I have been on hiatus for quite a while and did not upload a blog post when I was supposed to post three, one for every week. I have put off tidbits of my life for a few weeks to reconnect with people. Unfortunately, I even failed to do that. Oh goodness. Anyway! One of the things that kept me busy was the “Cycle for Justice 2018”. I’m sure you don’t remember, but last year I participated in a fundraising bicycle ride against human and sex trafficking called, “Ride Against Traffick Korea”. We did a different version of that this year but for the same cause.
Instead of the cyclists travelling from Busan to Seoul, we did a DMZ loop (depart from Seoul, go up north near North Korea and come back down to Seoul) over 3 days instead of 4. We decided to support Oak Tree Project, Women’s Hope Center and Do Dream Center. 13 cyclists climbed up two monstrous mountains and including myself, were 4 support crew members. (We are still accepting donations to the organizations mentioned above until October 16, 2018, please follow this link to contribute! It means a lot to us!)
I made excuses, disobeyed God and decided not to cycle this year though I wanted to so I went back to taking pictures, supporting the cyclists, cooking, setting up and tearing down checkpoints, cleaning up, etc. To be honest, I was so worried if we will be able to survive the ride with just the four of us. I was more than wrong. Everyone on the cycling team was amazing and they helped out with every single thing that we had to do – cooking, doing the dishes, cleaning, packing up, checking up on things, everything.
From this year’s ride, my heart was moved, changed and I learned so much more about other people and life as well. Here we go!
“A little sacrifice goes a long way.”
Surely, the riders would have been so tired after travelling for more than 6 hours every day on their bicycles. Yet, the team Guardian who came early after conquering two insanely uphill mountains took charge of laundry (thank you, Peter), did the dishes (thank you Marcus), helped cook (thank you John and Javier) and just helped out in any way they can. They took care of the other riders, making sure they were safe, repaired and helped maintain their bicycles. When we learn to sacrifice, a little part of ourselves; whether be it our time, space, energy or even pride – we also learn grace.
(Team Guardians making their way.)
“People can move hearts.”
And because of that, when we learn to be graceful it makes a big impact on others to the point that it can move people’s hearts. It surely moved mine. I was learning about being more gracious towards others, something that I am not very good at. However, when I saw their positive reactions despite the fatigue and maybe annoyance, they were all patient and gracious – which was obviously passed on. Thus…
“Not only kindness but ‘grace’ when passed on, can produce a domino effect.”
It was definitely tiring but people were always encouraging. I took pictures during the ride and just seeing the riders smile even when they’re tired and exhausted and in pain, were my strength. Their smiles are what kept me going to take more pictures, think of new ways and perspectives on how to make them look good. Wondering what I could do to make them feel more comfortable, especially after climbing those two monstrous mountains. But the joy you see in them after the accomplishment just makes my heart full.
“Smile, you’ll never know whose heart you’re going to fill.”
Lastly and definitely most importantly, when we were praying for the two Korea’s, I felt sad that I cried. Sadness and grief that families and a nation is divided, but also for the oppressed and violated. A question remained in my heart even before the start of this ride. We are less than 20 people and were not able to raise funds as much as last year. What difference could we actually make?
On the way to the accommodation for the second evening, I was led to John 6, “Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.” This is a common story for Christians, wherein Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish, performed a miracle by multiplying them and feeding the crowd of five thousand who were following Him. I read it once more and two verses tugged on my heart.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
It told me, we are the boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish. We have little thus we doubt what we can do with so little. But for God, that little that we have is enough to provide for more than enough. As long as we are willing to do our part, it doesn’t matter how incapable or small we are or that we are merely a ‘boy’ when we have an amazing God who does great things that can literally blow our minds away. What He does is always beyond comprehension but we just need to have faith and trust that He will provide. Always. He never fails.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
God already knows our incapability but He calls us anyway. He is asking if you are willing.
“Isn’t He powerful enough to fill in the gaps where your capabilities end
and His limitless abilities begin?”
– from the devotional Unshakeable by Christine Caine
I would like to thank my fellow support crew members: Peter, Ryane and Inyoung for being patient with me and helping each other, filling in each other’s shortcomings and doing what we can to serve. It was such a pleasure to serve with all of you.
Next year, if given the chance, I’d love to ride instead of support. Thank you, Elle for being such a blessing and giving me your road bike.
Until then everyone, keep riding, keep walking, be blessed.
We are still accepting donations until October 16, 2018. If you would like to support our cause and the organizations that were mentioned at the beginning of this blog, please follow this link. Any amount helps, 5,000 KRW (4.50 USD) from 100 people is 500,000KRW and that is each participant’s goal. Note, you are not supporting us and 100% of your donations will go to the organizations. Thank you for reading.