all wrong, as we are not to seek reparation against wrongdoing. I knew what he meant, but I also knew that the Bible is not commanding us to seek revenge on behalf of the oppressed when it calls us to seek justice.
This gentleman forced us to think more about these verses and how we are to seek justice.
If you read Isaiah 1:17 or Psalm 82:3-4, God is not calling us to fight evil, to seek revenge against evildoers, or to enact vengeance upon them. Our call is focused on the victim. The call is not to go in with guns blazing, but to separate the oppressed from the evil and to look after them and their needs. I think that human nature, and maybe especially American nature rubs against this thought. It's difficult to read the gut-wrenching accounts of slavery and forced prostitution and not want to react aggressively, even violently, against evil. Or maybe that's just because half of our team was in the Marine Corps. Either way, God tells us in Deuteronomy 32:35-36 that vengeance and recompense is his.
"Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.' For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free."
We have a call to love the oppressed. We have a call to rescue them from the wicked that they are enslaved to. We have a call to be mindful of those who are being mistreated around us. We are not to be silent. I love this! We are to be ambassadors for Christ, acting on his behalf to seek justice for the oppressed in the world. How can people say that being a Christian is boring? It's the greatest adventure! This will be emphasized in part 5, but it must be mentioned that this work to rescue physical victims of slavery should not.. it cannot be separated from the gospel. It cannot be separated from sharing with victims about the opportunity for spiritual, everlasting freedom. We cannot presume to know how to best incorporate these together, as we have not been a part of victim rescue or aftercare, but we can pray that opportunities abound for utterance of Christ's love to ALL people, including victims of trafficking and the traffickers.

Heeding God's call.. having a voice in the fight against trafficking is not as difficult as you may think. In part 4 we will look at ways in which we can work to be involved in the fight against trafficking.

"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

Down the stretch They Come

July 6 - Day 52
Lake Michigan
Written By Viking

This will be brief. It will be brief because we are less than 20 minutes from port in Ludington, MI. Early this week Rev and I decided that taking the car ferry across Lake Michigan was the wisest decision for our travel back to Grand Rapids this week. As a result, this will Lord-willing be the final day of travel on our journey, as we should be in Grand Rapids by noon.

We left Fargo, ND early Monday morning and enjoyed a very efficient day of travel across Minnesota. There was a noticeable spike in our energy levels, as the reality of our final week began to set in. We enthusiastically sang patriotic songs, we were aggressively honked at, and we did plenty of laughing and smiling. On Monday afternoon we arrived at a wonderful home to enjoy an evening of dinner and fireworks. Rev and I were also able to look back over the trip just a bit to recall the myriad of ways in which God has been providing for us in this short season of life. We trust that our testimonies of God's provision are empowering and encouraging, but we also inevitably leave homes full of encouragement and motivation to press on.

Press on we did, as Tuesday morning saw our longest single stretch of the trip, 92 miles. That's no stopping, whatsoever. No stop signs, no traffic, nothing. For nearly three hours. Strangely, though, neither Rev or I were overly fatigued by this stretch.

Rather than giddiness, Tuesday was a day of deeper reflection for me. Stirring up the lessons God has been teaching me on this journey the night before, I was beginning to see areas of my life where already my increased trust in God's sovereignty and provision are being further tested and expanded. These are experiences that give pause, but always end in a smile that stretches from my soul. No matter what I may desire or hope or pray for, I know that the plan that is absolutely best for my life will prevail. What a comfort.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I am finishing this blog at a restaurant in Ludington, MI where I ate on my first scooter trip last summer. We have 100 miles left to Grand Rapids, where it all began 52 'short' days ago.

Although our travel should conclude today, we humbly plead that you not abandon your loyal following of this blog just yet. Several of the most important blogs are yet to come, including personal reflections from both Rev and I.

Please pray for still continuing opportunities to proclaim the message of Christ's love for sinners and for justice. We are hoping for some media attention at this conclusion to aid us in our purpose, and we would ask for prayer that our message could be clearly related through those mediums, and that God will be greatly glorified.

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:36

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rain Drops Falling

July 3--Day 49
Fargo, ND
Written by Rev

We left camp in the morning. During our travels we experienced raindrops. Raindrops were excellent, yes excellent. When I lived in Grand Canyon National Park, there was not a drop of rain for a whole month and a half. When I felt the rain drops, I rejoiced. Call me crazy, but when it hasn't rained for some time, I get excited about it! It has seemed like forever since we experience rain as well. We have been thankful that it hasn't rained very much, since the first five days were brutal. But after our Alabama 10 minute rain storm, we haven't had a drop of it. So to say the least, I was extremely thankful and had a huge smiled on my face because of the drops that fell and hit us. What a blessing it was. Seriously. Praise the Lord.

Nothing much exciting happened during our travels to Fargo. We stopped at Viking's grandparents, which was a great experience! His grandpa told us stories about riding a train to Washington with just a little bit of money and his grandma's energy energized me to keep going on this journey. What a blessed stop it was!

We departed their house with a few pictures and then arrived in Fargo in the early afternoon. After hanging out and getting to know one more Stockeland family, we relaxed all evening. Relaxation has become a necessity in this trip. We have found out that it is extremely exhausting, so any chance we get we take time to rest. Praise the Lord for rest.

I mentioned to Viking that I would like to golf in Fargo. I usually golf about once a year, so I am by far from being good. Last year I golfed a decent amount and I find it to be very restful; that is when I hit straight shots and do decently well. It just so happens that Viking's brother has a membership at a local golf course, so he took Viking and I. It was a blast. My best shot of the day was a chip right into the hole. It was probably the best shot of my life. After it happened, I just stared at it and kept asking, "Did that really happen?" Yes it did! I was pumped.

We then relaxed some more at the pool and then hung out for the rest of the day. Such a blessing that rest is.

We spoke at Brookdale Baptist Church this morning in their Sunday school for about 10 minutes. It was great to be there and to be able to speak at another church this morning. This is the last church that we will be speaking at for the trip, but it is not over. We still have a great distance to travel back to Michigan and Lord willing talk with many more people that we come into contact with.

God has been extremely blessing us with some amazing people to talk with that we randomly meet. This trip has been a huge blessing to us in so many ways and we thank you all for your support through emails, prayers, texts, calls, and encouragement. God is good.

