Alone with God II: Dirk Homeier's Journey with Jesus

Preface (f)
For those of you who have been reading about our journey from the first days, you may remember Dirk Homeier, whom we met with his father and brother (both named Chris). They were the unlikely cycling trio we ran into on our first riding day of our trip. (link to that passage)

Since finding them somewhere east of San Diego, we’ve kept communicating with Dirk as he planned his monumental(ly nutty?) cash-free bike trip. As he wanders he to celebrates his graduation from Florida Bible College, his future life and his relationship with God.  This is the second installment of the email we've collected from him.   (link to the first installment)

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.

June 4, 1998

greetings from cleveland!!

to bring you up to speed on my journey to this point; i am on the 23rd
day of this 10,000 mile bike trip around the country. on may 29, i left
new york came to the border of new jersey and penn. here i stayed with
a cesar, a brazilian man, and his family. the next night was spent in
wyalusing, penn. where a woman who didn't know me or my name made me
dinner and lunch for the next day. strange isn't it, how god will take
care of us even in the midst of strangers??!

day 19 (sunday) spent part of the day in towanda, penn. with donn and
lynn hauser. lynn made some out of this world cake with a hard
chocolate topping. if any of you would like to bring someone a little
love, get the recipe from lynn. (dhauser@Juno.com) that night was spent
in mansfield, penn. where joyce treas, the pastor of the united
methodist church and her husband michael, put me up in a hotel for the
night. good thing because it rained most of the night.

day 20 was spent in marshburg, penn. behind tom blasco's house in my
tent. if you really want to know a guy who lives life with a
contentment and ease that puts most people in the "big life" to shame,
write to tom and let him share you some secrets. (jozsef@penn.com)
also, thanks for the deer sauce covered pasta and grape nuts in the
morning tom, you're the best!!!

day 21 was spent in cambridge springs, penn. with the volunteer
ambulance company. jayne, a woman of the company made some real italian
lasagna and allowed me to do some much needed laundry.

day 22 stayed behind a united church of christ in strongsville, ohio,
which is a little west of cleveland.

tonight i should make it to toledo, ohio, where i will be staying with
at the fire dept. with jeff romstadt. i had the fortunate opportunity
of meeting him in orlando two years ago. sometimes it just makes sense
to open your mouth and get to know people. you never really know what
good results will come from it.

i had my first phone interview with brian and kelly from WNNS in
sprinfield, il yesterday. really, i don't have any thoughts on doing it
either way. it seems however, that in the midst of people hearing about
some crazed bible college graduate biking 10,000 miles around the
country without any money, that somewhere in the midst of it all, one
person might decide to begin following jesus by putting their complete
trust and faith in him. i think the next time i speak with brian, i
will ask him to give out my e-mail address over the radio. i would like
to begin a section in my journel on what people around the country think
faith is. and if people really know what faith in god is, what are
they, or how really willing are they to begin living by that belief.

i encourage any of you to pass my e-mail address around. i figure that
the more people who here about this journey of faith, the more people
who can be reached in this unique way by the gospel.

such an example has come from david burns from illinois who has heard
about my journey. he sent some words of encouragement to me that i
thought has some good applications to life in general. david writes,
"F.B. Meyers in his book, Christ in Isaiah" says, 'If i am told that it
is a rough journey that will lead me to my destination. every jolt and
bump along the road will remind me that i'm on the right road." words
from long ago, still applicable to us who are seeking god's will for us
today.

one new aspect of my journey which i have incorporated along the way is
to ask different ministers that i meet what they are doing to reach the
people in their respective settings. my hope is that as i begin in a
church wherever i may be, i might have such a well to draw from of ideas
that i won't be left in the dark without ideas on how to reach the
people around me.

some of you have written to me along with others who have asked me along
the way this question..."what really is faith?" i know that in the
bible, faith is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we
do not see." (hebrews 11:1) yet for the teen struggling with his future
or even with the temptations of today, or for the executive who has
everything, or for the mother who works along with caring for her
children and husband, what is faith for them?? the bible gives such a
clear definition of what faith is, but give me something to chew on,
something to place around my feet to carry me through the trials of
everyday, something to place in my heart the will propel me to greater
heights of love in my relationship with god. anyways, send me your
thoughts and convictions on what you see faith to be, and how you live
that faith.

