May 2015 Posts

When one falls down the other can help him up

Josh Geppelt, Director of Emergency Services

Josh Geppelt, Director of Emergency Services

Monday started in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, at the base of Bridge of the Gods. After paying our $.50/bike toll to cross the bridge, we entered Washington, the final state along our journey. It’s the next to the last day, and it was the hardest: 103 miles and 10,090 vertical feet of climbing! 

One might ask why we saved the hardest day until the end, and the honest answer is its just where our journey took us. We enjoyed the beauty of Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the occasional sighting of Mount St. Helens in between the clouds. While it was beautiful in many ways, we had to “earn” the views through a lot of hard work (“climbing”).

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This idea that hard work pays off is a key ideology in Denver Rescue Mission’s long-term work with men, women and families struggling with poverty, addictions and homelessness. While some individuals simply need secure housing, many have long journeys ahead of them as they build stability in their lives and work toward sustainability and self-sufficiency. This is a hard journey that we cannot expect anyone to make alone, or to go about in the same way; and one where we must prepare folks to tackle tough challenges when they are least expected.

As we climbed up two very steep passes, there were many different approaches our team took; some charged ahead quickly; others geared down and settled in to the long climb; and others (me) sought refuge in the support van when my body couldn’t take it any more. In each of these very different styles, the one thing we had in common was that we tackled this challenge with someone else by our side. 

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“Dr. Peppering” my knee…

 

As we work to support individuals and families as they tackle huge challenges in their lives, or to ride our bikes 900 miles, the words of Ecclesiastes comes to mind: “a strand of three chords is not easily broken; when one falls down the other can help him up.” 

Thanks for all that you do, through prayer support, financial gifts and volunteer efforts, to help the mission change lives in the name of Christ.

 

 

 

Break the Cycle // The Support Team

Every good team has support. The Rescue Riders have Jeremy and Tanner. These two Mission employees have come on this journey to serve the riders, putting safety first and the riders needs before their own.

Tanner Cogsdil

Struggle. That is the word stuck in my mind during this trip. Everyday I watch the Rescue Riders struggle through the elements, emotionally, physically, and mentally. When I see our riders struggle I can’t help but think of the homeless and hungry that struggle everyday emotionally, physically, and mentally. The only difference – the homeless do not know when their struggle will end.

There is hope though. One thing I have loved about working at Denver Rescue Mission is we have the ability and have been blessed by God to be a beacon of hope for the homeless and hungry in our city. We are a place where the struggling can find rest, shelter and hope.

Jeremy Stubbs

Monday is the ninth day of riding for these seven brave men. We will finally cross into Washington. It’s hard to believe that this adventure is almost over. It feels like we just started yesterday and I feel honored to drive the support vehicle for these men. Though it may be difficult to travel 100 miles per day at an average speed of 15 mph, get honked at and be on the receiving end of impolite hand gestures, it has been worth it to see these men persevere.

As I sit here overlooking the Columbia River, I am thinking back over this journey. There have been some hard times and some not so hard. Most of which include some degree of climbing. Everyone hates climbing. (Except Griff, he likes climbing.) Every evening at dinner, Josh Geppelt goes over what to expect during the next stretch of riding. Usually this involves him apologizing for the giant spikes in elevation. Most people groan about the climbing and joke about having some injury that prevents them from riding the next day. But, every day, these men get on their bikes and power through the steepest of hills.

One particular day, around Crater Lake, the combination of dense fog and elevation gain made for a particularly treacherous ride. I was driving the scout vehicle during this stretch and got to the top of the mountain and pulled over to wait for everyone. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see 20 feet in front of me. The road was so steep that I remember thinking that I may never see these men again. Slowly, they started making their way through the fog. It was in this moment that I realized just how dedicated these men are to what they are doing. They have dealt with some very harsh conditions many of which would be perfectly reasonable for them to pick up their bike and hop in the van and wait for more accommodating weather. But they didn’t, they kept going. My respect and admiration for these men has grown substantially over the past two weeks.

The people we serve at the Mission don’t always have that luxury. They do not get to pick up and move on to easier times. Being part of an organization that aids in escaping the difficult journey they are on is easily the most rewarding part of my life. In the end, riding 900 miles is nothing compared to the struggles that some people face every day. But we get to be a part of helping them move to self-sufficiency. The difficulty and heartache that come with is worth it to see someone’s life changed.