God sure has been raining blessing upon blessing down on Viking and I. We are so very thankful for all of these blessings.

To God be the Glory.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Many More Mr. Rogers?

June 30 - Day 46
FaHoCha Bible Camp (east of New Rockford, ND)
Written By Viking

When I was a young child, before I knew how to tell time, I figured out a way to understand how far we were from a destination on a trip. I was a fan of Mr. Rogers, and I knew approximately how long his show was. So, I would lean forward and ask, "Dad? How many more Mr. Rogers until we get there?" My dad would mentally break the trip down into half-hour segments and give me an estimate. I would be satisfied, as the trip was now manageable in my mind.
Today, I looked at the map as we were riding and saw a stretch until our next stop. I thought to myself, "Oh, that's only three more mouthfuls of sunflower seeds." Or one Mr. Rogers.

Yesterday was a slow morning. It was a blessing to have a home to ourselves to move around in, so we took advantage of that. I think we finally hit the road around 9am, but we traveled 70 miles right away, biting off a significant chunk of our day. We pressed on across Montana. Nothing much to report. We met many more bugs.. and we cleaned them off of our faces at every stop.

Just when we were nearing the 700-mile marker on Montana's Highway 2, we saw a most wondrous sight, North Dakota. If you've never been to North Dakota, sell your shoes, buy a pair of snowshoes, and come visit in June. My father grew up here, and he told me of a time when they played king of the hill on a snowdrift, but they eventually had to stop because the power lines started showing. Right now, North Dakota's weather is anything but cold. Rev and I rode into Williston, ND with temps in the high 90's and a humidity level at an extreme only North Dakota could produce. Williston, ND left such a strong impression that we visited twice, eventually deciding to spend the night there. All campgrounds were full. A great man had offered to buy us a hotel along the way, but all the hotels were booked, as well. There's oil in Williston, and everyone's after it. However, our friend explained what we were doing, and a hotel clerk said she would call her pastor. A short time later the pastor of a Williston church was showing us a plot of grass where we could pitch our tents. What a blessing!

We quickly pitched our tents and securely staked them in before the gnats and mosquitoes flew off with them. We knew we had to find some relief from the heat and bugs, so I suggested the American Legion ball field in Williston. I know you're dying to know how I knew about this field in the first place, so I'll tell you. In 1968 the North Dakota Babe Ruth League state championship was held in Williston. My dad's team won. Yesterday morning I asked my dad if he remembered where it was in town. He didn't for sure, but then said, "Oh, wait! You've been to that stadium before." He said it as if I should remember exactly where it was. Having been somewhere around five years old and definitely still in my Mr. Rogers stage, my way around Williston had faded. However, I asked my dad, "Do you know what else happened that year?" His immediate, matter-of-fact answer was, "I got a haircut." That's exactly what I was thinking of!! My father got a haircut on June 19, 1990! Rev could overhear the conversation, and he immediately realized that my unusual memory is genetic.

Anyway, we DID go to the stadium, we DID watch a Babe Ruth League game, and Rev DID find yet another baseball with the name Babe Ruth on it. We then played some catch, went to a Dairy Queen with no a/c to cool down, and went back to our tents. We lay there in our sweat for a while, but a cold front did come in, and we had a comfortable nights sleep.

This morning was a rapid scramble to pick up our campsite, again before mosquitoes made off with any of our belongings. A few diners and gas stations later, and we found ourselves on the east side of North Dakota. On the way, Brady received his first bee sting while riding a scooter. No tears were shed, and he handled it with much grace. He just showed me his hand and said, "A bee just stung me." At the same moment he was stung we were riding across a road that had been paved up with dirt due to the immense flooding that has been happening in central North Dakota.

I called my father to tell him where we were, as this is the area where he grew up, and he mentioned in passing, "You'll go right past FaHoCha." (When I learn what it means I'll let you know) FaHoCha is a Bible camp that my father spoke at when we lived in North Dakota. The Stockeland name is very highly thought of, so Moped Justice Mission was able to ride that wave into camp and enjoy a meal.

Shortly after arriving I discovered that something was missing from my crate. My baseball glove. I quickly thought of the time that it had likely happened. 98% of the time Rev rides behind me, but there was a stretch of very bumpy dirt road in a town 20 miles back when I was in the back. Bumps make things fall out. A staff member graciously allowed me to save an hour by letting me use her vehicle to go look for it. Based on the way this trip has been going, you would almost expect me to go to that road and find 32 baseball gloves laying on the ground. However, there wasn't a glove. I snooped around a little, but it was gone.

It seems that when something is taken from me or somehow removed from my life, it has been because God has been working to free me from something or to free me up for something. A glove may seem minor, but it represents a lot for me. So anyway, it looks like Rev and I are done playing catch for the summer, but we had a lot of fun. No regrets about bringing them, even if it was lost.

Some open bunk beds were offered to Rev and I at camp, and we have graciously accepted the offer, along with the use of the shower. The evening chapel time was such a blessing. I remarked to Rev that it was great to sing praises at the top of our lungs. He added, "Yeah, and with other people." The challenge by the speaker to make prayer a more critical part of your life did not fall on deaf ears, either.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Good doesn't mean easy. Good doesn't mean comfortable. Good could require making a wrong turn. Good could require a scooter breaking down. Good could require losing a baseball glove. God is good. All the time.

Thank you for your prayers. Despite the fantastically rural area we are traveling through, God has been opening many opportunities for utterance. I think we've had opportunities at nearly every stop we've made this week. We have been sweetly blessed by so many people. Our cup runneth over, and people are continuing to pour blessings upon us and our ministry. THANK YOU for your prayers, and for striving to finish strong with us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Mountains are Fading

June 28--Day 44
Malta, MT
Written by Rev

For the past 21 out of 23 years, my birthday has been celebrated at Holland State Park in Michigan. If you have never been there, go sell your....okay, just kidding. It is only sort of cool :)

Well this year it was spent in Glacier National Park with a very good friend. We woke up Monday and headed the 30 some miles to the park and immediately were captivated by the snow capped mountains. It was so very beautiful as we were overlooking the lake with the mountains in the background!

We had planned to hike a trail named, "Avalance Lake." It was an out and back hike that was four miles round trip, ending at a magnificient lake with mountains and waterfalls in the background. It was only 500 feet in elevation, therefore I figured my knee could handle it. We took very minimal supplies: a candy bar and water. As we approached the lake, there was a log jam at one end. Viking and I are very adventurous, so we just had to go out on the floating logs. We managed to stay dry and even capture some pretty amazing photographs.

