International Ministries

A Pilgrimage

April 23, 2007 Journal
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“A pilgrimage is a ritual journey with a hallowed purpose. Every step along the way has meaning. The pilgrim knows that the journey will be difficult and that life-giving challenges will emerge. A pilgrimage is not a vacation; it is a transformational journey during which significant change takes place. New insights are given. Deeper understanding is attained. New and old places in the heart are visited. Blessings are received. Healing takes place. On return from the pilgrimage, life is seen with different eyes. Nothing will ever be quite the same again.” by Macrina Wiederkehr, Behold Your Life This summer the Baits family will embark on a pilgrimage of sorts across the US. Jamie will be working her first full-time job this summer as the Assistant to the Program Director at Redwood Glen Christian Conference Center in northern CA.. This means income/college funds for her and an experiment in separation from us as she prepares to leave Costa Rica in 2008 for university studies. As a close family these changes are significant for all of us and we want to live them intentionally and well. Since two major opportunities came up for us to reconnect with churches and individuals who faithfully partner with us in our work in Costa Rica during the time Jamie will be working, we've decided to embark on a pilgrimage of disconnection and reconnection. As we say good-bye to Jamie for the summer, Gary, Micah and I will get reconnected on long stretches of highway from Northern California to Kansas City. We will reconnect with churches from the Great Rivers Region who have come to Costa Rica to walk alongside of us and our Costa Rican friends. I will reconnect with my body as I push my physical limits and ride across the state of Missouri on a bike to raise funds for New Churches. The Great American Baptist Bike Ride across Missouri is a fun ride to raise support for New Church Planting. Each rider is asked to get pledges on a per mile basis. One hundred percent of the money raised will go into New Churches. We will bike about 250 miles from Clinton, MO to St. Charles, MO, following the Katy Rail to Trail conversion route. Since we have been blessed by their partnership in our ministry in Costa Rica, we want to bless them back as they seek to reach out in new ways and ministries in the US. Dates of the ride and route are as follows in case you would like to come by for conversation in the evening if we are in your neighborhood: DATE — LOCATIONS — DURATION — LODGING: Tuesday, June 19 — from Clinton, MO to Sedalia, MO (35 miles) Wednesday, June 20 — from Sedalia, MO to Columbia, MO (70 miles) Thursday, June 21 — from Columbia to Tebbetts, MO (50 miles) — Turner Katy Trail Shelter Friday, June 22 — from Tebbetts MO to Marthasville MO (55miles) — St. Paul's UCC church Saturday, June 23 — from Marthasville to the pick up point on Riverside Drive in St.Charles, MO (40 miles) If you would like to join me on this leg of our pilgrimage you can register online before May 25 or if you can't ride maybe you would like to sponsor me. Go to the following internet site for on-line registration and contribution information: http://gabbram.blogspot.com/ After the transformational bicycle journey where I hope to gain new insights and understanding about myself and our ministry in connection with our GRR partners, we'll head to the 100th anniversary celebration of our ABC-USA family in Washington DC from June 29th- July 2nd. We hope to reconnect with old friends from seminary and the IM home office staff from Valley Forge and our Baptist roots. We hope to gain a clearer vision of God's future for us by reflecting back on God's faithfulness to us over the years. We will then journey through a more barren southern route passing by some of God's most beautiful handiwork on the way back to Southern California where we hope to reconnect to our extended family there. Jamie will meet back up with us later in California so that we can all return to Costa Rica with renewed vision, energy and conviction. Our souls thirst for connection with God, with each other and with our global faith family. We ask that you pray for us on this pilgrimage as we disconnect in order to reconnect. Blessings on the Journey, Mylinda