Alone with God III: 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 celebrates his graduation from Florida Bible College, his future life and his relationship with God.  This is the third installment of the email we've collected from him, some of his followers and family.   
(link to the first installment)
(link to the second 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; they are presented here with their permission and may not be reproduced.

Dirk's Story:

Date: July 7, 1998
greetings from broadus, montana!!

after enjoying a wonderful week in rapid city, south dakota with bruce and sandee rambelberg, i am now under way to seattle, washington.

i can't tell you how refreshed, both physically and spiritually, i was by spending time with the rampelbergs. being with people of like mind and spirit really does the body good!!

for excitement, they took me down to mount rushmore, a 17 mile horseback ride up to harvey peak (7242 ft. high), and a short horse ride through the bad lands on sunday afternoon. i was also able to sit in on a promise keepers lunchean held by the first christian church in rapid city. although i didn't get the opportunity to preach while in rapid, i was able to speak to the high school group on sunday morning.

if you have never been to rapid city, it is definitely the place for your next vacation plans. there is just so much to do, and the cost to do activities is relatively inexpensive.

upon leaving rapid city, i had a wonderfully nice ride through the black hills. the climbs weren't so bad and the scenery was majestic. i stopped 137 miles from rapid city in a small town called alzada, montana. really, it wasn't a town at all, just 2 bars and a few houses.

today, i am experiencing first hand why there are not many people who live in montana. especially on the eastern side of the state, there isn't anything here. i have to pedal 30 to 50 miles just to get from one town to the next. and the towns aren't towns, just a few homes. i can already tell that montana will definitely be the most trying state for me. already since yesterday, i am finding myself getting terribly lonely. there just isn't anything to see, and the wind is unbearable at times. i think it would take a divine wave of god's hand in order to switch the direction of the wind. in speaking to different people along the way, they really can't remember the last time that the wind blew out of the east.

i hoping to make it up to havre, montana by this weekend. bruce rampelberg's father lives there and was a minister there at one time. from havre, i will pedal up through canada, and down through glacier national park.

please do bear with me as in montana, i'm not quite sure how many times i will be able to find a library, or be in a town when a library is open. i should at least be able to give another update when i arrive in havre.

i suppose that the one key element that has given me some sense of solace over the past 2 days especially has been my reading of the bible. because of the basket that my father placed on the front of the bike, it works out quite nicely with everything on the front of the bike for a

little reading shelf. throughout the day i read one chapter from proverbs, 4 chapters from psalms, and usually a book from the new testament.

many times during the day, i find my thoughts turning rather ugly and uncharacterisic of a christian. i am finding more and more that as i spend these days alone with god, that satan also is there with me doing everything he can to disrupt the good things that i try so hard to dwell upon. so as i have involved myself in reading god's word, these lowly thoughts are becoming less and less. and furthermore, i am finding that i am beginning to see god in much more of a grandeur way that i have seen him before.

thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers for my journey. it is many times throughout the day when the wind just seems too unbearable that i think of you and your thoughts and prayers over me. and i find the strength to go just a few more miles to another town or over the next hill.

god is beginning to show me that this journey of faith is no longer just my journey, but one for anybody who hears or reads about it. all i see my part as now is just putting forth the peddal-power to get to the next town. it is god that is demonstrating in a greater way than i had ever

expected to people who i have never met that his goodness can be experienced even if it is not first hand.

alone with god.

dirk.

Date: July 8, 1998
greetings from miles city, montana!!

yesterday was one of utter discouragement. just when i thought the terrain would become flat, it would begin to go up for miles. just when i thought the relentless winds would blow more softly, a ghastly wind would come from nowhere showing me just how weak i am. just when i thought the sun would decrease in strength, somehow at mid-afternoon, it shown brighter than anytime during the day. yesterday i was completely beaten down. yesterday, i biked just 100 miles.

today however is a new day. last night i stayed behind a post office in volborg, montana. although there is a post office in volborg, the town is nothing more than 2 houses with a little trading post carrying only beer, ice and snacks. the couple who ran the post office however were the nicest people that i've met thus far in montana. the wife let me take a shower with a garden hose outside in the back pasture. you might find this barbaric, but after not having taken a shower for 2 days, any kind of bathing is openly welcomed. furthermore, you really haven't experienced the great outdoors until you have taken an outdoor shower facing the hills and the setting sun to warm and dry the body. this was exhilirating to say the least.

this morning as i have come into miles city, i met up with 23 cycilists who are peddaling from seattle to washington d.c. when they saw my set up and heard of my distance traveled each day, i guess you can say they were a little amazed, even taken back. i'm not sure if they really even believed my tale, but this will be for them to decide. their journey is consisting of stopping at different towns along the way and performing service acts in return for any food or lodging that they are receiving. i guess that you could say that there was a definite clash in bicycling methods between them and myself. they were also apalled like many others have been that i don't wear the proper attire for cycling. by this i mean the right kind of shorts, shirt and even a helmet.

well, off i go into the land of nothingness. really, there isn't any town than 100 or so up to glasgow. so this might be the end of me for a few days.

alone with god.

dirk.

