|Alone with God: Dirk Homeier's Journey with Jesus
Weve decided to include the text from the e-mail weve received from him documenting his fantastic if not ill-advised trip. Remember, we are currently traveling in Asia and will not be able to update this as frequently as wed like. So please be patient with us; thanks!
Warnings and notices: The following unabridged writings may be offensive to atheists and do not represent the opinions of the BikeBrats. Please use caution; parental guidance is suggested. They are the property of Dirk Homeier and his father; they are presented here with their permission and may not be reproduced.
May 4, 1998
Please do forgive me for not keeping in contact more regularly. These past few months have been a complete strain on me to complete everything before graduation. While I have this free week to catch my breath, I thought I could catch up with you. But first, let me tell you a little about what is going on in my life.
First things first...Sarah and I have moved our wedding date to Oct. 18th of this year, rather than on the 17th. We have also moved the location of the wedding from Carthage, Missouri up to Kansas City, Missouri. We decided to do this because Kansas City is a more convenient location for those who will be flying in for the wedding.
Secondly, on the 12th of May, I will begin my bike trek around this majestic country of ours for 10,000 miles. If this goal that I have set before me is not grand in its own rite, I will trust the Lord in this adventure to provide for my every need. What I mean by trusting in God to provide for my every need, I mean my EVERY need. This includes everything part of my life's existence for the next five months. I will be taking only $20.00 with me for whatever incidentals that may occur.
Please do pray for me in this grand adventure of my life. Later this week I plan to lay out the big WHY? of my journey to you.
Thanks for your continued uplifting of prayers on my behalf. God has certainly demonstrated His faithfulness to me over the years in being wtih me every step of the way--all the way to my graduation from Florida Christian College last weekend. Now, it is time for me to travel the countryside preaching the good news of God's readiness to demonstrate His faithfulness to the entire American culture.
May 11, 1998
Tomorrow the journey begins. With all of the preparations, with all of the prayers, it all comes down to this special day.
I'm not even really sure yet how far I will get on this 10,000-mile journey for the next five months. The greatest part of the journey will be in becoming a witness to God's great faithfulness in my life.
For all of you who really don't believe that I can bicycle around the country for such a distance with no money, well you are right. Yet, if only for a season I can do something that others wouldn't do, go where others fear to travel, and to risk what most would seem as inconceivable, the fear of failure of is worth it.
I do welcome your encouragement via my e-mail address over the five months: email@example.com) My desire is to meet people along the way, or stop at a local library to check my e-mail periodically.
Message from Dirks dad, May 15, 1998
Andrew & Fred:
See what you two have done to my son!!! He was so impressed with your trip, He had to do something. I want to thank both of you for your inspiration.
Dirk, as he said in his e-mail to you, is on his way.
I wish you the best of luck on your trip. If you want me to come over and pull you along, let me know.
Old Man Homeier
May 15, 1998
Now, I believe that there are still those few skeptics who truly believe that a bible college graduate cannot bike 10,000 miles. Well, you are halfway right. These last four days alone have proven to be very stretching both in my faith and in my perseverance to press on in the 80+ weather.
The first day, I left Orlando at 7:30 and arrived 115 miles away along the Atlantic coast in a town called Beverly Beach. I was able to set up tent behind a beach shower stall. Early in the day, I came across a guy who gave me some out-of-this-world bbq pork. Yet, I paid for it dearly
the rest of the day. It sort of reminded me of my dad's and my first bike trip in 1986 when we had oatmeal and bacon to start the day. Yep, I can see the chunks already flying.
The second day I made 125 miles to the Georgia state line in a small town called St. George. There is a small store there that is ran by two sisters, Teresa and Libby. They gave me fried chicken and mashed potatoes. In the morning, they had breakfast waiting for me and gave me a cold-cut sandwich for lunch. Yes, God is good!
Last night I met the mayor of Odum, Georgia. He allowed me to wash-up in an abandoned house in downtown Odum. In the morning, he had a wonderful old lady prepare breakfast for me. I biked 117 miles.
Today, I find myself already having biked 90 miles camped out here at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. It's a shame that those inhabitants of this small city don't know that a crazed Christian in riding through their midst.
