Hang on Tight, its a wild ride!

Tight Turns

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FOUR DAYS AND COUNTING! I’ve had to move my training indoors this week because of work schedules and darkness. It’s a little tough making the tight turns around the coffee table, but it’s working. ;>P

Actually I have a trainer that I just set up in the living room.

We’re making final touches on the routes for the ride. I know I tried to post pics of the route prior, but with some technical support I have figured out how to get them to you. There is still time to join in and ride for a mile, an hour, a day, whatever could work for you. It will help with logistics if you let us know.

Day 1, Orient to Rocky Point — http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/288453195
Day 2, Ridge to East Northport — http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/288461669
Day 3, East Northport to Central Islip — http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/288611627
Day 4, Sayville to Westhampton Beach — http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/288632089
Day 5, East Quogue to Montauk — http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/288656039

As we get closer I am very excited, there are areas of our Island that I have never been to and will have the opportunity to see and experience. BUT, I am most excited about the opportunity to share the vision of Operation Christmas Child with those along our route, and the opportunities that just getting the word our about the bike tour has presented.

I would appreciate your prayers for a few things as we put the final details in place.
Please pray for
-safety on the roads for all of our riders
-endurance for me as I will be riding 6 hrs a day and then working an 8 hr shift at the fire department
-the families of the riders, they have been making sacrifices since we began training and in the final stretch, it is getting wearing on everyone
-that we would be able to translate the vision of OCC to the pastors and those we stop in to see
-that we may even have the opportunity to share the Gospel this side of the box as we ride

Several of you have been asking how you can get involved if you are not riding, please let me know where you would like to plug in…
-Our prayer coordinator is setting up prayer slots, if you would commit to praying for us for a 30 min time slot each day please let her know at byoung9@optonline.net
-Encouragement along the routes, we will be on our bikes by 7am and will be riding at a pace of about 12mph. So if you could be on the look out for us and cheer us on that would be awesome.
-You can pack a shoebox or make a financial donation at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/daniellemccarty/fortoforkbiketour

God keeps laying Philippians 3:13 on my heart. “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

And so I ride on…

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

Tapering

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It has been a very busy week and weekend. Riding went very smoothly this week, no falls, lots of progress! One more week of training, the ride begins a week from today! So we are tapering into the ride with some nice easy rides to keep us warm. Still looking for prayer partners, riders and encouragers along the route. Please let us know if you would like to join us, you can email at occnysuffolk@gmail.com.

I am about 30% of the way to my fundraising goal of $1400 (shipping for 200 shoeboxes). If you would like to donate go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/daniellemccarty/forktoforkbiketour, to do so.

The weekend was spent with an amazing young pastoral student, Timur Nesbitt, who received a shoebox as a child in Central Asia. He came to Suffolk County and shared his story of growing up in an orphanage, receiving a shoebox and being adopted at 16. His goal is to return to his country, where only 2% of the population are Christians to share the love and hope that he has found in Jesus with them. He challenged me to share with others the testimony of what God is writing on my life.

I have also had the privilege to host Pastor James Teira of Kampala Community Church in my home this weekend. I have been blessed to build a friendship with him and to hear all that God is doing in Uganda. Pastor James shared at our speaker events about how the shoeboxes open doors for pastors of local churches to build relationships and continue to share Jesus’ love with others. He also shared at Grace Gospel Church in Patchogue about how we NEED to KNOW who Jesus is to us? That He is our Savior. I was really challenged when he spoke of what could happen if all of us invited just one person to come to church!

I am encouraged and inspired by the testimony of these two men. They share their faith without abandon, as they know that if God is for them, who can be against them. So as we head out to share the ministry of OCC with churches, we know that for each box that is packed it is a child who will get to hear about how much Jesus loves them.

What testimony will God write through you?

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

Flat Tires and Midnights

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This week’s training has been weird. We went out for a nice ride one morning only for me to get a flat tire, which I fixed, on the road, only to have it go flat again about 4 miles later. A trip to the bike doctor revealed the sea shell that I picked up on the street and missed with the first flat change.

I’m working midnights this week; so training happens in the afternoons, and rides are shorter because of the boys coming home from school the need to get everyone where they need to be.

As I rode this afternoon I was thinking of how unprepared I feel for the upcoming ride as I haven’t been able to get the distances in that I hoped to during training, and all the things that still need to come together in the next 16 days. I realized that there is always cost in the things God calls us to; flat tires, tired muscles, bruised knees & shoulders, but it’s always so worth it in the end. I thought of the faces of the children who would be receiving shoe boxes this year. I thought the stories that have been shared of children walking for hours in order to get to a distribution. I thought of our National Leadership Teams and all they do to get the shoe boxes to the children.

We are in the process of contacting churches that we will be stopping at. We are still looking for prayer partners who will support us in prayer for each day that we ride. We’ve posted the routes on the Suffolk County Team Facebook Page, http://www.facebook.com/OCCSuffolkCountyNY, in the events page for the bike tour. We’d love to have anyone who wishes join us for a day, a few miles, whatever might work for your schedule.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve set up a fundraising to page to raise $1400 dollars for shipping for 200 shoeboxes. As of today I am 30% of the way there. If you’d like to donate you can go to http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/daniellemccarty/forktoforkbiketour, to do so.