one final thought then off to toledo...i believe that god is caring for
me so abundantly secondly (this was begun in my last e-mail message)
because every day i commit myself to providing the pedal-power needed to
carry me to where god wants me to be. as i ride my bike each day, i am
convinced that god will provide for my every need. as i have commited
this journey to him, i know beyond anything that god will care for my
every need. so to the person who asks why god would provide for me in
such a wonderful way and not them, i would respond, "get on your bike
and start peddaling." i really don't mean this literally, but what i do
mean is this...if you have children and you wonder why their life is
going astray, begin to pray with them...if your marriage is "out of
love", or you don't see yourself being married at all any more, begin by
asking your spouse for their forgiveness, and then both of you kneel
before god and ask for his direction in your marriage...if you don't get
along with someone in your family because of some really big dispute, do
the big "H" and humble yourself before them...if god has given you a
talent to serve him, which all of us really do have, then begin today by
commiting that talent to god in service in his kingdom. you see, we all
can provide our own form of pedal power to place ourselves in god's
willing hand of faithfullness. maybe it's time for some of you to
really get going and pedal, pedal, pedal.

alone with god.

June 6, 1998

Subj:    DIRK HOMEIER 10,000 MILE BIKE TRIP
From:    CHHomeier@aol.com
To:    BikeBrats

Andrew & Fred:

Just to let you know how Dirk is doing. After is first leg, Orlando, FL to Times Square, New York, the following is for you edification:

Estimated Miles: 1,816
Date Started: May 12, 1998
Date Ended: May 26, 1998
Total Days: 15
Actuarl Miles: 1,592
Average Miles per Day: 106


Not bad for a guy traveling on a mountail bike with a front basket and no money.

He is doing great and I think he will make it.

Chris Homeier
Dirk's Dad

June 7, 1998

greetings from flint, michigan!!

all is well for me as i have been staying with my cousins vance and
carrie kupisch here in flint, michigan. after hearing from sarah of her
great interest to see me in the mackinaw island on the 12th through the
16th of this month, i've decided to slow my pace down a bit. so in
coming to flint on friday, i thought it would be nice to get to know my
cousins that i've never met before. staying here since friday has given
me a great idea on how to travel and that is to find out where your
relatives whom you have never met before live. after finding out where
those relatives live, call them up and go visit them. sure this mind
sound offensive and intruding to some of you, but hey, how else will you
ever get the opportunity to meet those relatives that you have not yet
met before?

well, my plan is to stay here in flint until tuesday morning. tomorrow,
i have to fix my bike because of some dirt in the bearings of my front
hub. from flint i will bike up to black lake where my cousin vance has
a cousin who is the director of the Unite Auto Workers conference
facility there in black lake. from what i've heard thus far about the
facility is that no expense has been left out in making this facility
first class. on friday morning then, i will bike a short 40 miles up to
mackinaw city to meet sarah at the ferry over to mackinaw island.

on mackinaw island, sarah and i will be staying there until the 16th
with a woman who had worked with my mother in springfield, il. if there
are those of you who don't know anything about the mackinaw island, it
is the island where the movie "Somewhere in Time" was filmed. so women,
eat your hearts out in lucious jealousy!!!!!

from the mackinaw island, i will bike across the upper penninsula to
minneapolis, minnesota where i will stay with my friend steffen
rampelberg and his wife beth. steffen wishes to bike along with me to
his parents house who live in rapid city, south dakota which is about
400 miles away i believe. i don't believe that steffen has ever taken
an adventure of this magnitude, so if you have a few moments send him a
word of encouragement and prayer. i'm sure that it will make his
decision that much easier. (rampe000@mail.genmills.com)

one exciting note...fred and andrew, two guys that i met last year who
are biking around the world for two years, have now included me as a
link on their web page (www.bikebrats.com) what is so amazing about
this opportunity presented to me by these two guys is that in a very
wonderful way, god's message of faithfulness will now reach anyone who
visits their web page. i encourage all of you to visit their web page
and find out about their trip. also, pass their web page address along
to your friends to find out not only about my trip of faith building,
but of theirs as well.

