It was a few months before Christmas two years ago when I sat in a staff meeting at my church as we discussed seasonal impact opportunities. We usually have a couple projects we encourage our members to contribute financially to, as people in general, not just Christians, typically increase their charitable giving around Christmas.

One of us mentioned an opportunity we had to partner with a missions organization in Africa to build a much-needed well for a poor village. Several church members were familiar with Sierra Leone in particular. But the cost at $6,000 was daunting to some staff members, who concluded, in light of the economy, we should postpone the project until at least the following year. I was adamant, however, that we could fund the well. We needed just $50 from each family in the church, about the amount many would pay for lunch out after worship on Sunday — and certainly a fraction of what most would spend on Christmas gifts. We prayed about it and decided to put the project before our congregation.

Two months later we had enough cash for three wells and some change!! It was a fantastic display of God’s provision through the generosity of his people. I’m hoping to see the fruit of our giving next year on a mission trip to Sierra Leone. I wanted to go this year but it didn’t work out. I do have an opportunity in about six weeks to help again with getting clean water in an elementary school this time in Kenya, and I’m hoping you, my readers, will partner with me. I registered for the Tour de H2O to take place on June 1 in Columbus. The tour offers three distances:

  • 10 miles — a cinch, as it’s shorter than the commute to my office
  • 25 miles — a little more challenging but still very doable
  • 50 miles — quite difficult

I’m hoping to raise as much as I can to help them reach their goal of $22,000. So, here’s the deal: if I secure $500 or more in tax-deductible donations, I’ll do the 50-mile tour. I’ve ridden 50 miles only once — last October before it started getting cold — but I took about a two-hour break. I rode 25 miles to a Panera, where I had lunch and did some writing before making the return trip. Fifty miles will certainly be a challenge for me this early in the season, but with you behind me, I’m certain to make it. I’ve already begun training.

So, I’ll hop on my bike a few times a week getting ready, eating better, and shedding a few pounds. You keep doing whatever you want to do, except go online to the donation page and sponsor me. Perhaps you could forgo buying bottled water and drink from the tap for a month. Or maybe skip a couple foo-foo drinks from Starbucks. If you can help out, please donate and send me a message . I’m looking forward to it. I’ll post live on Facebook during the ride. Until then, see my posts as I train, using the MapMyRide app. Thanks for your help. Let’s get some clean water to some kids in Africa.

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