Anyone Can Do It!
KILLEEN, TEX. – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the full-page advertisement in the Southwestern Union Record’s January/February 2022 issue promoting the Determined Cycling Tour. I called the Texas Conference almost immediately to see if I could still join the tour. I was thrilled when the answer was yes!
Enthusiastic about the adventure, I shared it with others I knew who cycled. When the day finally came, I was so excited.
Then reality hit. I thought I was ready for the tour, but I was not. The shock was a little overwhelming, but it soon changed to determination. They named the ride perfectly as I was ‘Determined’ to complete the tour. The support from the cyclists was amazing. It felt like the military - they never left anyone behind.
Kenn Dixon, Determined Cycling Tour coordinator, probably didn’t realize what a difference he made for me on that ride when he saw that I was struggling and slowed down to ride with me. That really meant a lot.
Usually we would stop at a school, so the students’ enthusiasm really keeps us going. During the middle of the week on the 2022 cycling tour, we were riding to a hotel away from the big city. Planning for no one to be there to greet us, we were surprised to see Texas Conference President Elton DeMoraes there waving a sign to encourage us. We had just seen him a few days previously when he had prayer with us and cheered us on as the ride began. He probably doesn’t realize how much that meant to us.
Olga Falakiseni, associate pastor for the Killeen Seventh-day Adventist Church, and her husband, Will, their children and other members spontaneously drove over to surprise us, as well. What a blessing that was, but that was just the beginning.
The true blessing came when I returned from the tour. Four of my best friends, Will Falakiseni, Gary Manly, Hydress McDaniel and Chris Crofton, decided to join me to prepare for the 2023 Determined East Texas Cycling Tour; I couldn’t have asked for better friends! There has been so much interest, we started a weekly cycling ride. Now, there are almost 16 cyclists riding at different times two to three times a week, sometimes 20 miles, sometimes 50 miles. Five of us are preparing to join the tour in April. Others just appreciate the health benefits and fellowship.
This experience has been so rewarding. I am healthier. I am able to witness to others. It has done so much for me and my fellow cyclists. We start and end each ride with prayer. During the ride, we are showing Jesus by our examples. If we can have a bicycle ministry, anyone can do it.
To find out more about the Determined East Texas 2023 Official Cycling Tour and its fundraising events for Adventist Education, visit TexasAdventist.org/Determined. You can follow the ride in April on social media on Facebook or Instagram @DeterminedCycling.
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers as “We Cycle for Our Health. We Ride for Their Future.”
By Filipe Coehlo