along these same lines...i will continue in this upcoming week to call
in to brian and kelly who have a morning radio show on WNNS in
springfield, illinois. if any of you are up at the bright hour of 6:15
a.m., turn your radios to this springfield station.

well, as a quick update on my journey thus far...i have traveled 2,500
miles further than i thought that i could have on the morning of may 12.
already, god has demonstrated to me over and over again that his desire
is to take care of my every need. these two wheels of mine have brought
me into some wonderful situations in which i can live first hand god's
faithfullness.

as some of you might have noticed, it has become rather chilly up here
in the north. i believe that the mornings now range in the  (unintelligible)

June 8, 1998
From:    dirkhomeier@hotmail.com (Dirk Homeier)
To:    bikebrats@aol.com

hey guys!!!

i can't tell you how thankfull and honored i am that you have decided to
include me on your web page. i hope this not only increases the
interest in my trip, but also the places which the two of you are now
seeing that most people will never get to see.

keep me updated as to the different religious practices that you come
across along the way. it will be interesting to read the vast nature of
religions that your own journey will bring across your tires.

thanks once again guys...i would have never thought in meeting the two
of you last year that that one meeting would continue in the friendship
that we now share.

alone with god.

dirk.

June 23, 1998

Greetings from minneapolis, minnesota!!

Living by faith is such a wonderfully, incredible adventure!! I can see now why for up to this point in my life that I have chosen not to live my life as one of radical faith. Simply stated, living by faith alone is a risk. There are those that choose to live by such a faith and they are coined as sensationalist, or "those people that you simply don’t want to be like because they just turn some people off." Then, there are those who opt to live out their faith in a "slot machine" manner. These people put their money (their faith) into the slot machine (god) hoping for the one big return which would make them wealthy. Yet in the midst of their pious efforts seen by some, still in their hands they hold a handful of money just in case the slot machine (god) doesn’t come through. How unfortunate. How sad. How indicative of so many people who call themselves "christians" who decide not to place their lives completely in the care of the lord and savior. And this is who I was before embarking of this journey.

One belief which has been cemented into the fabric of the manner in which I choose to live out my days that has come thus far from this journey is that to live outside of the entrapment by which our culture calls "freedom." I must live my life in reckless abandonment to my faith. There are those who might criticize this belief as overzelous, sensationalistic, pious, or even idealistic. Yet in the midst of bicycling 3,500 miles without any money, I have come to see that the majority of the people that I have met to this point on my journey who call themselves christians really don’t know the eternally true and complete freedom that comes when an utter helpless surrender to god comes in our faith in him to provide for our every need. I can verily say that this perspective has been churning around in the recesses of my thoughts since leaving new york, and these thoughts about faith finally came to fruition in the course of speaking to an individual in wisconsin. I would like to share them with you here before I offer you a chronological report of my alone with god trek.

From the beginning of my journey up this point, many people have kindly suggested that I write a book detailing the marvelous events which have taken place during the days of these five months on my bike. These thoughtful individuals have said that perhaps in the course of my experiences of god providing for me, and the development of my own faith, that somewhere in the pages of a book that maybe one might be inspired to begin leading their life by such a utter surrender in their own faith. At first I admit, this idea was completely entertained in my thoughts through the days of spending countless hours alone peddaling from town to town, and state to state. Yet, the more I entertained such an idea, a greater understanding of the truth which was being comunicated became ever more alive to me.

I presume that their would be few to argue that our great american culture which was once founded upon godly virtues and values is now in a state of a terrible moral decline. For those founders and leaders of our nation and people past who looked solely to god for their wisdom and insights, this same god for whom so many great people looked to has now today been replaced by the human wisdom and experiences of individuals who choose not to proclaim the creator of this universe as their god and king. Their are too many well astute believers today who look to men for their answers to life, wisdom for the present, and faith in the future. Simply stated, god’s word is no longer the final authority for all of life. No, for today it is the sage of the present or past that apparently holds more weight upon the minds and hearts of our culture than does the great and mighty lord. I see now that this substitution of sorts has had an adverse affect on people of all kinds, especially christians, especially me. For I even saw myself and this journey as becoming to be a foothold for many to grab hold of in the midst of their lives which were rapidly slipping away from their faith in god. I began to think that even I could somehow add to the pages of rich truth which was provided for us over 2,000 years ago in what we call the bible.