Date: July 9, 1998
greetings from glasgow, montana!!!

there are two things for which i have been in grave error about. the first is that somehow in the midst of this great and desolate state of montana, i am somehow managing to be in towns along the way at the right time to send you updates. i believe this is the third day in a row!! i gues that god wants me to communicate more in this great spanse of montana.

the second area for which i have errored is in calling montana desolate and bleak. i can remember some of the words of wisdom that lyle bundy, a professor from florida christian college, gave to me. he said that i should not be so hasty as to only see god in the great and grandeous events and sites of this great country. lyle encouraged me to find god in the smallest of things which i come across. well, in remembering these words i must confess that in montana, i have forgotten to look for god even in the bleakest of states.

an example of this can be given in elizabeth and warren ronning. two people that are not especially important unless you were to be on a bicycle fearful of what the up and coming road will bring. you see, from the beginning of this journey, i have avoided rock roads like the plague. rock roads not only slow me down, but there is a risk of puncturing a tire or even breaking something on the bike. i was successful at this until reaching 12 miles east of rapid city. in looking at the map, i noticed that my father had mapped a shortcut along a rock road to bruce and sandee rampelberg's house. since it was the end of my leg, i figured why not... well, on that road the rough terrain of the rocks broke my two bottom brackets on my front basket. yet it was ok because i knew that bruce would be able to fix it for me, which he did.

with that triffle of a bad experience behind me, i again faced another such dilemma coming to the house of the ronning's. again, my father had mapped a shortcut for me on a rock road, but this time the distance was not 12 miles, but 37 miles!! i knew that if i broke anything this time, it would be quite some time before i was able to fix my bike because now i was in the middle of nowhere. literally!!!

in coming to the ronning house, elizabeth greeted me outside with a smile and invited me inside for a short spell. once seated, she asked me if i was hungry and immediately shelled out a small salad and a meatloaf sandwhich. after sitting and visiting with them for a little while, their grandson warren came in to tell me that the rock road for which i was going to travel was one of the best rock roads in the county and definitely manageable for a bike. with this bit of good advice, i proceeded with great delight.

what i learned from this, and please forgive the symbolism, is that i have come to see the mapping of this trip on my dad's part somewhat like god's wisdom given to us in his word. no, this isn't a great new revelation, but simply a reminder that if we stick to god's word and avoid running to different roads dictated by our own fears, i can guarantee you that the road which god plots for you will be much better.

Date: July 15, 1998
greetings from white fish, montana!!!

what do i miss after being on the road since may 12th, and 5,100 miles? (and these are not necessarily in order) i miss biking alongside of my dad as we enter towns that neither one of us have ever been into before. i miss the kind and warmingly loving touch of my mother. i miss the laughter of heidi, my sister, and her dog china. i miss the gentle and longing gaze that falls upon me so often from the eyes of my beloved sarah. i miss knowing where i will lay my head each night. i miss the constant fellowship of other christians who see god as i see him. the list goes on, but these are the biggies.

what i really don't miss is the television, worrying about money or my next meal, living a life that was so bound to my own efforts in providing for myself.

as my dad was correct in his assumption of montana; it has been the worst state so far on this journey. the reason has been because of the constant wind. after leaving jack rampelberg in havre on monday morning, i was faced with an all out wind from the mountains for the next two days. with wind gusts reaching up to 35 mph, i really did want to quit. yet i knew that once i reached the rocky mountains in glacier national park, that it would get better.

the people of montana have been a story all of their own. i can see now why someone would want to move to montana, to get away from people. the people have been somewhat accomodating, but not really amiable. i met up with a couple who have been peddaling from kentucky. they are on their honeymoon going out to seattle. as the wind in montana blows from sun-up to sundown, and even all night sometimes, this couple really just could not make it anymore. so they thumbed it hoping to get a ride from some passing farmer who was going to the next town which was only ten miles away. well, this hopeless couple stood there along side the road for 2 hours before they decided to walk their bikes to the next town. the number of empty pickup trucks that passed them by without stopping really gave me a real life commentary on the people of this state.

tommorow, i should make it into idaho. from idaho, i hope to make it into seattle on the 23rd. my mother's brother lives there, so i will hope to stay with him and his family.

for those of you who received an e-mail message from bob, please do forgive him as jesus was able to forgive. sometimes in life, we go fishing, but we just use the wrong bait. he has apologized to me and has offered a lengthy explanation to me for his message. he just like many people, are seeking. and in that search sometimes, an ill-thought idea is espoused.

alone with god.

dirk.

