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  • Timothy Bruce

Day 12 – First Day Off – Time to Breathe

We had our first day off since gathering together as a team on 7th June and Sunday 16th was our first day off to make our own arrangements for breakfast, lunch and dinner and decide how to make use of the hours. In addition, we needed to say farewell to 3 much-loved members of the team over the weekend, having previously lost Ryan Iafigliola when he returned home from Spokane on Friday.

Ryan had led the devotional times before we started off on our rides and shared his passion for the Fuller Center for Housing as part of our times together. Having known Millard Fuller, the founder of both Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing, his insights were both inspirational and authoritative. Since Ryan has left us others from the group have shared their insights and thoughts and it has been both moving and provocative as people have bared their hearts and shared their passions.

Making yourself vulnerable can often been seen as being weak but I have to say; No, it is a strength!! Sharing your heart and knowing that you are in a safe place to do so, brings both encouragement to yourself and strength to others as they identify with what you share. In the scriptures, reference is often made to the need for humility, and this again is so that you can gain strength (1 Peter 5:6). Likewise, in the workplace, knowing that you can make a mistake and be free to admit it, brings security to employees so it can be seen as a learning process and not a cause for attributing blame. It strikes me that we could all do with a bit more humility and vulnerability in society. For the group of us cycling across America, it has made us a very cohesive and supportive team!!

I went to church in the morning as it was Sunday but I had to admit that I was very tired and struggled to concentrate at times but it was good to sing some songs I knew and let the vocal cords take the strain, rather than my legs.

I also went shopping in a supermarket in Kellogg and discovered the delights of the food stuffs available to American households and there is plenty of choice, particularly when it came to peanut butter!! However, the shop had a different feel to a supermarket in England. In England is all about value for money and finding a bargain, whereas the feel in America is about abundance with the food shouting “Buy Me, I’ll taste fantastic!” In particular, in the fruit and veg section, where there was a chorus of large succulent apples gleaming under the lights and large white, yellow and red onions playing a hypnotic symphony about how good they would taste in a stew, salad or curry! In England, there are bags or packages of apples or a box of onions to choose from and price will often determine what and how much we buy. Having said this: Well done England for no longer supplying plastic bags, but America is planning to do this soon too.

Unsurprisingly, I did not walk out of the shop with a lorry-full of food and supplies but I did pick up a spare pair of reading glasses and some much-needed deodorant!

Back on the bike tomorrow.

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