At a recent trustees meeting, one of our trustees, Helen Howes, suggested she and I should ride a 64-mile cycle sportive (like a marathon) on a tandem. The only problems we faced were the lack of a tandem, the fact that neither of us had ridden more than a few minutes on a tandem, and Helen had never ridden 64 miles! Following the loan of a tandem, the challenge was on. With less than two months to go, the training has not begun, and we are yet to collect the tandem! All good so far.
Why are we doing the challenge? Hopefully, it will be fun, although I am not convinced; most importantly, we both want to see young people changed by Jesus. Youth for Christ Gloucestershire works with young people in schools, churches and youth clubs each week, sharing how Jesus can change our lives. We train and equip young people with leadership skills, and we accompany young people on their journey through life, whether in school, out of work or struggling with life's challenges.
I am riding to raise money for a mission trip to Cyprus to work with the country's Youth for Christ team. I was due to speak at their youth camp in 2020 before something cancelled all the flights! Three years later, it is back on. Over the last five years, we have developed a link with their team, seeing some of their work and supporting and training some of their staff.The trip will develop this relationship further and allow me to share the life-changing message of Jesus with a whole bunch of young people.
In addition, we are extending our team this year. I am excited to be welcoming Matt later in the summer term. This will enable us to do much more work, but extra staff members mean additional financial pressures. All extra money raised beyond the mission cost will help us grow the team.