A general summary of each day can be stated in a simple phrase--alone with God. I'm beginning to find out with each new day that being alone with God brings deeper thoughts about His nature and more questions about my own purpose. One of the big questions running through my mind
thus far is why? Why amidst all of this beauty and wonder, can I still not completely baptize myself in God's presence. This I know, invariably comes through His Word, and through my prayers.
It is lonely, I cannot shadow that fact. Most days, I only speak to probably 4 to 6 people, and those times is spent in asking for food. When the sun begins to come into its own every day about 12:30, and the wind starts blowing in my face and my pace falls to 10 mph, I ask myself
if this is all worth it. Somewhere among the loneliness birds that hover above my head, I find an answer, and it says to press on to the next city.
Nothing bad has happened yet. The only negatives are the headaches that start around 1:00, and a little bit of hunger that cries in my stomach every now and then. Amazingly, my butt doesn't hurt a bit! Thanks R&M Cycle shop in Springfield for giving me the baby-butt soft seat.
I've heard that The State Journal Registrar ran a story on my trip. As well, Brian Pierce form WNNS Lite Rock 99 morning would like to do sort of a running radio piece on my trip. I have no idea how this is going to take place, so keep tuned!
Pray for me that I not only through the days seek to exist, but to persist to become more than what my society tells me I can become; that I thrive to become alive, to become an overcomer.
May 21, 1998
please forgive the brevity of this message, but i am trying to make up miles for time spent playing yesterday.
as today is day 10 of my journey, god has already laid before me the beauty of his creation, and the continual affirmation that he really will provide for me. already, there are numerous accounts of god demonstrating his willingness to provide for my every need. the idea not to take any money on this trip was perhaps one of the best decisions that i have made since i told sarah that i loved her.
one quick story--on sunday i pulled up to a church in andrews, south carolina and began to speak to minister of the church. at first, he was a bit skeptical, but i believe that god gave him a peace concerning me, or perhaps it was my captivating smile:) after the service, a man named
wayne came up to me and asked me to spend the day with his family. when food was mentioned, i quickly agreed. while at wayne's, the minister called me and asked me if i would stay and preach in his church that night to a group of young people. what an experience!!
the next day, i was able to stay with an elderly couple who owns an entire island about 100 miles up the coast who are the grandparents of wayne's son's wife (if you can understand that one).
the day before yesterday, god gave me some good winds which enabled me to do 153 miles.
yesterday, i stopped after only doing about 65 miles when i met a couple who were going wind surfing. they asked me to go along and said they would buy dinner. i couldn't resist.
today after waking at 5 a.m., i'm aiming to do around 170 miles.
these eyes have seen the beauty of god's creation. this heart is being made anew by god's character. this man is being transformed by time spent cultivating a love affair with the mighty god of the universe.
i have an idea to maybe stay with one of our two state senators in washington d.c. if any of you have their phone numbers, maybe you could pass it on to me.
in virginia, i'm planning on staying with dot's (my dad's wife) brother bob.
haven't taken a shower in 3 days. really, i don't smell the funk of 10,000 years yet!!!!
May 30, 1998
there are those of you who are just now joining along in this journey of mine, so at the risk of being redundant for the rest of you, please skip to the lower paragragh, but for you newcomers, read on. this journey was first inspired as my father and i were driving back from phoenix
last year after having rode our bikes from san diego to phoenix. in discussing what i should do after graduation, my first thought was to hitchhike through europe as my father did when he graduated. my father suggested that since he and i have taken these trips since i was 16,
that perhaps i should entertain the idea of riding around the U.S. But where, i asked. already he and i had ridden from springfield to miami, springfield to new york, springfield to new orleans, new orleans to key west, san diego to phoenix, Las Vegas to durango, CO, and from san diego
to ensinada, mexico. then the thought of riding a big circle around the country occured to me. i looked at my dad, and he looked at me and we said, "why not?" i asked him to plan it and one year later, i started on my journey.