In the pages of the bible, many see those true accounts as not holding to a great probability of truth. These individuals who see themselves as christians today, no longer believe completely in the roadmap which was the foundation of their faith in christ jesus. No, these accounts today are viewed as mere fabals, sybolistic stories which hold a certain degree of moral truth, or even great spoken traditions handed down over the ages as a means for us today to have some source of edification. So it is therefore of no surprise to me today for one to make a suggestion for me to write an account of my journey at some later date for others to read for inspiration and edification.

Even from the beginning as it was my desire to be alone with god and journal my experiences, did I consider writing these e-mail messages to my father and fiance sarah. To my surprise and enjoyment, these messages now have found their way into the homes of individuals which I have never met, into churches which I have never been, into a radio station which I have yet to hear, and now into work places via the radio which I will probably never see. I therefore am led to say this one most important statement…no journey, no experience, no knowledge, no wisdom, no not even the faith of another can ever bring to life the faith which you have in your life today for god other than the accounts which are provided for us in god’s word. You must begin today to live out your faith; no matter how much or how little of faith which you see yourself having. Your faith cannot be found in following a sage of the past; your faith cannot be found in following a particular religion or denomination; your faith cannot be found in living vicariously through your spouse’s or children’s faith, no your faith can only come alive and give you true freedom by beginning today to begin cultivating a personal relationship with christ.

So, I told this individual in wisconsin that I would not write a book from the pages of my journal after this journey has come to an end, for the best accounts of faith have already been perfectly written for us in god’s word. And any attempt on my part to add to, or make better god’s perfect word, would be a sin. I’m not so sure that this individual understood everything or even anything which I spoke of, as I now question some of you not understanding my thoughts and beliefs, but all I can offer is an opportunity for you to ask questions of what I now see as a pinnacle benchmark to how I opt to live the remainder of my life. Perhaps in the midst of questions, maybe a risk-taking bible college graduate can somehow be an icon for some of you to begin living out your faith in a manner that is pleasing to god.

I think a short summary of my journey for the past two weeks is what some of you have been waiting to read….

From spending a glorious and well needed time with my fiance sarah on the mackinac island for four days, I biked 158 miles to escanaba, michigan. in spending time with sarah for those endless days, I saw a need that I had discovered thus far. In the course of my efforts to be alone with god, there must also be an effort to cultivate the love affair with the woman or man of your life. I imagine that this can even be said for those who expend countless hours and energy in developing their careers, and successes. Without quality time spent with the one you love, in the midst of whatever noble task you find yourself partaking in, the danger therein lies when your love for another begins to be replaced by that noble cause. So take time today or this weekend to rekindle and bring to life once again a love which brought you to decide to spend your life with such a person who you are now with. Believe me, the time will be remembered by your spouse, sealed in your memory, and blessed by god.

In escanaba, I was almost able to meet some Homeier relatives who I have never met. Unfortunately, they weren’t home. that night, I slept in my tent behind a little convenient store. I was able to pray with the store owner who had lost his previous store due to the roof collapsing from the weight of snow.

From escanaba, I peddaled 164 miles to rheinelander, michigan where I slept again in my tent, but this time behind a motel. The front desk manager was, I guess you could say, kind enough to let me in on the continental breakfast provided to the guests.

From rheinelander, the next day was 125 miles to barron, wisconsin. After it had been raining all day, I decided to stop early and find shelter under the overhang of a baptist church. After a few minutes, I had checked the doors and found to my surprise the doors were unlocked. In finding a church bullitin, I found out the preacher’s name and phone number to tell him who I was and that his church was unlocked. Since there wasn’t anyone home, I left a message and decided to wait inside the church. After a couple of hours, I decided that there wouldn’t be anyone coming, and since darkness was quickly approaching, I thought it best just to camp inside the church. And wouldn’t you know it, no one came all night to check on the church!! No, I slept in the church all night and left the next morning. Talk about god opening up the doors of his church for the needy!!!