Date: August 3, 1998
greetings from lincoln city, oregon!!!

please do forgive the length of my absense.

over the next week, i will be trying to get caught up from my journies over glacier national park, the northern cascade mountains, seattle, and now in oregon.

my no money faith-stretching trip is now to 6,300 miles. the wonder of it all is that god seems to be wanting to communicate to me is that what he really wants to show me is just beginning.

bye for now.

dirk.

 

We meet the Homeier crew

Notes from Dirk's friend's and family:

Subj: Re: alone with god
Date: July 9, 1998
From: An anonymous guy named Bob

Hey Dirk

Surprised you have made it so far, so far with no seemingly major mishaps. God must be atching over you as in ... suffer not the little children to come unto me ...

God told me to tell you to get some Hot Pepper Spray or Mace before noon saturday.

Could be a grizzley, catamount or homosexual on your itenary soon. "Leviticus ... for if man acts unto mankind as womankind, it is an abomination to the Lord and punishable by death ... "

Take care and good luck.

Subj: RE: alone with god
Date: July 13, 1998
From: an anonymous gal named Amy
To: To the anonymous guy named Bob

I'm about to throw up....

Who the hell are you? and why are you bashing homosexuals? You might as well spray some mace / pepper spray in your own face for I'm sure you've fallen short as well... You sound like an ignorant jack-ass that's in-bread.

God told you nothing...if he did, God would tell you to love them just like any other human being that sins. How dare you quote from the bible when your life is in hypocrisy....

Your pathetic.

Subj: RE: alone with god
Date: July 13, 1998
From: Heidi (we think Bob’s daughter)
To:        Bob and Amy

way to go Amy, you know i recieved that msg and asked my Dad what he meant, it made no sense, maybe Dirk can clear it up for us, remember Jesus is compassionate and we need Him now more than ever!! so a good idea would be to pray for him, thanks a bunch! miss you, you get to see Dirk way before I do, must be nice, give him a big hug and kiss for me, I really miss him a lot!!!

Subj: Re: alone with god
Date: July 14, 1998
From: Alan

In regards to the email from the person who was defending homosexuals,

I am not sure what email you are replying to, but I know Dirk and I know he wouldn't "bash" homosexuals or any other group. I know this because he is my friend and I used to be a homosexual. I know there are others even closer than I that he loves who are homosexuals as well.

Homosexuals are no different than anyone else. They are in need of saving just like you and I. In fact, there are quite a number of homosexuals who are saved. Imagine that. We all have something to deal with.......

One of those reformed homosexuals.....

In Christ,

Alan

Dirk’s comment on the matter:

for those of you who received an e-mail message from bob, please do forgive him as jesus was able to forgive. sometimes in life, we go fishing, but we just use the wrong bait. he has apologized to me and has offered a lengthy explanation to me for his message. he just like many people, are seeking. and in that search sometimes, an ill-thought idea is espoused.

Date: July16, 1998
From: Alan (yet again)
Forwarded Message: RELIGION TODAY FEATURE STORY
by the Editors at ReligionToday.com

Controversial newspaper ads offer hope to homosexuals -Full-page ads in three major newspapers proclaiming that God can help homosexuals change their lifestyle have caused outrage among gay activists.

...The three ads appear this week in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. The $206,000 cost is being paid by 15 conservative Christian groups, including Exodus

International, the Christian Coalition, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries.

..."I'm living proof that Truth can set you free," an ad says in a bold headline in the July 13 New York Times. It shows a photo of Anne Paulk, a self-described "wife, mother, and former lesbian" who says she changed her identity through prayer and faith in God.

..."Leaving homosexuality was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. As I grew in my relationship with God, I knew he had changed me forever. Gone was the hardness. Gone was the hurt. And gone was the shrill cry inside, replaced by God's still, small voice."

...Paulk said she "met a Christian woman, a former lesbian, who listened patiently to my story and led me to a ministry helping people overcome homosexuality. Because they loved me without

judgment, I was able finally to give all my relationships to God and begin the road to healing."