at first the trip took on a celebration of sort for my graduation. yet, as i began to pray and consider god becoming a part of the trip, the doors of excitement opened. i began to see that although there is so much negative talk surrounding the people of our country, i wondered what would happen if a young man being a minster would really see all of that negativity. somewhere long the way the idea for not taking any money came to me. there has been some money that has given to me from some thoughtful people, but all of this is being stored away for october. finally, i began to consider the depth that came into one's life when time spent with god was time spent alone, not in a church, not in a bible, but just god and i. many of the spiritual classic writers
(dietrich bonhoffer, st. francis of assisi, g.k. chesterson, etc.) wrote of the lack of depth in many christians lives occur because time is not spent alone with god cultivating the necessary relationship with him.
unfortunately for most, they believe that this type of relationship comes from sitting in a church, or by living it through a spouse. no, it is only when a farmer goes out to his fields early in the mornings spending time walking through fields, that any realy harvest occurs. so for me, i saw these next five months as an opportunity for me to really see god's hand in the lives of people around this country, to be a witness to god's faithfullnes as he provides for my every need, to see
how churches around the country are meeting the needs of the people that walk through their doors, and to have about 10 years worth of sermon illustrations.
today i am in carbonndale, penn. i left orlando on may 12, and have traveled almost 1,900 miles. my first attempt at providing an update failed earlier today as after having typed for about 1 hour, the computer at the local public library crashed. so forgive me if some of my comments about the trip up this point are a little brief because for me, i have already done this once today. so let me begin.
it is really difficult to know where to begin describing the events and the sites of my journey up to this point. rather than making you spend half of your day reading this update of the first leg of my trip, i will try to be short-winded if i can.
day 1--115 miles, Flagler Beach, FL. was given two bbq pork sandwiches by a man who loved harley davidson's and adventure. spent the rest of the day in traction because the heat didn't mix well with the bbq.
day 2--125 miles, St. George, GA. met terry and libby conrad who fixed me dinner and let me stay there for the night.
day 3--117 miles, Odum, GA. stayed in an abandoned house provided by Aubrey Mansfield, town mayor.
day 4--119 miles, South carolina border. this was my first rejection from someone not allowing me to stay in their front yard with my tent. sort of felt like mary and joseph the night they were looking for room in an inn for mary.
day 5--126 miles, Monks Corner, s.c. stayed with a couple who owns a little convenience store. this day i came across a group on unsightly characters who were sitting around drinking and smoking something illegal. about 30 ft. away was a small convenient store with the owner
standing outside. i rode my bike into the middle of the group and asked the men if i could have something to drink. after making a few rude remarks and expletives, one of the men offered to go over to the store and buy me something to drink. the look on the store owner's face as the man came over to buy me something was simply indescribable. spent about 30 minutes there talking to the men about life and the choices that we make. i found out something this day. there are two kinds of people in this world. there is the christian that i meet which after a few minutes, i find myself in good company. then there are those who are not christians. especially for the men that met this day who are looking so hard in life, but they are looking in the wrong places. I discovered from this that if i simply show someone god's love, i can go anywhere and into any situation.
day 6--41 miles, Andrews, SC, went to church and met bill cooper, the minister of the church. spent the day with wayne and debbie watford. bill gave me the opportunity to speak to a group of young people that evening. a lady in the church made me some rice krispy treats for the
day 7--100 miles, Ocean Isle beach, NC, stayed with odel and virginia williamson, the grandparents of brad watford's wife (wayne watford's son). stopped and asked a man this day who was selling a hydrolic wood splitter if i could buy it from him so that i could pull it with me up
to new york. he said that i was crazy. but i said that i really wanted to take that wood splitter up to new york. again, the man refused to sell the machine to me stating that the splitter would just be too heavy for what i was doing. it seems like many times in our lives we desire things and pick up things (baggage) that simply don't do us any good. but we refuse the advise of others and god and we pick it up anyways. what a shame.
day 8--146 miles, moorehead city, NC, stayed with tim and kim martin for the night. it was getting dark and i really was too tired to go on. came across a church with some people in it even though it was late. discovered that tim was a volunteer youth leader who needed some
encouragement and direction. it's simply amazing how god places us in the right situations if we only allow him to really lead us.
