For all those who have shown your support through spare change, cheques, online donation, and most of all, your prayers and encouragements — I Thank You!!
On October 15 eve, we received this email from the National Event Director of Ride for Refuge saying “Due to severe weather condition, children under 12 are urged not to ride.” Paul and I exchanged glances and whispering to each other, “Oh no, I hope Heather won’t be disappointed.” After much thought, I broke the news to her. She simply asked me why. Then off she said, “I can still ride if it is just a drizzle. We could still go and cheer for daddy wearing my Ratanak Tshirt. Maybe Jesus will calm the storm for tomorrow.”
A childlike faith humbles me. A childlike faith encourages me.
The ride went very well, I meant Paul’s, Cliff’s and David’s. The trio left the starting line at 9:15am. Dave came back first finished his 25km. Easy peasy!! Paul and Cliff rode for 50km despite the weather. Paul simply wanted to keep his promises to his sponsors and also wanted to challenge himself. The wind was so strong, Paul said, even the bike was not moving at all even going downhill. Let alone going uphill. It took him almost 4 hours to complete the 50km. Cliff was simply waiting around for Paul and cheering him along (I am sure!!) for the entirety of 4 hours. “We are almost there. Take your time, only 7km left!” Paul “Are we the last one?” Cliff “Yes, but that’s okay, take your time!” I giggled at their one liners. Yet they finished it and completed it. Most of all, they knew they were not riding for their own glory, or thinking how agonzing to ride against the strong wind. Because we know whom they were riding for, what the girls and boys are enduring day in and day out are far more gruelling than riding against the wind for 50km in 50km/h of wind.
Apparently Heather and I stayed at the church since she was urged not to ride due to safety reasons, but we had loads of fun setting up the Ratanak booth. A volunteer and myself got to talk to some folks about our work. I think I was talking to this one volunteer photographer for almost 45 minutes non stopped and he kept asking me questions about Ratanak, about IJM, about the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodia government, what is Lisa doing there, what are the $$ going to, what type of projects that we fund, since he heard of Lisa speaking at the mission fest a few years ago. It was a very fruitful conversation. I think I almost recited the entire Ratanak website information verbally.
I even got a chance to talk to Brian Carney for a bit about our work. Funny that we always assume that everyone would know where did the name of Ratanak come from. We ended up sharing about this little 9 year old girl who didn’t have access to medication for her at the time, and lost her life from it. He was such a hugger, he said, “I got to hug these Ratanak people”!! I don’t think it’s because the $$ we have raised, but to see how we simply jumped on board one month before the ride day last year and raised $35,000+. Then moving forward to this year, the Lord simply added on $100,000 to show His power and greatness and like our Brian McConaghy was saying, it really means that the Lord has some serious plans for Cambodia and that He simply entrusted us with that kind of $$ for people whom we serve and love!!
All I could imagine are our transitional homes, how we could continue to fund the ongoing projects. The girls, the boys, the young women, the children, in NewSong, in Hagar, in Svay Pak, their faces, their stories, oh how my heart aches for them all, and yet rejoices for our Almighty God who has not forgotten nor forsaken them. What an amazing journey, what an amazing ride!!
To give out some updated money figures of this fundraiser:
The entire Ride for Refuge campaign raised over $1.1million!!!
All 48 teams who rode to raise fund for Ratanak International have raised $138,011.27 so far (and the money still keep coming in)!
As for our Team “Heather’s Spare Change”, due to your very very very generous support, we had raised $6,270.01.
Praise God for Your greatness, goodness and faithfulness!! I was listening to this song this morning and cannot help but worshipping at the top of my lungs while driving Lilias to my in-laws house. Even Lilias clapped along when the crowd went wild clapping and cheering:
Hear the holy roar of God resound
Watch the waters part before us now
Come and see what He has done for us
Tell the world of His great love
Our God is a God who saves
Our God is a God who saves
Let God arise
Let God arise
Our God reigns now and forever
He reigns now and forever
His enemies will run for sure
The church will stand, she will endure
He holds the keys of life, our Lord
Death has no sting, no final word!