The next day, which was the 19th, I arrived in minneapolis at steffen and beth rampelberg’s home. steffen and I had attended ozark christian college together, and we remain close friends to this day. My father drove up from illinois to give me the maps from minneapolis to seattle, and to spend father’s day and my birthday together.

I guess when I consider those individuals in my life who have been instrumental in the development of my faith through their modeling such faith in front of me in their own lives, I think of my mother and father. The faith of my mother simply astounds me!! Still, she is like any other person who has their struggles, but still, when my mother tells me that she prays about something and believes and has faith in something, let me tell you that she will stand on any ground because of that faith. My mother, who after living in miami, florida for 13 years decided that being around her family was more important than her own comfort zone and circle of friends, moved back to springfield, illinois without a job, and with little money to spare. Today, my mother is working for bill seleeny’s (sp.?) wife at the govenor’s office, and I believe that she might have found her nitch in the springfield scene.

The other individual who by some lives a cavalieristic and even a "life-of-riley" lifestyle is my father. Although some see my father as not living at times very responsibley, I have always seen my father as not have too many worries in this world. My father has always told me and modeled before me, that if I just live in god’s will for my life that god would take care of the rest. And believe it or not, somehow over the years of my father’s life, god has done just that for my father. Like my mother, my father too is far from perfect in how he lives out his faith, but what has brought home to me more my father’s faith in god, has been my father’s belief and faith in me that I can accomplish this five month journey without any money. It has taken my father over a year involving countless hours and phone calls in making preparations for this journey. Even when I told my father of my decision not to take any money on this trip, he still didn’t blink an eye in his belief that I had the ability to complete such a task. Now, after leaving orlando, florida on may 12th, my father has visited me in new york city, and now in minneapolis. With each visit, my father once again reasures me of his faith and belief in me as his son to see this journey to its completion.

Though I don’t nearly say this enough…thank you mom and dad for the values, beliefs and faith which you have handed down and taught to me.

From minneapolis, it will take about five days to get to rapid city, south dakota where bruce and sandi rampelberg, the parent’s of steffen, live. And then from rapid city, the long 1,600 mile barron leg out to seattle, washington, over the rocky mountains and the glacier national park. I should be out in seattle by july 23.

So, that’s my journey up to this point.

I leave you with one final thought and somewhat of a correction which has come through the course of this journey. I thought at the beginning of this trek that in spending time alone with god biking around the country for five months, that I would somehow find the faith in god that I for so many years longed for. Yet in these days past, I have come to discover something of an error in my initial desire. For like wisdom, faith is part of god’s perfect character. And for those who’s desire it is to model their lives after the character of god, any part of god’s character can be found through a careful search of god’s word. However, for so many this search begins and ends in the wrong places. We search in the stock market of wall street, in the paths of success wherever it may lead, in our hobbies, in our addictions, and even in ourselves, but all of these are completely wrong. It is god who calls out from the heights of the cities, it is god who stands in our paths raising the standard, it is god who stands at the entrances to our homes, it is god who stands before our faces and calls to us to become more like him. And simply enough, god can be found but in only one place, his perfectly true and eternal word which we call the bible.

So if you’ve found yourself today looking in anyplace other than god’s word for your faith, for wisdom, for knowledge, for discernment, for love, or even for yourself, stop in your tracks and pick up the bible. For in god’s word, you will find pages and pages of ways in which you can build your faith, find true wisdom, understanding knowledge, godly discernment, a christ-filled love, and a self that can only eternally last with a relationship with christ.

After brian and kelly gave my e-mail address over the radio, the response has been rather unique. Along with meeting new people, there are some who send me different jokes and poetry. This is one which I think holds appropriate meaning to this message for today.

TO RISK
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to help another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing our true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd is to risk loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try at all is to ask failure.
But risk we must, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The man, the woman who ask nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
--Author Unknown.

One last quick story…in taking my bike to tonka cycle and ski here in minneapolis, the bike technician jeff bender, told me that a complete overhaul of my bike, which it desperately needs after 3,500 miles would cost around $100.00. after telling jeff my story, I believe that jeff will give me a good deal on the repair costs. Even better yet, jeff wants to be put on my e-mail list. Jeff’s address is: Benderjeff@aol.com. Thanks jeff for your wonderfull work and kind heart.

p.s. don’t forget to tell others to check out fred and andrew’s web page at www.bikebrats.com

alone with god.

