Friday, October 17, 2014

Days 46 & 47 - From Hill Country to Homelessness

On Thursday (Day 46) CJ was invited to come do a 7am radio interview on Lonestar 102.5 in Mason. The morning show guys were lots of fun! We are so thankful to them for helping get the word out!! After the radio we went over to Grace Christian School and CJ was able to speak to all of the students in their morning chapel. It was a great time to challenge these kids to step outside of their normal routine and doing whatever they LOVE to do FAR - For A Reason - ultimately for Jesus!
Around 12:30pm CJ and Craig left Mason and pedaled to Fredericksburg, TX. The ride was gorgeous! The hill country of Texas is mostly gentle rolling hills with ranches on both sides. Deer are everywhere!! As they started to come into Fredericksburg the buildings were old and pretty with a German flair. For most of the ride the roads were hardly no traffic and had nice wide shoulders, but once we came into Fredericksburg the streets got crowded. The little town was bustling, however the people were very nice and gave us plenty of space. We rode into the Hill Country Bike Works shop about 4:30pm with a total of 42.7 miles for the day. 

A local German restaurant, Der Lindenbaum, donated our super. It was delicious!!!! Of course CJ couldn't go to a German Restaurant without getting a piece of Black Forest Cake!!

We parked for the night in the Walmart and Katie went in and shopped for our groceries for the week while everyone else went to bed. Moms, you all know that sometimes when you need a little peace and quite even grocery shopping works as a get away! ; )
Early Friday morning we woke up and drove down to San Antonio. We are here for several reasons. First of all, CJ was invited to speak at 2 churches on Sunday (two AM services at Alamo Height's UMC and one PM service at Helotes FBC)!! We are very excited about the opportunity to share! Secondly, our bus still needs some work so we are taking it to a bigger bus shop here and pray they can fix it once and for all. Third, CJ has BEGGED the whole trip to see the Alamo in Texas, so we wanted him to be able to have that opportunity.
After spending the majority of the day in the bus shop parking lot, we found out that they were not going to be able to complete our bus until Monday afternoon. We were a little bummed, but figured that God must be leaving us in San Antonio for an extra day for a purpose. While we were there in the parking lot both the San Antonio Express newspaper AND Channel 4 (NBC and FOX) came to do interviews. We are so blessed to be covered by the media in these areas. We pray that every person that hears this story will be inspired to give to help the NCCS and also to do what they personally LOVE and do it For A Reason!!
When we finally left the bus shop for today we were all starved. We decided to head downtown and walk around and find something to eat. We ended up eating at a restaurant that was riverfront but INSIDE the mall!!!! This mall is so neat! A canal off of the river literally come into the MIDDLE of it and there are restaurants and a food court right beside of the water there. Little mallard ducks and River Taxi boats come through every few minutes!

After dinner we walked back to where we parked the bus (about 7 blocks) past a lot of the tourist attractions. The folks at one of the places gave the kids some paper glasses that turn all the lights into rainbows. They were super fun!!

A little further down the street we passed the newspaper building. You could see the presses through the windows and they were running. One of the workers came outside and gave Craig and CJ an impromptu tour of the building. CJ has been in a lot of newspapers, but this was his first time seeing how they are made. It was a GREAT experience!
We found out that this newspaper has 3 presses, each 5 stories tall! On Sundays they print over 200,000 copies of the paper. As we talked about it, we thought about the AWESOME opportunity it is that CJ's story is being shared in this paper! If just HALF of their "Sunday readers" would give only $1 each, the goal of $100,000 for this trip would be met! SO if you are reading this blog because you saw the article in the newspaper, thanks for reading, would you now help? You can donate now at !! :)
As we walked a little further we began to realize that where we had parked the bus was near what appeared to be a homeless shelter here in town. The line was wrapped around the building and out into the street.  We noticed a lady sitting on the stoop of the church across from the bus with her sleeping bag and some other items laid out. The little boys of course asked about her. Once in the bus we explained to them that she was most likely homeless and that church stoop was her bed for the night. The compassion of children is always amazing! Katie walked over and talked to her later tonight. Although we know there are many reasons that it exists, it is sad to see homelessness so up close. We've heard older folks say "But for the Grace of God, there go I", now that I'm getting older, I understand!
Thank you God for the amazing ways you provide for us. This bus may be cramped and somewhat uncomfortable and breakdown sometimes, but we are all thankful for mattresses to sleep on and shelter from weather. We are thankful that we never have had to go hungry and that you've even had lots of people along the way provide meals for us. Help us remember to be compassionate to others and grateful always. 
Some people say "Don't talk until you walk a mile in their shoes" I'd rather say "Don't talk unless you've pedaled up their hill!"

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