...Ex-gay ministries work throughout the United States with homosexuals seeking to change, the ad said. "While the paths each took into homosexuality may vary, their stories of hope and

healing through the transforming love of Jesus Christ are the same," it says. The ad invites readers to call 888-264-0877, which connects them with Exodus International's North American headquarters in Seattle. The ministry is active in 18 nations.

...An incorrect telephone number was printed in the New York Times ad. Rather than getting a counseling line, callers were connected to Byron Griffin, a Dothan, Ala., electrical

contractor. A lot of the callers "had an attitude," Griffin said. "We're not as liberal here as they are in New York City."

...An ad in The Washington Post July 14 shows a photo taken at a recent Exodus International convention and is intended to show that there are numerous former homosexuals, Bob Davies, head of Exodus International, told Religion Today. An ad in USA Today July 15 focuses on public figures who have spoken out against homosexuality and urges more Christians to speak out, Davies said.

..."The whole issue of homosexuality has become very one-sided in the secular media, and it is now a 'given' that homosexuality is inborn and cannot be changed," Davies said. For more than 20 years "thousands of people have been proving that message wrong. Even if one person had successfully changed, that proves the gay message is wrong."

..."We offer ourselves as living testimony to the truth that homosexuality is a sin and not God's will for the believer, and with his help and by his power this is a sin that can be overcome. We're not here to be hateful, but to offer hope for change to those who want it."

...Homosexual-advocacy groups reacted to the ad with hostility. "The bigotry, hatred, and intolerance that this ad represents is the real perversion," said Tracey Canaty of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Human Rights Campaign said it would respond with its own newspaper ads.

...Paulk's story "doesn't reflect the vast majority of experiences of gay people in America," Elizabeth Birch of the Human Rights Campaign told the Associated Press. "It also perpetuates the myth that gay people are not people of faith." God's creation is "filled with infinite variety and diversity" and the divine plan includes "every one of God's gay and lesbian children," said Troy Perry, moderator of the homosexual denomination Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.

...The ads have made homosexual supporters "hopping mad," Davies said. A representative of an ex-gay ministry appeared on ABC-TV's Good Morning America July 14.

...Homosexuality has become a heated political topic. "Recently, several prominent people like (Senate Majority Leader) Trent Lott, Reggie White and Angie and Debbie Winans have spoken out on homosexuality...calling it a sin," The New York Times ad said. "When I was living as a lesbian I didn't like hearing words like that," Paulk says in the ad.

...Homosexual behavior is a sin, Lott said in a television interview. "In America right now there's an element that wants to make that alternative lifestyle acceptable and normal. You should

still love that person...You should show them a way to deal with that problem. Just like my father having a problem with alcohol...Other people have sex addiction. Other people are kleptomaniacs."

...Republicans in Congress are blocking the confirmation of James Hormel to be ambassador to Luxembourg because he is openly homosexual. Conservative Republicans in the U.S. House are attempting to block an administrative order issued by President Clinton barring discrimination against homosexuals in federal jobs, and may try to stop the government from spending money carrying out the order.

...A "vast number of people in the church" have never heard of ex-gay ministries, and some have struggled with homosexuality for a long time not knowing that there is help and hope, Davies said. "A lot of society, including the church, has become intimidated into silence by gay activists. It's time for the church to stand up for the truth and proclaim hope for people who want out of homosexuality."

  

Subj: Re: alone with god
Date: July 10, 1998
From: Dirk’s Dad

Dirk:

Received all three letters. I think you are doing Great. I can feel your pain (Clinton), when you are facing that tough wind. As I remember; you, Lonnie, and I biking our first day to New Orleans. That wind was the worst thing to face. Remember how we just sat down and cried. We didn't think we could go another mile -- but we did and it got easier. You have some very beautiful country coming up. --

One of hardest part of your trip is the "highway to the sky" in Glacier National Park crossing the Continental Divide. Enjoy the challenge, you have only this time in your life to always reflect back on what you are doing. Yes, the Lord is preparing you for something of great service.

If my calculations are correct, you have about 1,248 miles to go to Seattle. That, even with the mountains and hardships, will put you there in twelve (12) days which is the 21st of July. As I expressed to you in our plan, I will meet you on the 25th, which is on a Saturday. We will leave Seattle on Monday, July 27th. This will give you about 6 days with Uncle Banny. I am leaving Springfield next Friday, the 18th for San Diego. That will give me a week with Sonny.

We will leave San Diego with the truck on Friday so the plan is falling into place.

As you travel the Northern States, I pray that you will find very wonderful people along the way. Watch for them, pray for them, expect them and enjoy them.

Every day, someone here at church or in Springfield stops and ask about you. You have a lot of support back home. Just think, you are almost half way done. I love you and hope to see you on the 26th.

Dad


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