We ventured down the shoreline and found a nice bench to sit on and eat our candy bars. I then made the decision to drink all of my water. Bad decision. Just kidding. It wasn't a bad decision, since this hike was pretty much like walking on flat ground. Anyway, after some more scenic photos, we headed back on the trail and back to our bikes. We zoomed back to the first lake, enjoying the reflection of the mountains on the water--so cool!

Since the famous "Going-to-the-sun-road" was closed, we took highway 2 all the way to what is called "West Glacier". But on the way we were told that there were mountain goats under the bridge. So, being adventurous once again, we found about 10 mountain goats. The white, shaggy looking ones. I had never seen them before, so they were very interesting to view and look at. Viking actually became very nervous since he spooked some and then wondered if they were offensive animals. They weren't, they were just hanging out in the shade, minding their own business.

At West Glacier, we ate dinner at a really small town restaurant named Lunas. We ate are fill and then were given free dessert because of my birthday and yes, they even sang to me. I must admit that it was pretty awesome. Then, they advised us to take a road that took us 12 miles out of the way, but they promised that they view would be worth it. So we took their advice and I believe that those 12 extra miles were definitely worth seeing!

As we headed further east along highway too, there was some mixed emotions running through my mind. I kept thinking, "I am getting close to home, but this is the last time I will see these amazing Rocky Mountains on this trip--maybe for the rest of my life!" But we ended up being able to see them even this morning, 75 miles later. So beautiful!

We had our best campsite ever on the trip so far. I cannot even describe it, but I will do my best. It was pretty much in a rock formation that blocked the wind completely. We were worried about our stakes going into the ground, but no worries, they slid in like a knife cutting through butter!

It was pretty chilly when we woke up, so we headed out decently early, but the sun promised us a warm day. The day heated up nicely, but we also destroyed so many mosquitos. I bet it was at least 5 every 30 seconds. We are staying at a house that a couple from Kalispell is letting us use tonight. So very thankful! We were told that the mosquito population was crazy throughout here, but didn't think it would be that bad, so we are thankful for a place to stay inside!

But backing up to our breakfast. We were sitting down when a group of bikers came in. One man asked us, "Are you the guys on mopeds?" We replied happily, "Of course!" We shared information and he was actually from Traverse City, MI and his parents live in Grand Rapids, MI! So crazy! We were very blessed by this man, such a great group of fellow bikers!

Then, when we were getting gas a man approached us inquiring about what Moped Justice Mission was. We explained what we were doing and he told us that he was a pastor. He then bought us gas and prayed with us, right there in the gas station. He thanked the Lord for us and asked for protection for us--God is good!

Well, it was great way to spend a birthday and thank you all for the birthday wishes! It meant so much to me! Also, thank you from the both of us for the prayers, encouragement and support! God is good!

To God Be The Glory!

Monday, June 27, 2011

God's Heart for Justice and the Oppressed (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of five blogs. (They will be interspersed among the others) If you don't read any others, please read these. This is the heart and soul of our summer.

In Part 1 we looked at the problem of Human Trafficking in the world today. We know it is a problem, we know that the Bible is not silent about this evil, and we will now see that God is not silent in showing us his love for justice. In this second part we will simply examine the heart of God through the blessing of scripture and see his revealed plan for injustice.

We read the first part of Psalm 10 when looking at the problem. Take a moment to reflect on the magnitude and horror of the problem.

Now, read Psalm 10:12-18
"Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not call to account"? But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none. The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more."

Psalm 11:5-7
"The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face."

Isaiah 59:15-16
"The LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him."

We have enjoyed speaking with several youth groups at churches this summer. When Brady asks someone to read one of these verses and then asks what it means, they pause for a second and questioningly say, "God.. loves.. justice?" "God... hates evil?" Yes! Absolutely! I so appreciate Isaiah 61:8 because it blatantly shows us God's heart.

Isaiah 61:8
"for I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong."

That's as clear as a glacier stream. (really clear)

For me, this is pretty encouraging. I have to smile and wriggle around when reading these verses, because I am assured that God is passionately opposed to evil and oppression. Beyond that, he hears the cries of the oppressed, he hears the cries of those calling to him on behalf of the oppressed, and he is active. He is breaking the arm of the evildoer and calling them to account. He is lifting up his hand against evil. Is that not an awesome, empowering image? God is delivering them their fiery portion. God's actions against evildoers will become even more significant in the next part of this 5 part series.

All the passages we have looked at are in the Old Testament, written before the coming of Jesus Christ, God's son. In Luke we have the account of Jesus reading from the book of Isaiah. We will look at this passage more in the final part of the series, but as it further reveals God's heart toward the oppressed, I think this is a fitting place for it.

Luke 4:16-21
"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

God is not silent about the problem of human trafficking or modern-day slavery. I feel that his concern for the oppressed and his aggressive fury toward evil is clearly seen. More than anything, be encouraged. Pray for God to continue to strengthen and uphold the oppressed, and to raise us his supremely powerful hand against the evildoers.

God loves justice and hates evil. So what is his plan? How is God intending to bring about justice and freedom for the oppressed? What is the role of believers in his plan? Fortunately for us, the scriptures provide us with those answers, as well, and that is what we will look at in the next part.

Jeremiah 9:23-24
"Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sooo.. Highway 2 is Pretty Long.

June 26 - Day 42
Kalispell, MT
Written By Viking

I inherited from my father a healthy appreciation for the philosophical thinking of John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes. Well, Calvin and Hobbes, to be more exact. In one of my favorite strips Calvin is looking at the starry night sky and, looking up, screams, "I'M SIGNIFICANT!" He then looks forward and mutters, "..said the tiny little speck."

Driving through the landscape of the past few days, it can definitely create that feeling in you. Especially if you're on a scooter. However, despite our minute, ever-so temporary existence on earth, God is still mindful of us. And he loves us. Whether you've received him as your savior or not, God loves you.
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

God continues to provide for us. I try to think of all the ways he is providing for us that I take for granted. The northern states have been saturated in rain. We haven't had rain since Alabama. We have scooters that run. We have been exposed to a myriad of unique bacteria across our journey, yet we remain healthy. I was briefly threatened with tonsillitis but a Grand Canyon hike sweat that out of me very effectively. His provision has served to strengthen and deepen our faith and trust in him, and to be even more bold in our ideas and plans and endeavors for the future. Hold on to your seat, mom, the Marine Corps barely scratched the surface of God's adventures for my life.

