Please click on link below to learn more about the NOSC- (Naval Operational Support Center)
Hello everyone! This day is almost over, and it has been my rest day, Sunday, July 19. Before I enter into tomorrow, our next riding day, heading from Sioux Falls, SD to Worthington, MN, there are a couple of things I want to tell you about today.
First of all, when I got up I had some breakfast here at the hotel. Then I went with a few of my teammates here over to church, which was absolutely wonderful to be able to go to church and have time to fellowship and sing praise songs and be with other fellow Christians who love God, it was just really a good time to be together with some of the other people on my team who are riding with America By Bicycle. That was a really good time and I’m very thankful for a rest day that fell on a Sunday, because it’s the only one of all our rest days that does fall on a Sunday. It was a real treat for me today and I really did enjoy it. I was very thankful to be there. I met some nice people over at the church. The truth of it is that there are people all around the world in many different churches of various denominations, and it’s wonderful that we can share a sisterhood and brotherhood together and just loving a triune God and being thankful for how the Lord created us and created this world, just acknowledging that, praising that and thanking the Lord Jesus for all of our blessings.
One thing I wanted to mention about that is that they happened to be reading the Scripture from Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I have a son named Joshua, so Joshua, that one’s for you. For all of you out there who might be reading this, I just wanted to say that that was a great Scripture for me to be reminded of, because I do still need to make sure every day that I do go out courageous and knowing that the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. For all of you out there, just know that you are never alone. You feel alone, it may seem like you’re alone, but you are never alone. Because even if you don’t believe in God, even if you don’t care about God, He still believes in you and He still cares about you. So just know He never does leave you alone. There’s never a time that if you ask or call out to Him that He won’t answer you. He answers in many different ways, so don’t be surprised at how awesome our God is. He’ll reveal Himself if you’re looking for Him, sometimes even when you’re not looking for Him, He still reveals Himself, that’s how gracious and good and kind and compassionate our God is.
Anyway, I suppose those of you out there who don’t believe it are saying, “Enough of that,” and that’s okay, I have no problem with that. We all come from different places and we all have different experiences in our life that lead us to different places and different beliefs. I’m just sharing mine and that’s the freedom we have in America, which we can thank God for that as well. Even if you don’t thank God for that, it’s great that we have freedom in America, it’s a good thing for all of us.
The other thing is that when I got back I had the pleasure of being picked up by Petty Officer Michael Ash, who is over at Sioux Falls NOSC, which I found out stands for Naval Operations Support Center. I had the privilege of being introduced and talking to approximately 60 or 70 men and some women about Operation Life Transformed, to let them know of the wonderful programs that are available to them and to their spouses. I did talk about how the program really focuses on helping the caregivers of soldiers who are wounded and supporting them with that, as well as for different educational opportunities for careers and training, the online programs and how flexible they are, the opportunity to be able to put things on hold and go back to it as far as course opportunities. We just kind of shared different information about that together. They asked some questions about my ride, of course, as far as places that I’ve gone and experiences that I’ve had. One of them asked me if I’ve had a flat yet, and honestly to my amazement, I know a lot of people pray and it doesn’t mean when we pray that we get what we ask for, but I really have been very blessed so far that I’ve gone this long and have not had one flat yet. It is pretty amazing. I thank God for my safety for that, that’s been kind of remarkable. They asked some other questions also. So it was wonderful to be there. It happened to be their weekend for training, they’re in the reserves, and they come one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year for different training to be prepared and ready. I asked them there how many of them have been deployed, and I would say a good half of the men raised their hands. I almost started crying. I just reminded them and all the people there how grateful I am and many other Americans who don’t voice it, how much I appreciate living in our country, such a blessed America, for men and women like them who are willing to serve and ready to put their lives on the line for us to be free and to be safe. I really, really thanked them and their families for their sacrifice and for the blessing that they are to us. I told them that they are not forgotten and they never will be in my eyes and the eyes of many others and in God’s eyes. I was very grateful and very humbled to be there among them. Any of you out there who are part of that group of people I talked with today, just know that I send my love to you and my prayers to you and my heart goes out to all of you. Thank you so much, it was a great opportunity for me to meet you.
As it turns out, it’s interesting that Petty Officer Michael Ash also happens to be a bike enthusiast, he also rides his bicycle to work and back. He says he goes the long route so that he puts in about 34 miles a day. He said that he has gotten up to 16 to 18 mph riding his bike, and I told him he would be a perfect candidate to ride across America. So who knows, maybe in the future he’ll be riding his bicycle across America as well! He’s certainly got what it takes. It was just great meeting him and I thanked him very much for picking me up and bringing me back to the hotel and giving me the great opportunity to talk to them.
I was also interviewed for a short while by the local newspaper, called the Argus Leader, and they’re going to be putting an article in the newspaper (http://www.argusleader.com/article/20090720/NEWS/907200307/1001/news) about the NOSC and the men there and the work and training they do, which is awesome, and about Operation Life Transformed. So that’s wonderful.
When I got back from there, I had some time so I had a taxi ride over to the Sioux Falls Park, which is beautiful. It was a beautiful day, perfect weather, nice breeze, just a beautiful, perfect day in the 80s. The grounds there are beautiful. I ate with a few of the people, Jane and Doug who are part of the America By Bicycle people. We had some time for lunch there and we all kind of did our own thing, walking around the park after that. They were on their bikes and I was actually on foot. I just enjoyed being around the falls and going out to the lookout tower and talking to some different people and families that were around that area and shared a little information about me riding. I did give out some cards for Operation Life Transformed again. It was just nice to relax and make some phone calls and have some free time. I enjoyed my ride with my taxi driver from Empire Taxi, she was wonderful. I really enjoyed meeting her and talking to her. She has a little four-year-old son. She was very, very helpful and I was very comfortable being in the taxi with her as a woman, it was just nice to have a woman taxi driver. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that before, so that was really quite a treat for me.
Getting back, I ended up going to dinner with some friends at a really nice Thai sushi place, a group of our team of riders, about eight of us. It was just nice to have dinner together and chat about all different things and have a good time. I got back to the hotel and of course had to get my clothing and things ready and packed and take care of lots of little things we need to do to get ready for the ride. I talked to a few family members and loved ones. It was a very good rest day. I’m very grateful that we’re ready to start tomorrow and continue on our venture of riding across America and sharing information about Operation Life Transformed.
God bless all of you, and God bless America.