day 9-- 76 miles, buxton, NC, met john and monique from nc who were going windsurfing. met them on the ferry in the outer banks. they offered to buy me dinner that night. john and i discussed the differences between believing in christ alone and the beliefs of hari chrishna.
day 10-140 miles, border of virginia and north carolina. stayed at a methodist church.
day 11-147 miles, Ashland, VA. met raymond and alice murphy. what a family! at first i was going to put up my tent in their front yard, then as the evening went on, alice offered the basement to me. in the morning, i was loaded down with food, and clean set of laundry. stopped
by the volunteer fire dept. with daniel and friends. they bought me some power bars for my journey ahead.
day 12-97 miles, whitford county fire dept. stayed in the fire house because it was supposed to rain. dave diehl, the chief offered to buy dinner. during the course of the discussion, it was discovered that dave was going to move out of his house that night because things were
not working out with his wife. to make a long story short. after our discussion ended at 12:30, dave went home to his wife and they talked until 3:00 am. in the morning, dave told me that he and his wife were going to work things out and also they are going to see a counselor. talk about being at the right place at the right time.
day 13-107 miles, washington, d.c. stayed at the bethsada fire house with lisa, tommy, jolie. d.c. was fun, but i wouldn't recommend it for bicycling.
day 14-103 miles, rick and donna sias somewhere in new jersey. rick has biked over 100,000 miles. gave me some good ideas for the rest of my journey. rick is the brother-in-law of one of the professors at my school in florida. what are the odds of that happening?
day 15- 87 miles, manhatten fire dept. New york, NY. thanks for a great time and wonderful food prepared by the gang at the fire house in downtown new york. glen oconnor really became a good friend to me. next morning, the gang invited me along to play on their softball team
for the morning. what a time!! met my dad at 2:00 in time square.
days 16,17 spent in new york with dad and sister renee. saw a play (the perfect crime) ate too much food, walked about 30 miles around new york and ate ben and jerry's ice cream.
day 18-95 miles, layton, NJ. as it started to pour down rain, i came across an open garage with cesar from brasil standing inside. without even knowing my name or my story, he invited me inside for some authentic brazilian food.
in the course of this journey, i have heard of other people taking similar journies such as this. two men rode around the country without any money. as they would stop into a town, they would meet the local people and preety much manipulate some kind of food and lodging arrangements for the night. this other man who i heard of today is walking around the country with no money. each night he goes to a restaurant and offers himself for work in exchange for some food. how
am i any different? well, at this point, god is opening up so many wonderful opportunities for me that i don't have to manipulate someone for food or even ask for it anymore.
after today, my plan is to send e-mail messages about every other day or so. from here i will travel along the northern border of penn. across ohio, up through michigan, around the mackinaw penninsula and down to minneapolis where i will spend some time with my friend steffen and his
i believe that brian pierce who has a radio show in the mornings in springfield, IL wishes for me to be on from time to time. so if you live in the area, turn your radios to WNNS in the mornins. also, brian, i don't have your toll-free number.
there is one thing that i have learned thus far in this time spent alone with god, and i wish to share it with you. in life there are many different types of roads and traveling conditions that have a bearing upon our journey. in life sometimes, the road is straight and the wind is slightly at your back. in these times, god is strengthening you for the journey ahead. in life sometimes, the road becomes uneven and the wind begins to blow in your face. in life sometimes, everything comes
at you at once, rain, wind, mountains, and weariness. in the midst of this, don't forget to listen to god, because even when it is so bad, god still gives you the energy to press on. then in life sometimes, you sit in the middle of a field weeping. you weep not because of weakness, or
even discouragement, but you weep because of the long journey before you, and you're not really sure if you can press on. well, as there is a god in heaven, he will sit by your side and gently encourage you to press on. yes the journey is long, but with christ, the journey will
i saw a marque on a church the other day and it said, "when you can't god can." i disagree.. god makes everything happen. we can do nothing by ourselves. if you really think that you can make it through this journey we call life without god's son, then you really won't know when the journey will end.