On Friday afternoon we rolled into a Honda dealer called Spokane Motorsports. It's in Spokane. We have two spare belts for our scooters, and we were thinking it may be about time for them to be replaced. We've lost some top speed over the weeks, so we were hoping it may bring that back up. The labor costs would have made the belt replacement $40 each, and we didn't think that was wise stewardship of our funds. We could do it ourselves, but we don't carry an impact wrench in our back pocket. We lingered around the dealer, debating some other purchases. In a little bit a salesman approached me and told me that he saw that what we were doing was from God, and he would be paying for our belt replacements. God is constantly humbling us and making us in awe of his clear provision for our daily bread. Even the needs of our scooters. We were also given replacement bolts that had rattled out of our fender. Small, but still very thoughtful and encouraging. We also ended up buying warmer gloves and rain gear, and we were given a discount on that, as well. Thank you for your support, Spokane Motorsports. We were blessed by your kindness, and help, even though we made some of you stay late.

Just as we were leaving the Honda dealer, we discovered that Harriet was unpleased with the new belt, and seemed to be an incompatible host. She refused to go above 30mph. We had planned to go another 40 miles that day, but we decided to grab a bite to eat and pray about what our options were. We decided to stay in Spokane, return to the dealer Saturday morning, and if it was a bigger problem, we would maybe split up to make sure that our church opportunity in Montana was not lost. We made our way to a state park that we discovered to be full. However.. a funny thing happened on the way. Slowly, Harriet began to regain her strength. At one point she was very near 40mph. We found an rv park 10 miles up the road and decided to check it out. We arrived to find it far mor expensive than we thought was justified just to put some stakes in grass.

So, with Harriet seemingly close to her old reliable self, we donned our new warming layers and continued on into the night. Mothers, our new rain gear has reflective gear built in to it, so we were very, very visible. We were also very comfortable, and very pleased with our purchases. It was a thrill to enthusiastically hurl our ragged old rain suits into the trash, as well.

A brief aside... When Harriet was running poorly, I was ready for Brady to snap. I thought he was going to be furious, and it would have been a natural reaction for most people. However, with the God-send of having our belt replacement paid for, we knew this was from God, and I was encouraged and uplifted by Brady's example of having a great attitude about it. Actually, I would say that our spirits were at their highest of the day when Harriet gave us trouble. Praise the Lord for trials. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

We stayed at a nice little family-owned campground right on a lake south of Newport, WA on Friday night. The weather dipped down to a balmy 40 degrees, so we discovered that you can still curl up into a very tight fetal position in a sleeping bag.

With our new warming layers we bravely faced the cold winds in the morning, heading out before 7am. We had our first dual-state day since the four corners as we passed from Washington through the Idaho panhandle and into Montana. It's hard to explain, but Montana's sky really does seem to be bigger. It also has bald eagles that majestically soar through the big sky.

Kalispell, MT was our destination, as my father again heroically contacted a church, and they were graciously willing to allow us to share our ministry with them. As we rolled into Kalispell, I realized that this town has the most beautiful view of any town we've seen on the trip. The Rocky Mountains are literally out the back door.

We arrived here Saturday afternoon. We have had some much needed time of rest. This morning we were able to share briefly in services, as well as speaking with the youth group. It was a warm and welcoming church who were very interested in our minstry. I'm not sure who's more blessed at these churches, as they express gratitude for our visit, but we are thrilled to fellowship with believers and overjoyed to gain a listening ear to share God's heart for the oppressed. It's a nice give-and-take.

We toyed with the idea of continuing on this afternoon, but I fell asleep a few seconds after laying down this afternoon, so we will be setting out tomorrow morning with the goal of Fargo, ND by next Sunday. We have some exciting plans for the beginning of the week, and then we will be fighting mind-numbing boredom as we will be on the same road for 5 days. Good ol' highway 2.

Incidentally, Rev's birthday is tomorrow. I'm not sure how you can reach him aside from our Facebook or email, but as he's away from family and loved ones and stuck with me, he could probably use some encouragement. We plan to celebrate by glorying in God's creation, eating two meals, and riding scooters. We pull out all the stops in our birthday celebrations. Happy birthday to anyone else who may have a birthday tomorrow, as well!

"O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24
Read all of Psalm 104 when you have opportunity. God is an all-sufficient, ever-providing God.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Loooooooovvvvveeee it!!!!!!!!!

June 23--Day 39
Leavenworth, WA
Written by Rev

I was eating a hamburger one night with my girlfriend, she took the first bite and said in as low of voice as she could go, "I LOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE MEAT!" That is exactly how I felt this morning and all day, except that it wasn't meat that I loved; it was this mission that we are on. I love it.

After a long, cold ride yesterday, we made it safely to campground in Montesano, WA. It was a beautiful drive in as we witnessed the wreckage of hurricane winds to a forest back in 2007. We had to cross a four mile bridge over the Columbia River to get to Washington. I loved it.

As we were arranging our campsite with the Park Service, we decided that a campfire would be great to have. We did not regret that decision. It was awesome to sit at a fire, just the two of us and discuss how the trip has been going as well as ways to improve. I loved it.

I had a pretty sore neck and back from my accident, but Viking let me sleep in, which was awesome. We left around 8 AM to head to Bremerton to catch a ferry across Puget Sound to Seattle, WA. It was a beautiful boat ride, at least I think it was--I slept most of the way. But once again Viking woke me up just in time to enjoy the view of approaching the city. We then made our way to the original Starbucks to get a cup of coffee. I loved it. Oh, did I mention that it was sunny today? The first time in four days that we have seen the sun!

We spent a few hours there wandering around the city and enjoying it. We have decided not to head into Canada because that would make our destination for Sunday in Montana a long way off. We decided that we would only travel about 100 more miles today, especially because we were headed through the Cascade Mountains. I didn't think it would be that bad because we had to go up to Steven's Pass at 4,000 feet of elevation and then back down. Well it was bad. Freezing cold, but amazing views. We actually went above some clouds and had snow capped mountains as well! The road was wet, which made it interesting, but the views made up for it. I kept saying over and over again, "I love it!"