Dirk.

June 23, 1998
From:    dirkhomeier@hotmail.com (Dirk Homeier)
To:    bikebrats@aol.com

hey guys!!

i can't even imagine what it would be like peddaling through a country
where i can't speak the language!! the two of you definitely have
guts!!!

i must thank you once again for placing me on your web page. the number
of people who are starting to make a response because they have seen me
on your web page is definitely growing. i would have never thought that
there would been this kind of vehicle for my journey. in a manner of
speaking, the two of you have allowed yourselves to be used as vessels
for god's work by coming to the aid of one of his servants. for this
action, i believe that god has great and wonderful things ahead for the
two of you.

my thoughts are swimming at what it would be like for a christian to be
peddaling through the countryside of the far east. though there are
many people who see the way is clear to them, it would be interesting to
see what kind of conversations would come as a result of simply stating
the reasoning for biking through whatever particular country you find
yourself in.

who knows...maybe there could be a journey held by one to pedal around
the world without any money:)

keep going guys for the best is yet to come for you!!!

dirk.

June 25, 1998

greetings from redwood falls, minnesota!!

i recognize that this message comes soon after the heels of my lastest
message, but what god did in minneapolis was just neat (i'm sorry, but
that's the only word to describe this event without using so many
cliches).

in taking my bike to Tonka bike and ski shop in excelsior, the bike
technician jeff bender had told me that in order to do an overhaul of
the front hub, bottom bracket and a tune up, that i would be looking at
close to $100.00. well, i told him about my journey but that i had the
fortune of having been given some birthday money from my father while he
was in minneapolis over the weekend. jeff told me that he would do what
he could do.

yesterday when steffen and i went in to pick up my bike, the man at the
counter said that the work had already been paid in full!! he said that
he really didn't know what the deal was, but he let me take the bike
anyways. just one more example of god's divine willingness to stand
before me in order to care for my every need!!

by the way...jeff did a great job on the bike. now i will be able to go
through the black hills of south dakota and the rockies without any
cause to worry. thanks jeff.

just one little thought for you then off i go...in reading 1 peter
today, i discovered something in the book that i hadn't seen before. in
chapter 2, verse 2, peter writes that christians should crave pure
spiritual milk so that by it we may grow up in our salvation. i never
really thought about what "growing up in our salvation" meant until
chewing over it through the course of the day.

what i have come to discover is that the answer to this question of
mine, and maybe some of yours too, is found in chapter 4, verse one,
when peter writes that since christ suffered in his body that we should
arm ourselves with the same attitude!! peter isn't saying that we have
to suffer like christ suffered in order to be like him, but what peter
is saying is that in order for us to "grow up in our salvation," we must
take on the attitude of christ which was one that was willing to suffer
at all cost. what is the cost??

the cost is to submit to those who are over you for the lord's sake; the
cost if you are a woman is to submit yourself to your husband for the
lord's sake; the cost if you are a man is to be considerate, respectful,
and live as an equal heir with your wife to the kingdom of god for the
lord's sake; the cost if you are a christian is to live in harmony with
one another, be compassionate, sympathetic, humble, etc. for the lord's
sake. the key in all of this, i think that you see by now is to assume
the attitude of christ not for anyone else but for the lord.

alone with god.

June 30, 1998

i can definitely say that the time spent in peddaling from minneapolis
to rapid city has been certainly a time spent alone with god.

in leaving minneapolis, i peddaled 152 miles to marshall, minnesota
where i tented it behind a lutheran church. the lay minister who was
there was kind enough to allow me to pitch my tent behind the building,
but he didn't exactly have the time for any lengthy conversation.

day 2, i found myself spreading a thin needle through some wonderful
thunderstorms and even a tornado warning to howard, s.d. in howard, i
met nathan who was a volunteer fireman that had an empty house which he
had purchased and was remodeling. since the storms were coming my way,
nathan allowed me to spend the night in the empty house. one other
volunteer fireman came to visit me while spending the night in howard
and took me down to the local eatery for some well deserved nutrients.

