|Alone with God III (Bike Father, bike son): Dirk
Homeier's Journey with Jesus
Since finding them somewhere east of San Diego, weve 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 fifth installment of the email we've collected from him, some of
his followers and family.
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.
Date: August 19, 1998
you might notice that my new subject (alone with god II) heading indicates that i am once again on my own. the time spent with my dad peddaling from seattle down to ukiah, california was perhaps the best time that i have had thus far on my journey. being alone with god and reflecting on his greatness certainly is necessary for anyone who wishes to elevate themselves above the race of our culture, yet being with someone who you admire so much, especially when that person is your own father, is rather different to say the least.
in departing from seattle, my uncle banny bantell joined my father and i for three days down to seaside, washington. i really have to tip my hat to my uncle for his courage. here is a man who has never involved himself in something of this nature, who being over 50 made it 270 miles. my uncle banny definitely demonstrated his courage when the terribly steep climbs came before us with no way around the mountain, but over. even with the many words of counsel which he received from his friends not to embark on such a journey, he looked rather to me and the apparent success that i have had up to that point for my own self. although i am by no means someone to give courage to another individual, the simple act of me peddaling everyday, gave courage to one person.
in a great and wonderful way, my uncle banny reminded me and gave me once again a fresh look at those individuals in the bible who lived their lives by a radical faith lifestyle. far too often do we who profess belief in god in this twentieth century do not really believe that god would provide for us in the same manner which he did for those people recorded in the bible. so i am glad to be an example, even a testimony of god's tenacious desire to present himself in our lives today in much the same way that he has been doing for centuries.
the two weeks spent with my father was timeless indeed. although we were not able to do our expected 100 miles a day together, our conversations immensely overcompensated for any of the lack of mileage. i must say too that because my dad had money with him, these two weeks were spent eating good food and enjoying the many sites along the way. yet even though my dad had money, it still brought a smile to my heart that god wanted to stretch the faith of my father.
peddaling into reedsport, oregon, my father and i really didn't have a place to stay for the evening. as we came to upon a church, some of the people were just leaving from a bible study. i asked one of the members if the minister was close at hand only to discover that the minister was out of town for week. since my father and i had hoped to pitch our tents for the evening on the church grounds, we knew that we had to get permission from the minister. in finding out that we wouldn't have any such luck, our hearts were dismayed. however, in discovering that i was a minister myself, one of the couples, fred and anita woodruff, took my father and i to dinner and allowed us to stay in their home for the evening!! needless to say...god demonstrated to my father that even with money, god still desires to care for our every need.
you know, god has perfect timing, if we alone god to set the clock!! on the day which my uncle, my father and i were to meet my aunt on the third day, we were skeptical on how exactly we would locate her. well, in coming into town after many different stops and distractions we met my aunt just as she was stopped at a stop sign. we too we at a stop sign, just kaddy-corner from her!!!
and again in winslow, california, my father and i wanted to stop in for a milkshake after church and to change into our riding shorts. the fact that my father and i wanted to stop in for a milkshake wasn't so extraordinary. in fact, it had become rather customary to have 2,3 or even four milkshakes a day!!! yet, this particular stop was at a mcdonald's. we hate mcdonalds, and would definitely not choose it for a milkshake. yet, because it was the last stop in town, we had no other choice so we stopped. stepping up to the door, my father was solicited by a young teenager for some money for food. his story was that he only had $7 left for gas to get back to san fransisco. my father declined the request for money, but rather he told the young teenager to save his money for gas and my father would buy him a hamburger and milkshake. with this offer, the teenager's eyes widened slightly. at this moment, one of the teenager's friend approached and learned of my father's offer and asked if he could receive the same. my father said, "well, just get all your friends, and i will buy them all hamburgers and milkshakes." with this offer, the first teenager's eyes widened as far as they could stretch. the second teenager said that there were seven in all. my father told him to bring them all inside for hamburgers and milkshakes.
now these teenagers were unlike most teenagers. actually theire story went something like this. they were all runaways who had somehow met up along the way in different cities. one was from virginia, another from key west, another from seattle, and yet another from maryland. all had experienced fall-outs with their parents and therefore wanted to experience the freedoms of life. all had admitted extensive drug use. all had admitted to being titled as homeless. all had admitted to not have eaten for a couple of days. all demonstrated the outright cry for true and genuine love.
standing in the line with these seven seemingly outcasts of society must have been a sight!! they all had tattered clothes, unwashed hair, dreadlocks, tattoos, earings, nose rings, lip rings, tongue rings, well i think you get the picture. yet for once, i don't think that these young people cared what anyone thought of them or who they were with. all that mattered to each one of them was that they were finally going to eat. and eat they did.