We hobbled into a local diner because we were so cold, but then we decided that since they claimed to have 'the best milk shakes in the world' that we had to decide for ourselves if they were. I agree, they were excellent. Once again, I muttered, "I love it!"

The next 16 miles to our campsite were beautiful as we followed a thunderous river to our destination tonight. We are at another campground and are enjoying playing catch and sitting by a campfire once again. We have decided to do campgrounds because they are a great way to talk to more people about our ministry and what we are doing. It has been great talking with so many people.

This trip has been awesome thus far. It has been amazing to see God's creation as well as talking with so many people about this terrible injustice in the world today. We cannot thank you enough for all your prayers and support! It has been amazing for the both of us to realize the power of prayer as well as the reliance on God that we need in our day-to-day life.

Oh and did I mention that we are on the home stretch. We made a right hand turn in Seattle onto highway 2 and this is the road that will take us to the Mackinac Bridge. We will be home soon. I cannot wait.

God is good. I love it!

To God Be the Glory.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Long and Winding Road

June 21 - Day 37
North Bend, OR
Written By Viking

The long and winding road I am writing about is not the road that leads, as the Beatles claim, to your door. Unless your door is at the north end of the Pacific coast. In that event, we need a place to do laundry. The road I refer to is the classic Pacific Coast highway, or highway 1. Where we are now it has become highway 101, but its' coastal proximity remains unchanged.

These past two days have been pretty typical days, as far as this summer goes. Many miles covered, many awesome sights, many great people met, and many valuable life lessons learned. Pretty typical day for the summer. I am so happy.

We quietly left Santa Rosa on Monday morning, winding our way through the numerous vineyards in Sonoma County on our way out to the coast. The northern California coastline is not warm. It's usually very windy and mostly overcast. The past two days have been full warming layers for us, minus the dirty socks on our hands. The wind, cold, hills, and curves manage to stretch out our days quite a bit. It took us just over 11 hours yesterday, stops included, to cover about 200 miles. We ended the day on a very positive note, though, as we had some great conversations with some other travelers at our campground. I always display deference to bicyclists when I see them on the road, so it was great to chat with one who is riding from Los Angeles to Seattle and back. A bicycle trip was my original desire, but the scooter was available, and therefore cheaper. I just made Rev buy one.

We set out this morning in a thick fog. Very thick. It quickly accumulated on our scooters, goggles, and pants. There was no wind, though, so we were in good enough spirits. Pretty early on we passed through Redwood National Forest. We missed the Sequoia's in the south, so this was an adequate consolation prize. They were huge and impressive. We could fit both of our scooters inside a burned-out trunk.

There was that whole Pacific Ocean place, as well. Many times it couldn't be seen due to the fog, but when we could see it, it was pretty impressive. Very impressive. I was especially awed when I couldn't see it, but I could still hear it.

We crossed into Oregon in the early afternoon. A short time later we pulled onto a gravel turnout to... look at some shrubbery. I saw the monstrous pothole between the pavement and gravel in time to swerve around it. Rev did not. In my sideview mirror I watched Rev and Harriet go their separate ways and quickly went over to see if Harriet was okay. Kidding. I checked on Rev first, but he was already standing. Harriet was scratched up pretty bad on her right side, but she started as soon as Rev got her upright. We re-tightened all of the gear, and then Brady realized that he somehow didn't have a scratch on him. We've talked about it several times since then.. I thought I saw him in the air, and then on his back in the gravel, but he had no dirt on him and not even a bump. As Rev said, "It's as if Harriet landed on gravel and I landed on a mattress." So that was good, I guess. (understatement) I told Rev it would have been awful if I had to call an ambulance because Harriet was hurt. Kidding again. Praise the Lord for his protection, and thank you for your prayers. Even prayers for safety, I suppose.

What other news to report.. I had a swollen lip for the past two days. I'm not really sure why. I wish I could say it was a bite from some rare spider in a remote mission field, but yeah.. it's not. It's probably from a sunburn or something. I look mostly normal again, though, and can talk correctly.

I suppose I'll wrap this up with an explanation as to my naming of Sojourner. There are a few rules for naming a scooter you should be aware of. One, it should generally be a woman's name. (Unless it's named Wilberforce, because he was a great man.) Two, you cannot personally know anyone with the name that you choose. That's really the only two rules. You can add and remove rules as you see fit.
My first scooter was originally named Thelma, but was re-christened Wilberforce in lieu of the summer trip. My first thought was to rename this scooter Thelma, especially since I moved the battery case from Thelma to this one. However, in the same way that you can't give the same name to two pets, I couldn't call another scooter Thelma. Besides, their personalities are way too different. Is this weird yet?? Thelma was slow but steady, while this scooter has a penchant for 'speed', yet really struggles up hills. I prefer the first disposition, but after this scooter managed to cross the Sierra Nevada's, I knew she had earned a name. I toyed with one other name, but I then remembered that my elementary school secretary in 4th-6th grade had that name, so I had to disqualify it. Rules are rules, even if I made them.
As soon as I thought of Sojourner, though, I knew it was a match. We are even able to maintain the abolitionist theme with the reference to Sojourner Truth, the well-known American abolitionist born in the late eighteenth century.
A little while ago Rev and I listened to a sermon online about observing the Sabbath, and in Deuteronomy 5:13 it commanded even the sojourners within the city gates to observe the Sabbath. I suppose based on my reflecting on that message the name was in my thoughts. Sojourners were also listed in the groups of people who were threatened with oppression. In First Peter 2 Peter refers to the scattered Christians as sojourners and exiles. In verses 11-12 he offers this command, "Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."
This has become a prayer for many of my little God-given adventures, so I thought Sojourner was a great name, serving as a reminder to our call for honorable conduct throughout this summer, as well as, Lord-willing, our days and years to follow.

Our bodies are beginning to wear down a bit. Our knees are recovering very slowly from some minor injuries, and a lot of little aches and pains are becoming more consistent. This obviously can affect our attitudes and patience with each other, so we continue to covet your prayers for us as we strive to finish the race and keep the faith ever at the forefront o our actions. Fortunately people continue to encourage us with their exuberant reactions to our trip, and we continue to be given opportunities of utterance. I like that word.