June 1, 1998
greetings once again,
this particular day i find myself in port allegheny, penn. today and yesterday have been perhaps the most demoralizing days of my trip. if any of you would like to send donn and lynn hauser some encouragement, their e-mail address is: dhauser@Juno.com. thanks.
i stopped for about 4 hours yesterday to go to church. don hauser who is the minister of the independant baptist church along with his wife took me in for the day. leaving town i was met by something that i have not yet so wonderfully experienced on this trip. not only could you cut through the humidity with a knife, not only were the never ending mountains getting taller and taller, but a 20 mph headwind gave me a wonderfull kiss for the rest of the day. to make matters worse, i had to stop in mansfield, penn. because of some tornados that were touching down in the area.
michael and joyce treas, the pastors of the united methodist church in mansfield put me up in a hotel for the evening. talking about god taking care of his children!!! their e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org today has been the worst. no, i can't make today any better that to call it a day from down under. waking up this morning, the temperature was a cool 50 degrees. along with 25 mph head winds and the mountains to contend with, if there was a day to stop and cry, this is the day. still somewhere in the yelling at the wind and the dryness of my eyes, god still gives me the strength to continue. maybe god really wants me to meet someone special tonight. i just can't say.
the last few days have given rise to some interesting thoughts, and i thought to share them with you, because they really are not mine exclusively.
some people along the way have made some snide remarks like, "if you really think that god will provide for all of your needs, why isn't providing for my needs or for the bum on the street?" after much thought, if have an answer to such people who still live by shallow skepticism to god's greatness.
basically, people involve themselves in this life to relationships, jobs, families, and yes, even to god on what i have come to see as a spectrum with three points. the far extreme on the right is what most in this world have been convinced to see that life is just one compromise after another. in relationships, we compromise, even with god we compromise. yet in a compromise, you still have half of yourself to keep in case something doesn't go right. in a marriage, if you only seek to compromise, if the marriage goes disagreeable with you, the pain of backing out isn't as bad because you still have half of yourself to keep.
in the middle of the spectrum is a neat little word called commitment. it seems that this word is almost the catch word of the day. our great american culture is calling us to commit to this adventure or to commit to that adventure. but as what has been described to me be donn hauser, in a commitment, you look at what you have to offer whatever you are involving yourself in or to. for example, by commiting your life to god, you look at what you can offer god and say, well i think god will do preety good with me as one of his children. still however, a commitment is only a partial involvement to the great calling in our lives to completely envelop ourselves with god's presence.
on the other far end of the spectrum, i see something far greater than both compromise and commitment combined. this of course is not by my own thinking, it's found in the bible. this reckless and extreme way in which we all can live our lives is what the bible calls surrender. when you surrender yourself, you have nothing left to hold back, you are completely vulnerable to that which you have surrendered yourself. for example, in marriage if as a man you surrender yourself to your wife, this allows your wife to gain a trust, confidence and respect in you as
her husband that would never be able to be experienced otherwise.
i do recognize that this viewpoint of involving ourselves with people and god goes against the grain of this world but why not?? why not go against the grain just for awhile in your life?? the teenagers of this world are constantly being challenged to make just one more commitment,
husbands and wives are being stretched to see one more area of their life that they can commit their time to. our teens, husbands and wives do not need anything more to commit their lives to. i challenge you to begin to see your life as an opportunity to surrender yourself to god, to your spouse, to your children even as a servent to your job. i believe the rewards which will come from this will pass far beyond your expectations.
one other note which i heard not to long ago coming from mother teresa. this great woman of faith said that in india, there is a great problem of starvation and hunger. yet in india, this problem can be somewhat solved everytime someone is given some food. mother teresa went on to
say that in our great country, we have an even greater starvation problem, and that is a starvation of genuine and sincere love. the problem is that people have stopped giving sponateous love to the not-so-lovables that live around them. these people are not especially the destitute on the streets, but the brother or sister who we can't get along with, or even a spouse for whom somewhere along the way we have simply lost our love for them. try giving someone today a sponataneous and non-solicited act of pure genuine and sincere love.
the list of the people interested in my journey continues to grow. at this point, my list is up to 78, and the list grows daily. i encourage all of you to send me your words of encouragement, and to also tell me how god is streching your faith. the words that you send will be taken in prayer and thought about throughout the day.
alone with god.
We meet the Homeier crew
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