Sabbath

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Nathan Hoag, DRM Board of Directors

Yesterday we rested in Eugene, Oregon. So far it’s been a lot of moaning a groaning about how stiff and achy we are. The long distances, cold, rain, and saddle soars are keeping us thoroughly exhausted. A rest day is certainly in order.

We live in a fast-paced world and rest rarely seems to be on anyone’s list of things to do. The old adage, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” rings true all around us in our day-to-day lives. We don’t rest because we believe that our significance is found in our accomplishments and our business. If we don’t look busy, we might be perceived as unimportant; and if we look unimportant we might actually be unimportant.

When we live our lives this way we often miss what’s going on all around us. We become so self-absorbed that we look right past the pain people around us are experiencing; and we don’t even realize how fatigued we are ourselves. But when we stop and pay attention, we’ll start to see the world around us with a new lens. We’ll see the brokenness around us and we might even see and opportunity to do something about it.

When God commanded that his people honor the Sabbath he wasn’t suggesting laziness. Rather, he was developing a paradigm of attentiveness for them. Sabbath is a rhythm of regular pause that allows us to pay attention to what God is up to. It allows us to take a step back and remember what God has given us and to gain perspective about the hurting world in and around us.

As we rest, I’m fully aware of my hurting body but I’m also more aware of the purpose of this ride than I’ve ever been. It’s giving me a chance to pause and ask, “What are you doing around me, God? Where can I jump in?” If you’ve been keeping up with this ride, let me suggest you do that same. Take a break this week, look introspectively, look around you, and do something. Thank God for what he has done and respond to the brokenness in and around you.

Break the Cycle 900 Miles Against Hunger 

Mission President and CEO, Brad Meuli, is leading a team of employee cyclists and one board member in Break the Cycle II. A group of six cyclists from the Mission will spend 10 days pedaling more than 900 miles from Reno to Seattle. Their goal is to raise $48,000—enough money for 25,000 meals. Support the ride here

Day of Rest

Today, the Rescue Riders are in Eugene, Oregon where they will enjoy a day of rest on this 10 day cycling journey. Our fundraising goal of 25,000 meals is in sight! Spread the word to help us feed the homeless and hungry.

Now, a few words from Jeff Dines.

Yesterday’s ride started in Chemult, Oregon on a cool and misty morning. So far, it was the most beautiful ride for me because it included some rain and a little sunshine as well. We were finally able to wear shorts and short sleeved shirts! We traveled about 105 miles and descended about 4,500 ft. This put us in much warmer weather, with streams and rivers flowing through the lush green valleys. We also bumped into a man walking from Ventura, California all the way to Canada.

To finally realize this goal is very rewarding and life changing for myself. It is such a blessing to be with this group of men and share a common desire to help the less fortunate. I am honored and humbled to be a “rescue rider”.  God Bless!

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Rescue Riders and support team in Eugene.

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The group met a friend walking all the way to Canada!

 

 

Break the Cycle // Soaked to the Bone

I live and work on a farm spending most of my days outside in the weather. I spent yesterday soaked to the bone by the same rain that God provides to give life to our crops and feed our cattle.

Brian

The work at Harvest Farm is not possible without the help and support of our sponsors and the many donors who keep the lights on and the tractors running. The Farm is a place where men come to join the New Life Program. But it’s more than that, they come to better themselves and change their lives.

The Break the Cycle team riding from Reno to Seattle is amazingly diverse and yet united in the mission of the gospel. Everyone who struggles to reach their goal finds adversity, aches and pains, joys and disappointments; the road has ups and downs for all of us. This ride has given me time to remember that some things are the same for all of us.

 

I am thankful that we can all be part of what God is doing through Denver Rescue Mission every day.

Check out Brian’s training video for Break the Cycle.

Break the Cycle 900 Miles Against Hunger 

Mission President and CEO, Brad Meuli, is leading a team of employee cyclists and one board member in Break the Cycle II. A group of six cyclists from the Mission will spend 10 days pedaling more than 900 miles from Reno to Seattle. Their goal is to raise $48,000—enough money for 25,000 meals. Support the ride here