these seven malcontents to society ate with such ferocity that it was apparent to my dad that just one hamburger would accomplish the task, so he ordered seven more hamburgers and french fries for them all. with this generosity not expected, they treated my father like he has an angel in disguise.
at the end of our time together, and after much giving an account of their weary lives, it was time for my father and i to depart. in leaving, one of the young ladies said that they would never be able to repay my father. i simply responded that if each one of them would call their parents collect and simply tell them that they love their parents, this would be enough of a repayment for us.
one of the young men did break down at the end and began to weap heavily. he said that just the night before in his desperation offered up a rare prayer to god for food. he knew that the seven of them could go no longer without any food.
i tell you this story not to give an account of my father's generosity, but to indicate the wonderfully ability of god to carry out his perfect timing. here my father and i had never been to a mcdonalds on any of our journies together until this day. the young man could have solicited any man, but for some reason chose my dad. just the night before the young man had offered up a prayer of desperation. my father and i just happen to know the words of jesus, "when you do it unto the
least of these, you have done it unto me." you certainly can say that this was all coincidence, but for one such as i who have been on the recieving end of god's great ability to provide in a similar manner for the past three months, i think that i can offer quite an argument against your disbelief.
in riding away from the mcdonalds, i noticed that my father was lagging a little behind. as i slowed to find the reason for his slow pace, he looked at me and said that as we were leaving the teenagers, one of the young teenager's came up to my father and asked if she could hug him. after hugging my father, the young lady said, "i wish that i had a father just like you, i wish that i had a relationship with my father like you have with you son; maybe i will ask my dad to go on a bike trip with me." upon telling me of this account, my father too began to weep as he peddaled which brought me to tears. let me tell you that peddaling and crying are two very different tasks.
mother theresa once said these words..."in india, we have a nation-wide crisis of hunger. yet in india, that problem can be solved with each person that receives food and water. in america, there is an even greater problem of hunger. it is not hunger of the stomach, but hunger of the soul. this problem would be solved if more people began to love more, if more people began to love more genuinely. the problem is that there are far too many people in this country who are starving to death for love and there are not enough people who are willing to do what it takes to fill that hunger."
what will you do today to begin filling the void of love that so greatly surrounds you?? if you are not aware of this void, maybe you should stop worrying so much about the three feet of space that surrounds you, the desk that sits in front of you, the tv that stares at you night after night, the two blinders that you have placed on the side of your face after years of being betrayed. loving someone might involve you asking for someone's forgiveness that you have not spoken to in years. loving someone might involve you humbling yourself before another with the great risk of not knowing what will happen next. loving someone might just be....
as i will be here in san diego for the next week or so, i will be sending more messages in the days to follow, so stay tuned.
one last thing. my dear friends andrew and fred who have graciously hosted me on their web page, have updated all of my e-mail messages since the beginning of my 10,000 mile journey. their web page address is: www.bikebrats.com. if you have some free time, i'm sure that you will be encouraged from these messages of one man's journey of faith for the past three months. while you are visiting the web page, read about these two fantastic guys who are peddaling around the world for two years!!!
alone with god II.
Date: August 22, 1998
the time that is being spent here in san diego with my brother is timeless indeed!! my heart has always ached that i have not the opportunity to see my brother as often as i would like. for the first five days of my stay, my fiancee sarah was able to fly from kansas city to spend those five days with me. it is an unfortunate fact that we as a couple have probably spent less time with each other than any other couple that i have ever met entering into marriage. this time spent together then, like any amount of time that we can get, is cherished very much so by me. i will be staying here in san diego until the first of september. hopefully by then, the heat in arizona, new mexico, and texas will have dropped to around the high 90s or even low 100s. my first stop will be with my 90 year old grandfather in phoenix, arizona.
i would like to take you in this message back to my days peddaling through idaho and washington if i may. i especially wish to focu on an a man who called himself tom with whom i peddaled with for three days.
in leaving eureka, montana where i had came across a youth group from kingdom city, missouri who was spending two weeks helping a minister from the area start a churchi in the area, i came across a fellow traveler who was going to the same place i was, seattle, washington.
tom is an older gentleman, probably in his late forties. after receiving his law degree from northern university in illinois, tom pursued his practice in law and was also married. somewhere along the way, i believe that tom began to become disenchanted with his law practice and with his marriage. leaving both, tom took up the challenge of peddaling around the country. so, for the past six, i guess you could say that tom has truly become a nomad, even a vagabond of sorts. when money is low for tom, he stops at such places as summer camps to work and to write.
one of the first things that i noticed about tom was the tired and weary approach in his demeanor. although his candor and humerous approach to life at times was giddy, i could tell by not only his tattered clothes and used track shoes, but also by what tom described as a hardness in his heart towards the many things in life that should bring joy and happiness but rather bring skepticism and disbelief because of circumstances in his past, that tom was truly alone.