Time for bed. I don't have any possessions to suggest selling, but worry not, more will be coming.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

June 19--Day 35
Santa Rosa, CA
Written by Rev

We are currently in Viking's old stomping grounds, as well as in a house. God is good. We were able to see Viking's old homestead in Santa Rosa, but before that, some really cool things happened.

We were able to stay with an amazing woman this weekend. We heard many amazing stories and memories from this woman's life and we were so very thankful to have heard her testimony and love for the Lord. She is amazing and she also cooked so extremely well. God is good.

She lent us her vehicle to take into San Francisco instead of our mopeds. We spent the day in the city walking around, trying not to act like a tourist. After a couple of hours, we were extremely exhausted from all the people so we decided to sit at a Starbucks working on things. I was able to get some things done for church work and Viking loaded pictures on Facebook.

Then, this is one of the amazing things that have happened on the trip. Remember the two men that we met hiking the Grand Canyon, named Bert and John? Well they are from Oakland and we received an email from them asking us to stop in their place if we needed anything when we were in the area. Pause.

We also were hoping to watch a Major League Baseball game on this trip. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to attend one as we were in the area of two stadiums of the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. We checked the schedule and those two teams actually were playing each other, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. We were pumped.

So now we had an amazing opportunity to go to a baseball game as well as hang out with Bert and John. So we called them and asked if they wanted to go to the game. They agreed and we met them there. It was great to share a baseball game and great fellowship with two other men that we met in the Grand Canyon! God is good.

The Oakland Athletics actually won against the Giants--sorry Giants fans.

Happy Fathers day to all you Fathers who are reading this. It is a bummmer that we have to be away from our fathers on this special day, but the love and support that we both have received from our fathers in this ministry and our lives is amazing. Praise the Lord.

We were privileged to speak at San Jose Christian Reformed Church this Sunday morning and it was amazing. Pastor Brad gave us this opportunity to speak on a last minute notice and we appreciated it very much. The congregation welcomed us greatly and it was absolutely amazing to share God's heart for justice. God is good.

On the way home from church, we stayed in a group of vehicles for some time. This couple was looking at us and smiling, so Viking reached into his pocket and pulled out a prayer card and handed it to them. At the next stop light, the girl got out and gave us a twenty dollar bill. God is good.

We decided to leave this afternoon in order to get out of the city and to see Viking's old stomping grounds and to see an old family friend. But getting there we were able to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Yes, the big one in California. So cool, especially on a moped. I literally laughed out loud when I was riding across it. God is good :)

Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We will be heading up highway 1 all the way to Seattle and we have been told oodles of times that this is a beautiful highway. We cannot wait.

Some encouraging words from Psalm 121:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Great Thou Art

June 18 - Day 34
San Jose, CA
Written By Viking

Rev and I decided to split up the blogging duties for this post, considering that fitting 5 days into a single blog could be difficult. So if you haven't read the previous blog yet (Desert), you may wish to.

In the last blog Rev left us in Tonopah, NV on Tuesday evening. Just as we were setting off on the day's travels we saw some snow-capped mountains in the distance. I am usually pretty calm with the camera, but I was snapping a lot of pictures because I thought they were great, and I didn't know when I would see snow-capped mountains again. Yeah.

Our destination for the day was Yoesmite National Park. At the Grand Canyon I was told of a beautiful hike there that Rev and I wanted to experience. We also saw that parks were ideal places to share our ministry, as the patrons of these parks are generally in a more casual, laid back, talkative mood. So that was the plan. At our first stop for gas and a bite to eat, we were informed that the east gate to Yosemite (Tioga Pass, for you Yosemite veterans) was still under 15 feet of snow. In June. I was disappointed that I hadn't thought to call ahead like I have with many other potential problems, but there we were. In looking at the map we saw that the next quickest route would essentially add a day to our travel time. Rev and I figured out that we still had time to make it to the park, and we both knew it would put us in closer proximity to reachable people than anything else in the area.

The detour was disappointing, but I think we were handling it well, knowing we would still be at a church on Sunday. On roads with lots of elevation changes Rev is always faster on the uphill parts, and I can always pull far ahead on the downhills. I think that most of this difference is related to our difference in body weight. Needless to say, there was a bit of elevation change on this road.

In Bridgeport, CA we turned west on highway 108. If you've never been on highway 108, sell your computer and go visit it. It is, without hesitation, the most beautiful, breathtaking, awe-inspiring road I have ever been on. I believe Rev resonates those feelings. We climbed to an elevation of over 9,600 feet. Remember those snow-capped mountains I was so excited about? At one point the road was so steep I had to get off and push my scooter, and I was pushing it next to a wall of snow three times taller than I am. What beauty! AAhhhhhh!!!
At the peak of our climb our roles changed, as I was now screaming down the hill at the breakneck speed of 45mph. I felt bad for going so fast. You could walk this road and still miss so much of God's beautiful handiwork. There was a mountain 'stream' alongside the road that was pounding down the mountain with intimidating force. There were many, many times when I would see a part of the mountain, and I would have loved to just stop and climb all over the untrodden landscape. Next time. There was a song that was stuck in my head throughout this entire day, and as we would go on I would just sing it louder and louder.

I could write a whole book chapter (hmm...) about this road, so I will stop. We made it within 40 miles of Yosemite before stopping to sleep.

Thursday. (Sorry this is long, but I'm enjoying recalling the week's events.) Thursday was our climb into Yosemite. We arrived just before noon. As we entered into the Yosemite Valley, speakable words left our lips. Rev and I would see something and just grab our helmet and scream and point. We were both giddy with excitement and joy at the magnificence that was before us. I was nearly in tears as we would pass by waterfalls that were cascading for thousands of feet. That same song continued its constant repeat in my head. My lips were speechless, though.

We confirmed that our desired hike was not buried in snow and grabbed a bite to eat. Our goal was a hike to the top of Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and the fifth tallest in the world. As we set off, Brady realized that his knee was hurting too much to climb very far, but he graciously let me continue on. As he hobbled around the valley floor to explore (he was legitimately in pain, so there is no grief being given on my part) I was climbing to the top. It was beautiful. If you haven't been there, sell your dishwasher and go visit it. Just like the Grand Canyon, though, my greatest joy came in the climb up and down more than the view. Nevertheless, the song in my head continued.

Soaked in salt and sweat, I met back up with Brady and we packed up to head out of the Park. So we spent maybe 7 hours in the park, but we got our money's worth.

