Thursday, 31 January 2013

Why I'm Riding, Part 1

  • Nearly half the world—three billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • 18 children die every minute due to poverty—that’s one child every 3 seconds.
  • About 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized.
  • 400 million people do not have access to health services.
  • More than nine million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition.1
The causes of poverty are complex and varied.  Although it seems like an impossible problem to solve, that shouldn't stop us from doing what we can to fight it and to help those suffering from it.  God himself has a special love and concern for the poor: "He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap" (Psalm 113:7).  The Bible condemns those who mistreat the poor or take advantage of them: "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker" (Prov 14:31).

However, God doesn't just command us to give to the poor, but promises us blessings if we do so: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Matt 19:21).  I believe the greatest benefit of wealth is the opportunity it gives us to help those in need -- to be an agent of God's grace to those he loves.  Also, remember that when we give to the poor, we are really giving to Christ.  I am thrilled by the thought and the hope that when I stand before my Saviour on the day of judgement I will experience something like the conversation in Matthew 25:

"Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

"Lord, when did I see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did I see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did I see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

I believe that participating in Sea to Sea is one way I can share in this blessing.  The money raised will be used by World Renew and Partners Worldwide for disaster relief, community development, job creation, and business training around the world.  It will also be used to fund specific projects by churches and ministries that target those living in poverty both here in North America and abroad.

I encourage everyone reading this to join in by signing up as a cyclist or a volunteer (you still have one more month to do this) or by sponsoring one of the riders (me, for example).

These statistics were taken from the Sea to Sea website.

Monday, 28 January 2013


Welcome to my blog!  My name is Mike Vander Ploeg, and I have signed up for the 2013 Sea to Sea Bike Tour.  It is a two month bike tour across North America to raise awareness and money to help those living in poverty around the world.  The tour begins on June 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California, and finishes two months and over 6000 km later in New York City, passing through Ontario and Quebec along the way.  You can find more information at

I created this blog to provide information to my sponsors (and potential sponsors) about the details of the tour, why I'm doing it, and how I'm preparing for it.  I need to raise $10000, so I'm looking for a lot of people to pitch in and help me reach this goal.  Please visit my donation page to sponsor me.

For the name of my blog I have to give credit to my brother-in-law (or blame if you don't like the name).  It describes the how, the where, and the when of what I'm doing, and I've already briefly described the who and the why.  I'll describe these in more detail in future posts.

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to sponsor me!