The first photograph is of my family with our "Designated Riders" - who ride a bicycle in honor of Heidi and each of us! Thank you for each peddle of your bike, each hug before and druing the ride and all the prayers and support throughout the year.
Ephesians 6:19-20 says: "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."
This year Mary and I were blessed with a wonderful start to our ride. Instead of boarding the family van we were escorted down the drive. Mary kept asking "Where are we going? The family has already got on the bus." Even though we reassured her it was part of her surprise, she was apprehensive. They told her she had a special seat for the first leg of the ride ~ we rounded the corner to see four law enforcement officers on their motorcycles. Oh my, if I had a camera to record the shocked look on her face, it was priceless. We didn't let her stew too long before pointing out the "Official Pace Vehicle" illuminated in white behind the motorcycles. Someone should have had a camera to capture the wide-eyed glow beaming from her ~ we would be riding in the very front, directly in front of the riders! Yippee...a fabulous and joyful way to start this year's journey.
Thank you Alicia!
While waiting out the storm - we were blessed with shelter at a Russian-Bosnian church along the route. They were wonderful hosts ~ Thank you!
The next couple photos are from our forced rest stop ~ a time of resting and recouping.
Prior to the riders entrance ~ there is a procession of law enforcement sounding their sirens continuously. Each siren sounded ~ is one child returned home to their families!
Keep riding! Keep praying! Keep hoping!
There isn't a way to possibly share all that happened yesterday - I apologize if something was overlooked. For instance - At the Utica college the family was told we were going there so the "riders could regroup" instead we were saluted by 481 riders - 240 on either side of our family van and bus as a sign of their love and hope for us and our missing loved ones. Oh my goodness...I never pulled out the camera. The only thing I could reach for were my tissues for the remainder of the ride. It was breathtaking...heart moving and inspirational! Thank you to those behind the planning and to the riders pausing once again for us...you are amazing!
And the artwork and hope of the recovered child and the neice who has never met her aunt!