our first day spent together was a delightful ride to a place in montana where located in a remote place are the only giant ceder trees in the country. as we peddaled our bikes the four miles back to the location of the thicket of trees, we could begin to see why we had not seen any other bicyclists along the way. the road had an incredible incline, and very narrow. yet once we came to the spot of the giant cedars, my mind went back to the movie, "the princes bride." in the movie, the hero and the damsel have to travel through what was known as the "fire swamp." this small thicket like the "fire swamp," was something that you only see in your dreams--different shades of greens, endless amounts of varying plant life, fallen giant cedars that appear to have fallen centuries ago, a bubbling broak that gave sound to the scenery, and light, oh the light that played and danced through lines of trees and undergrowth can truly only be described in a poet's dream..
in leaving the giant cedars, tom and i peddaled on to sandpoint, idaho where i was going to stay with a couple from the christian church. it was my selfish assumption that tom and i would part our ways once we came into sandpoint, but i think for tom, he had needs that i had blinded myself to. at my turning point to the couple's house, rather than saying goodbye, tom asked me if i thought it would be ok to ask the couple if tom could get a shower at their house. tom had said that that night would be the fourth day that he had gone without a shower. i can verily say that at this very moment i realized for the first time that i hadn't experienced anything what tom had experienced in his peddaling travels.
although i am peddaling 10,000 miles without any money, tom has been traveling six years without anywhere to call his home, without someone he can look forward to and be encouraged by to see. i have been alone on this journey, but i see before me the wonderful opportunity to meet the individual or group that god has placed before me. this is what keeps me going, this is what keeps me from stopping when i'm discouraged or tired. yet for tom, he has neither family which can encourage him, or close friends along the way that he can stop and see. i have no money, but god has wonderfully provided for my every need every step of the way. if i don't get a shower one night, god has given to me a shower the very next night. tom said that he goes at times 3,4, or even five days without a shower. if i skip a couple of meals because i don't meet anybody, god opens the floodgates soon after and gives me a banquet that far beyonds fills me three stomachs. tom rather lives off of $3 a day which consists of beens, tortillas and rice. although somewhat old, my clothes don't have any holes in them, my plastic bags for my basket are new, my sleeping bag is new, my shoes were bought before this trip began. tom wears a sweater in the morning that is worn and hole-ridden, tom's wears used track shoes without the spikes, tom's saddle bags over his rear tire are old and coming apart. and in seeing all of this, i actually had the audasity not to invite tom along with me to the couple's house for a shower. sure the couple could have denied the request, but it was in my own miopia of god's providence that i didn't consider those needs of tom's.
i did take tom with me to the couple's house. the couple was a bit surprised at first by the additional biker, but invited tom in for a shower just as they welcomed me. the couple took us out for dinner, let us do our laundry, and fixed us breakfast the next morning. the couple knew a little about me. they knew that i was a minister, they knew a little about my background, but they knew nothing about tom. yet this precious duo loved and received tom just as they received me. this one fact i believed made more of an impact on tom than any amount of conversing that we had dispersed over the next three days.
tom and i left the next morning with great vigor for the miles ahead of us for before us were the great northern cascades of washington. in the following days we would face five mountain ranges that exceeded 5,000 feet of climbing, we would meet a man named john from new york who would have a dramatic impact on my life, and tom and i would eventually go our own ways. yet in being sensitive to the length of this message already, i will save those accounts for my next message.
alone with god II.
Date: August 25, 1998
this message is a continuation from my last report and my days spent with tom. as there are some of you who are just now joining me in this journey of faith, two gentlemen have generously hosted me on their own web page. if you would like to get caught up from my previous messages, their web page address is, www.bikebrats.com.
i left you last time with tom and i leaving our wonderful hosts in sandpoint, idaho. in leaving sandpoint, i knew that the days to come would bring great climbs over five mountain passes. the first mountain pass was sherman pass at 5,800 feet. the second pass was wauconida pass at 4,400 feet. the third pass was loup loup pass at 4,200 feet. the fourth pass was washington pass at 5,550 feet. and finally, the fifth pass was rainy pass at 4,900 feet. it was common knoledge among those venturing cyclists who i met along the way that it would take a day each for the passes. it was a good idea to approach the climb early in the morning before the temperature climbed into the high 90s. yet for me, it was my desire to get to seattle as soon as possible. after being so mentally beat from the great winds peddaling through montana, i thought that i could make two mountain passes in one day if i hussled a little bit.
well, in peddaling with tom to the beginnig of sherman pass, we met a trio who were also going to peddal over the pass. their names were john, david and morrine. john had been a cable tv technician in new york but had quit his job. john had said that this trip for him was one of self reflection. what i learned that this trip was serving the same purpose for david and morrine as well.