We camped in a National forest that evening and continued west in the morning. It was fun to get to cities that were becoming familiar to me, as I lived north of the bay area for three years. One last story, and I'll be done.

If you take 130 from Modesto to San Jose, prepare to lose your lunch. The road was at least 60 miles, and.. using a very conservative estimate.. I would say there were at least 735 curves in that stretch. 5-10 curves is good. 30-40 is intense. Hundreds of curves is just plain awful. We weren't getting sick, but we were exhausted after it was over. Our already aching tailbones are driven even harder into the seat in the curve, and every pebble you see could be the pebble that causes your wheel to slide our from under you. However, the risk was well worth the reward, which is a beautiful home to stay in, wonderful fellowship, and a queen-size bed to type this blog from!

As we enter a densely populated stretch of travel, please pray for an influx in opportunities to speak with people about what God has laid on our hearts. Pray for unity between Rev and I. Pray that God's light will shine through us.. through our words and our actions with each other and with others.

My scooter has earned a name. Sojourner. I will explain my decision in a later blog, if I remember.

Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works thy hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy Power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, My savior, God, to thee!
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, My savior, God, to thee!
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel he gentle breeze;

And when I think that God his son not sparing,
Sent him to die - I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home- what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim, my God, how great thou art!

I could spend my whole life searching, but no mountain pass our National Park can compare to the all surpassing joy of knowing Christ as my Savior.

Friday, June 17, 2011


June 17--Day 33
San Jose, California
Written by Rev(Brady)

So, it has been a while. Sorry to keep some of you coming back to this page and reading the same blog posting over and over again. We apologize, but that is due to a number of reasons, but mainly because we were in the Mojave Desert hanging out with the Joshua Trees. Look them up, they are pretty awesome. We are currently in San Jose, CA. Wow. We made it all the way across the country with 49cc engines. Crazy. Rewind to last Sunday.

We stayed in Flagstaff, AZ on Saturday night and was planning on speaking at a night service on Sunday night. We decided to attend Flagstaff Indian Bible Church, where we were supposed to speak the weekend before, to worship with them. Pastor Mike was gracious enough to give us some microphone time as we spoke to the congregation. What an amazing group of people. They were very welcoming to us and also were interested in our ministry. It was an amazing to worship with them as we even sang a song in Navajo, which was awesome to just sit and listen to another language being lifted up in praise to our Heavenly Father. It was simply awesome.

At night we were privileged to speak at Calvary Bible Church in Flagstaff, AZ as well. This was a great experience as people even wanted to tell their kids about what we were doing! God is good!

We left very early Monday morning, but not as early as we had planned. It was a blessing in disguise though because it was cold. The wind chill and temperatures easily were lower than 10 degrees. Therefore, we literally had almost every article of clothing on. For example, two pairs of pants, shirts, scarfs, gloves and then two pairs of socks on each hand for extra warmth, which helped only a little bit. But it soon warmed up and we could take off our ridiculous looking outfits.

The unnamed moped, Viking's that is, was running very well through the desert mountains. It was such a joy to be in the desert heat driving through the hills on up to Las Vegas. I was getting excited as we approached the Hoover Dam. Viking said it was big, but I didn't know just how big a dam could be. It was big, really big.

We arrived in Las Vegas, at the Wunderink home as we had planned. We played in the pool some awesome game of catch with a football, as well as Rev throwing the ball for Viking to go find at the bottom of the pool. Some might call this 'fetch'.

Viking went to visit a family friend who lived there and Rev visited with Mrs. Wunderink. I was able to experience parts of Vegas, see where their church was and learn a lot about their ministry in Vegas. It was a great and relaxing afternoon and night for the both of us.

In the late morning, we set out for Tonopah, NV. It was a great day, some would say. It took us about two hours to get out of Vegas. We met a very nice man who gave us his cell phone number in case we broke down in the desert. God is good.

We didn't break down, but we did give the bikes a rest and we even stopped for a picture with the Joshua trees. I learned that they are native only to the Mojave Desert.

As we have continued to press on in this mission, God has completely opened up so many opportunities to talk with people by use of the mopeds. As we pull into gas stations, people give us a funny look and ask, "Are you really from Michigan?" "Why of course!" we answer. Then we begin to explain why. God is doing a great work and we continue thank you for the emails and texts of encouragement as well as the prayers. God is so good and we cannot thank Him enough.

To Him Be the Glory and Honor. Amen.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Problem (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of five blogs. (They will be interspersed among the others) If you don't read any others, please read these. This is the heart and soul of our summer.

Psalm 10:1-11

There are some key phrases to look at in that passage. "Greedy for gain" in verse 3, "deceit and oppression" in verse 7, "sits in ambush... eyes stealthily watch for the helpless" in verse 8, "siezes the poor" in verse 9.
This Psalm was written by David over 2,000 years ago about the evil and oppression in the world, but these verses and these phrases that we are focusing in on apply to a problem that is still in the world today. This problem is human trafficking, or modern-day slavery.

A definition of human trafficking would be when a person is recruited or transferred through some form of coercion or deception and exploited, primarily for forced labor or sexual exploitation.
There are many different manifestations of human trafficking. Two of the most prominent are forced or bonded labor and sex trafficking. Bonded labor is when a person is trapped in a debt to a person that they cannot escape. They're generally given a small loan and required to work it off, but the interest, minimal wages, and maximum cost of living trap the debtor in a labor situation that they cannot escape. This type of slavery can even carry over to several generations of bonded labor.
Sex trafficking is something that should be self-explanatory, and due to its' deplorable nature will not be expanded upon in this blog.

Deception in forced labor has already been explained somewhat. Deception occurs in other forms of trafficking. Traffickers will visit poor villages and poor families and promise the family a good job for their child if they come with them to a city, where they can send money back to support the family. Or there may be a promise of a modeling or fashion career to a young girl. Of course, once the child is separated from the family, they are never heard from again.
Coercion is another common method of exploitation. This occurs primarily through blackmail, threats, weapons, and physical force. The individuals who implement these forms of coercion are at the bottom of the chain of command, however. There are always powers behind the force, which always includes individuals who make a claim to lawful authority. They are corrupt authority figures who make a profit by turning a blind eye to the evil in their jurisdiction, or even work to promote the illegal activity. Ecclesiastes 5:8 tells us not to be surprised by this corruption.