day 3, spent the night in the city park of presho. was able to take a
shower in the city pool house, but in the process, i broke my $7.00
sunglasses. now, i have to constantly deal with the sun glaring into my
eyes during the days.

day 4, started through the badlands to discover that there was a $5
entrance fee into the park. fortunately, an understanding family came
by who paid my way into the park.

the park was truly a beautiful site to see!! the badlands have been
known for their mystic beauty, but what i saw was a complete design by a
creator who is not mystic, but simply wants mankind to enjoy the fruits
of what he has created!!! i just can't see this as being mystic, only
majestic.

arrived in rapid city yesterday the 29th. i should be spending the next
several days here with bruce and sandee rampelberg. they are the
parents of steffen, my best friend in minneapolis.

tonight bruce and sandee are taking me to the lighting ceremony at mount
rushmore, then over the next few days we will be going horseback riding
through the countryside, seeing the different sites in rapid city, and
spending some well deserved spiritual rest with the preacher of the
christian church which bruce and sandee attends.

for now, this will be only a short update for you as bruce and sandee
has me off doing different chores for them for the rest of the day
before we head down to mount rushmore. there is however, much that can
be said about the past 5 days with which i spent utterly alone on the
road, but this will be saved for another message.

as i will have a lot of spare time on my hands this week, i will be
catching up with many inidividual responses to some questions, stories
and other things that have been brought to my attention along the way.
so if you have anything with which you would like for me to respond to,
this is the week for me to have the time. so please do get your
responses to me while i am here.

alone with god.

July 2, 1998

today is the day for us to regain the ground lost to satan in our lives,
our families, our churches, our cities, and in our nation. no other
solution for this can be found but in our fervant, persevering and
faithful prayers up to the eternal god who sits enthroned above the
heavens. where ever else you may believe that you can find the answers
to a quickly declining world, i have beheld with my own eyes, and as a
testimony of my own life to the wonder of life that can only be regained
once again in this country by the people of this country seek god's face
once again in daily intimate communication.

the other day as i was driving from bruce and sandee rampelberg's house
into rapid city on skyline drive, god captured my attention in a
profoundly simplistic way. skyline drive in rapid city is a road which
curves along the top of great hill which more or less separate a large
portion of rapid city. from the many different peaks on this road, one
can look off to the east and see the many miles to the bad lands. to
the west one takes in the beauty of the black hills of south dakota. if
the beauty of this nature doesn't necessarily appeal to you, perhaps
what i saw next may.

from the peaks of this hillside i could see the many cars going from
place to place down in the city. and you know what cars and people look
like from atop a tall skyscraper or even a tall mountain?? yes, like
little ants. and like little ants, i saw all of these cars and people
traveling along the way to whatever destination they were going. and
like little ants, i saw the productivity of all of these cars driven by
people and people who were walking about. a beautiful city, a growing
city, a city like many others, one generation away from a complete moral
and god-centered vaccum.

ants are interesting little critters. they have no king, but their
production is astonishing. they have no leader, but they all work
together to bring about the common good of the ant community. and if
you're like me, whenever you have came across an anthill, you take the
heel of you shoe and destroy everything those insignificantly small
creatures have spent so much time amassing.

then i began to consider all of the great cities that i have been
through thus far on my journey--orlando, jacksonville, richmond,
washington d.c., new york, cleveland, toledo, minneapolis, and now rapid
city. i then began to weep at first just as a knot in my throat, then
it was as if the well of my tears opened up and i couldn't hold back
what god wanted me to feel for all of those cities.

who i was weeping for were not the lost souls in the cities across this
great land, but for those people who profess christianity as their
banner who are not following the master and creator of that banner,
jesus christ himself. with such a great number of people in this
country professing to be "christians" one would really have to question
why then is our country in such a state of moral, ethical and
god-centered decline? and so i simply want to say that there are too
many people who are professing christianity without the only and true
king at the center of their lives. because if jesus was truly the king
of all the lives of those professing christians, then i say there
wouldn't be the kind of violence, divorce, family dissolvement,
unethical businessmen, dishonest politicians, self-seeking and shallow
church leaders, (and the list could go on) which is tearing at fabric
of this country. there are too many anthills that are being destroyed
daily because of the quick and effortless slide of satan's heel across
what it seems to most as a solid man, woman, family, business, church
and nation.

