Monday: Our resident early riser, Parks, was the most excited for today as it was ‘Merica’ Day. As we wouldn’t be riding our bikes on the 4th, we decided to show our patriotism a few days early: “Stars and Bars”! We all wore America tattoos (temporary) and Parks even decked out his bike with colored tinsel and an American flag. We were all suited up for the ride and after breakfast, a devotional and a group picture, we set off towards our nations capital. It was a hot day but a good ride. Near the end of the day we were able to ride on the Mt. Vernon Trail where we were joined by Amanda Hu for the last leg of the trek. It was great to have her along the ride and although we were up for cycling the whole way, we had a commitment in the evening and needed to shuttle a few miles in order to arrive on time.
We were not able to stay at our previously scheduled accommodation due to the power outages in the DC area. But it worked out wonderfully as we were put up in the Hyatt Fairfax. Once we arrive, we had 15 minutes to shower and be on the tour bus. That evening we toured DC with a group of young adults from all over the US associated with Church of God (CoG). These men and women, called Eagles, were part of the Youth Advocate Training, a leadership program of American Bible Society and CoG for select high-school and college age students. As a big group we toured around the Capitol and learned about the history of some of the memorials from a Biblical perspective. It was encouraging to see so much Scripture around the city on walls, memorials, statues and buildings.
Tuesday: In the morning part of our crew went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum while those of us who had been on a prior visit, went on a tour of Ebenezers, a local non-profit coffee shop. At the coffee shop we met with some of the staff who had, in fact, just come back from a missions trip in the Congo. They are part of Voices for Congo, an advocacy group from National Community Church (NCC). It was exciting to talk with them about the vision of Ebenezers and also hear stories from their venture abroad. In the afternoon we met up with the rest of our group as well as the Eagles and went on a tour of the Capitol Building. After our tour we walked around DC and talked with people about She’e My Sister.
That evening our team met up with others from the Voices of Congo group and heard more about their program over dinner. As it was Abbey’s birthday, her parents had flown out to surprise her and we all celebrated together.
Wednesday: In the morning we had the opportunity to speak with the Eagles in a more formal setting about She’s My Sister. Because they are all interested in justice and advocacy, we were excited to tell them more about the initiative and get them on board to advocate in their own states.
After the meeting we headed into Alexandria and met up with some alum Sister Bike Tour riders, Lewie, Marianne and Bryan. We enjoyed talking over food about the tours and, for those who knew them previously, catching up. We had the afternoon to explore the area and then met back in the evening ready for our boat ride. We had all been greatly anticipating this day as we were invited to join the Church of God campers on a boat on the Potomac for dinner and to watch the fireworks. It was such an incredible experience as were floating just in front of the Lincoln Memorial and seeing the fireworks light up the sky. During the evening we had a chance to mingle with some of the supporters of She’s My Sister as well as update the Sister Team on the happenings of the tour. It had been an informative, exciting, and encouraging few days in DC, but we were ready to start riding again.
Lots more pictures HERE and HERE.