Human trafficking is a 31 billion dollar industry.
According to our resources, it is the third largest and fastest growing crime in the world, behind drugs and weapons sales.
There are approximately 27 million slaves in the world today. That is more slaves than there were during the entire 300 year Atlantic slave trade period.
Of those 27 million, 2 million are children exploited in the global sex trade, the youngest girl rescued from sexual slavery being 4 years old.
During the Atlantic slave trade slaves were valued at $40,000, according to today's dollar.
Today, for $100 a trafficker can buy a child.

Humans have become disposable.

Please read these verses that further speak of the evil that the world is plagued with both then and now.
Isaiah 59:7-9
Lamentations 5:11-13
Ezekiel 22:29
Ecclesiastes 4:1

All along this trip people try to predict where trafficking is happening. "This is probably a huge problem in Africa or Saudi Arabia, right?" "Oh man, China has so many problems with this, it's just awful." "So I bet Mexico is the worst place for this, isn't it?"

To answer that last question, two-thirds of the world's slaves are in the country of India. However, although there are areas and regions of the world where slavery is more prominent, there is not a single country that doesn't have some level of slavery or trafficking taking place. There are about 150,000 slaves in the United States today, with 20,000 people being trafficked across our borders every year. These slaves are not just international people either. 100,000 of these slaves are girls between the ages of 9 and 19. Nine and nineteen.

In the right column of this webpage are several resources that can give you a multitude of examples and gut-wrenching accounts of slavery in our world, even in suburban America. Due to the fact that we aren't aware of our reading audience, we will let you research that yourself.

Trafficking isn't just a problem for third-world or developing countries. It isn't just a problem for bad neighborhoods or children with bad parents. It has permeated the world. But even if just one girl on the other side of the planet was enslaved, God still has a command and call to believers for action. But first, we will examine the heart of God through the blessing of scripture and see his revealed plan for injustice.

This is my comfort after writing and thinking about this problem:
"For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Daniel 4:3

"How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation."

(An account of the Grand Canyon from the perspective of a 'first-timer')

The Grand Canyon stop was one of the few pre-planned events of this summer trip. On the long road up to the Grand Canyon I joked with rev that my excitement level was around 1.3 and dropping with every hill. I did confess to him, however, that I was very excited to see the Grand Canyon for myself, and even more thrilled to descend into it.

As we entered into the National Park we pulled off at Desert View (for those who have been there) to get our first glimpse of the canyon. Good thing. I would have almost certainly crashed if I saw the canyon for the first time from the road. I don't care what size television you have with whatever kind of resolution.. you need to sell it and take a trip to the Grand Canyon. No image can do it justice. As I saw the expanse I exhaled sharply. It took my breath away. My excitement quickly rose to 22. Out of 10.

Fast forward to the hike. I thought it was great that within a couple hours of seeing the canyon for the first time I was stepping over the edge. Fortunately, I had a friend who has hiked the trails quite a few times. The trip down was magnificent. The sun set a little over halfway through our descent which provided for some beautiful hiking. I enjoyed the night hike down the inner gorge, and I especially enjoyed watching bats run into Brady. He didn't seem to enjoy that part so much.

I thought the canyon was really windy at one point, but then realized that although we were thousands of feet up, I could already hear the roar of the Colorado River's rapids. What a powerful display. We eventually reached the bottom of the canyon in relatively good shape. The impact of the descending steps for 7 miles was rough but easily tolerable. After finding a place to lay down on the canyon floor we soaked our feet in the Bright Angel Creek. Before this Brady lost the nipple to his Camelbak when it caught on a bridge railing. It was washed downstream before we even knew what happened. So Rev didn't drink any more water. Kidding.. he plugged the hose with a pen.

Anyway, we slept, we arose, and we set off for our ascent. The first 7 miles of the climb up the North Side were bearably flat, so we kept a decent pace. I was enjoying the rushing creek that we followed, as well as watching the sun creep down the canyon walls, closer and closer to the inner gorge. At our second rest break I realized that I may have a rough day ahead of me. My right trapezius was in significant discomfort, and my legs had begun cramping with nearly every step. I had a sodium-enriched meal and laid down for a bit before we began the actual ascent. I was frustrated that my muscles were wearing out so quickly. Discomfort is one thing, but a cramp is hard to work through.

The short breaks became more frequent, and we were able to bite off the ascent one chunk at a time. I noted on our hike that I really liked the camaraderie that was displayed among hikers. With almost every group that was headed in the other direction we would stop to see where they were going or where they were from. I also carried some of our prayer cards and we would tell them what we were doing with our summer. I really liked that sort of community within the canyon.

I was a little disappointed in Rev, though. He's been packing my Banagrams game this whole trip but somehow didn't consider it to be essential gear for our hike. I can't imagine many people can claim to have played speed scrabble in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and now we can't either. Someday. He did forget a bottle of Arizona sand in a pocket of his pack, though, so he did carry that through the canyon.

Moving on, we continued our slow climb. With 1.2 miles left we still had almost 1,500 feet to climb in elevation. I may have been a tiny bit irritable at this point, but I'm sure it was solely due to the flies. Still, one step at a time found us at a lookout rock a half mile from the trail head. In a few minutes we rounded our final curve and saw our path open onto the canyon rim.

So that was fun. Seeing the canyon was something, but experiencing the canyon was something else. I realized that in the hike. As I was hiking, I wasn't enjoying it because of the beautiful views or the wonderful sights. Those were great, but the primary reason I was enjoying it was because of the experience and the challenge. It was great because we weren't on the outside, looking in. As we stood on the North Rim I repeatedly told Rev, "Hey, remember that time when we were on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and then we ended up on the North Rim?" One step at a time.

How can that challenge my faith? James 1:22 says, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." It goes on to talk about the man who looks intently in the mirror, and then walks away, forgetting what he looks like. I could have stared really hard at the canyon, but it wasn't until I hiked the 22 miles through the canyon that I realized the magnitude of this handiwork, and truly appreciated and enjoyed its beauty. No amount of looking could have done that for me. To be a follower of Christ is a call to action. Not observation. Oh mercy.. it's not a life of misery, either. It's the unexpected adventure! So great.. Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech once called "The Man in the Arena" that hangs on my wall. I would suggest reading it. Interestingly, he is the man who declared the Grand Canyon to be a national monument in 1908.

"O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures." Psalm 104:24