there was one hitch in going over sherman pass. in the spring because of the great amounts of rainfall, a great portion of the road had been washed out. the detour was about 30 to 40 miles in length. the last stop before the "road closed" sign was a little restaraunt. our little peddaling group somehow believed that the "road closed" sign really didn't include bicyclists, so i asked one of the workers inside the restaraunt about the rode. in asking the workers, they all sort of smirked and said that those people who were traveling up through sherman pass, including cyclists, were being issued tickets. so we weighed our options and chose to risk the ticket rather than peddaling 40 miles out of our way. as it turned out, there wasn't anyone at the top waiting for us. i guess if you could say there was anyone waiting, it was god giving us a beautiful show. for just as we reached the summit, the sun was beginning to set with such a splendor of color.
of course, coasting down the mountain was much more enjoyable than peddaling up that great beast. it took us around 4 hours just to peddal to the summit. by the time we reached the bottom it was well into the night. with the trio not having to worry about money, tom and i knew we couldn't bed down for the night wherever they choose to do so. fortunately, we came across a county fairgrounds that had many abandoned buildings. again, god gave tom and i a place for the night. again the next morning, when i rejoiced in the fact that god had provided for tom and me, tom simply said that it was my own interpretation of the situation and that total credit could not be given to god.
the next day, tom and i left the trio and peddaled along on our own. we crossed wauconida pass with much ease as was our expectation to experience the same steep climb that we had encountered at sherman. in republic, tom decided to stop for a couple of hours to rest, but i wanted to go on to loup loup pass. tom and i said our good byes and parted company.
as the day wore on, the temperature climbed to 98 degrees. before coming to loup loup, i met a minister at a christian church in okanogan. the minister and i shared in some pizza from pizza hut which was my great mistake. after leaving the minister, i was hit with the 100 degree heat outside. why eating the pizza was a mistake because it caused me a great upset stomach peddaling up the mountain. half way up the mountain, my stomach could handle it no longer and proceeded to give up the contents from the pizza. i was however, able to devise a way in which i could keep peddaling while at the same time giving up the pizza. well, it wasn't very attractive, but by the time i reached loup loup summit, i was quite a bit lighter and my stomach was empty once again.
the remainder of the cascades was breathtaking to lack of a better word. if you ever have the opportunity to drive out to seattle or through washington, take highway 20 through the northern cascades. believe me, you won't be disappointed!!
this day concludes my two week stay with my brother here in san diego. i really do wish that i could stay here longer. the time spent with my brother is never enough. the love that i have for my brother can never felt enough by me.
tomorrow, i set off for the desert and its 110 degree heat. the weather forecasters say that the next two weeks will be record breaking days for heat. really though, there isn't much difference between peddaling in 115 degree heat as it is peddaling in 90 or 100 degree heat. the biggest difference that i can see is the quickness in which the sun calls the moisture from through the pores of the body. all this means is that i must consume more water to keep up my 120 mile a day pace.
We meet the Homeier crew
Notes from others:
Date: August 20, 1998
It's good to be back home in Springfield. The stats for your MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA third leg to SEATTLE, WASHINGTON is as follows:
TOTAL MILES BIKED: 2,338
TOTALS FOR ORLANDO, FL to SEATTLE, WA:
TOTAL MILES BIKED: 5,709
You are on schedule. God speed and I enjoyed every inch of our bike trip.
Subj: Fwd: Vote For Jesus!
Please vote for Jesus as Time Magazine's Man of the Century. Let's show them who's still KING of KINGS in this world!
Forward this to as many people as you can and if you've gotten this many times, keep voting! Don't delete it! You must write it as Jesus Christ. If you write JESUS CHRIST (in upper case letters), or just Jesus, it will not be counted properly. When you vote you will see a list of results and Jesus is on the list in three different places as Jesus and JESUS CHRIST and the correct way to write it for the survey Jesus Christ so it is messing up the count and He was just behind Adolf Hitler on the list. But now he is just above Hitler!
Please take a moment and vote for Jesus Christ and pass it on to everyone you know.
I just voted, and Jesus Christ is on the top of the list! Keep voting, though, so that He gets the praise that He deserves!
For the King of Kings, God's blessing now and always
it has truly been a joy for me to receive your e-mail messages!! you mentioned that there have been some responses to your web page concerning my e-mail messages. if you wish to send those responses on to me for futher discussion, i would be delighted.
i should be leaving from san diego on the first of september. if the two of you are still in phoenix, i would enjoy seeing the two of you. if this will be possible, please send me your phone number in phoenix where i can reach you.
may god bring hospitible people across your paths, smoothe roads and no flat tires.
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