this past sunday, as with past sunday's, it was my desire to be in a
different church in order that i encourage the believers there in some
way. i wanted to wake early sunday morning because i knew from the past
three days in peddaling through south dakota that the wind would beat
hard against my body and mind. since the next good size town was about
40 miles away, i awoke at 5 a.m. to arrive there before the wind started
to howl. to my surprise, i found the wind already awake and more than
ready to blow harder at me than the day before. many times that morning
i wanted to quit and just sit where i would have stopped until evening
when hopefully the wind would have decreased in strength. yet i felt a
certain strength continue to fall upon me as i felt the prayers of many
covering my journey. and if just felt that god really wanted me to be
in a church and worshipping with the people there.

finally after what had seemed like half of the day, i arrived at a small
church to find the service already in progress. in past sundays, i had
tried to arrive before service to get cleaned up and shaved, but on this
sunday i had no luck. well, i guess you can say i looked like a typical
transient, a vagabond, a nomad. i hadn't taken a shower in a day and a
half, i hadn't shaved, and i was still in my biking shorts with baggy
shorts over the biking shorts.

after the service, there was a short time of fellowship with cookies and
punch (like at most churches who see themselves as "friendly") all of
the women sat at one table and all of the men sat at another table.
since i thought i could find more open conversation with the women
(because they were all older), i decided to sit with the women. the
conversation was nice but short. no one really wanted to know about me
or even why i looked the way i did. the minister's wife even sat next
to me for a short while without saying a word to me. the minister even
came to get his wife and didn't say a word to me. well, after a few
minutes, i felt a kind of uncomfortable feeling on the part of these
"christians," so i decided to leave.

upon leaving that church and passing by a conveniant store, and in
seeing a clock inside, i realized that i had the time to go to another
church if i so desired for a latter service.

peddaling up to another church, i saw by the sign that this church would
perhaps be a bit more friendly and even a little more lively. although
the church was small, the people were young, the minister was young.
the worship was even led by a guitar and with the words brought up on an
overhead screen. my thought was that surely in this church they
wouldn't see my exterior and perhaps be a little more hospitable to me.
after the service, unlike the first church, the people came up to me and
greeted me with kindness. yet a feeling came over me that was far too
recognizable by now. it was the feeling that the people in this church
had seen one too many people who were simply passing through (you
know...hitchhikers, nomads, etc.). i felt that their kindness was
driven by the hope that their quick greeting toward me would find my way
out of the church in a rapid manner.

so, i left both churches, without being able to encourage, without
receiving any sense of fellowship, without eating, without feeling a
part of god's king-dom there in that town. little ants in that certain
town. all consumed with only what was going on in their little anthill,
seemingly unaware of the threat that satan is closing in upon their
doors to render them ineffective and essentially dead.

there is a certain church in orlando, florida that is surrounded by a
predominant hispanic community. the unfortunate aspect of this growing
church is that there is not even one hispanic person in the entire
church. And jesus passing into jericho came to a certain man named
zachchaeus who was too short to see jesus through the crowds. jesus
coming to zacchaeus LOOKED up into the tree and told zaccheaus that he
was GOING to zacchaeus' house for dinner. zacchaeus like many people
today was an "undesirable" of the community. here in rapid city, it is
the indian...in orlando, it is hispanic...in new york, it is the
homeless...in miami, it is the haitian. whomever it might be in your
community, what are you willing to do to be jesus to those people or to
that person???

i have written all this to say that if you or i wish to regain the
ground upon which this country was founded, we must go to the
mountainsides of our cities and begin to pray over our cities. if you
don't see yourself as one who would involve yourself in the country in
this manner, ask yourself this question, "what confidence do i have that
my marriage will last for a lifetime? what peace do i have that my
children will grow up to respect me and bring honour to my name? what
real assurance do i have in my eternal life which is effected by my
relationship with the almight king and savior jesus christ today?

just for consideration...

alone with god.

We meet the Homeier crew


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