Thanks for the prayers and encouragement that you are all giving.

It’s going to be CRAMAZING!

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

It’s About the Little Things

It's about the littel things

I broke the speed limit on a bicycle today…in a school zone. Now 20 mph isn’t the fastest I’ve gone on a bike, but it was a little celebration since it’s the first time my speed was faster than a speed limit sign I was passing. Made me chuckle, such a little thing.

Then it made me think about the little things in the shoeboxes. We always try to but a great anchor item, like a doll or a ball into shoeboxes, but then there’s lots of little things like, barrettes, pencils, socks, notebooks, toothpaste (with 3 colors, right Oksana), a note or picture of our family. And you know each time I have heard one of our national spokespeople for OCC share, as much as they loved the big item, it was the little things that meant so much to them. Not having to share a toothbrush with 20 other children, or having 5 pencils of their own instead of having to share the family pencil.

What little thing is God calling you to do? It could have a huge impact on someone else!

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

PS Thanks to those who have been praying for my training rides, I am doing much better with the pedals.

Quintessential New England

DSCN0925Well, I have to say I am happy to have traded training in the mountains of New Hampshire for the coastline of Cape Cod this week. What beautiful rides I have had along the seashores and through the small New England towns out here, even today riding the Shining Sea Bike Trail through Falmouth, MA.

Things for the ride are falling into place. As a reminder I will be riding from September 30 – October 4, from Orient Point to Montauk Point. We have a driver for the support vehicle for each day of the ride. The support vehicle will be traveling with us each day to carry extra water and energy snacks and an extra bike in case we have difficulty with one of ours. The driver will also be stopping at some of the churches along our path to leave some information about OCC in the event that no one is at the church when we arrive.

We are still in need of prayer partners for each day of the ride. Would you be willing to commit to lifting our riders up in prayer for one of our riding days? If so please leave us a comment below and we will get in touch with you.

I have had several people who have asked about riding along with me for a day or part of a day. If that is something that you would like to do please let me know, I’d love to have you along for any portion of the ride you would like to join me for.

We will be posting the route soon so that those who would like to be alongside a part of the route to encourage us along the way will be able to do so.

I am excited as we have scheduled our first stop at St. Patrick’s in Deer Park and I am looking forward to meeting Father Mahoney during our visit there. We’ll be making stops along the 200 miles at churches to tell them about OCC and leave some information to get them started for this year. If you know of a church that we should touch base with please leave their church contact info and the pastor’s name in our comments below.

It’s hard to believe it is only 25 days until we start the ride!

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

Holy Hills Batman

So the family all decided we needed to get away and steal the last little bit of summer that was left before the boys returned to school. I am unplugging for the most part this week, but still training for the upcoming Fork to Fork Ride to promote Operation Christmas Child.

I am riding in beautiful Spofford, NH this week. So I left out this morning on a 30 mile ride. I think I was 1/2 a mile in when I hit the first hill and wow it was a challenge. About 5 miles in all I could think was ‘Holy Hills Batman!’ I have ridden the biggest hills ever on this trip.

I experienced a few firsts on the ride today. I went the fastest ever, 36 mph! Which is an incredible speed on a bike, Praise God for downhills. I also experienced my slowest speed on a bike, I was at 4.6 mph, those darn up hills. And, hang my head in shame, I had to walk my bike. I just couldn’t get the 8% grade in mile 19! Well maybe I could but I was very afraid that I would need to stop and wouldn’t be able to get my feet out of the pedals and would then fall under the tires of a passing semi.

Wish I could tell you I had some inspiring thoughts as I rode, but my prayers were focused on getting up the hills and finding my way when I got lost in Keene.

I think tomorrow I’ll just ride laps around the lake!

I have also set up my fundraising page. I have a goal to raise $1400 for this ride. That would be shipping for 200 shoeboxes, 1 for each mile I will ride. You can check out my fundraising page at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/daniellemccarty.

Stay tuned more exciting rides are to come.

Hang on Tight,
Danielle

Hills and Doctors

Well, I have logged over 100 miles over the last week. Many of those miles have been ridden up on the North Shore, through Head of the Harbor, Stony Brook and Smithtown areas. It is absolutely beautiful up there. The area is very hilly though.

I was riding up one VERY long, VERY steep hill and thought my heart was going to explode. The thing that kept me going up the hill was that I wasn’t sure I could unclip my feet from the pedals if I have to stop. I envisioned myself just falling off the bike  and lying on the side of the road. So I prayed my way to the top! God is very gracious.

I have a few days off while my bike it in at ‘the doctor,’ that’s really what the name of the bike shop that services my bike is called, The Port Jefferson Bike Doctor. It’s getting it’s 150 mile tune up, almost 50 miles late, good thing I don’t have to change oil. They are also trying to work out an issue I am having with my pedals, I haven’t been able to unclip my right foot. Makes stopping sort of interesting, even when I’m not on hills.

The week has been busy with work, riding and OCC preparations. We will begin following up with the churches we sent letters to  regarding the upcoming bike tour.

I am looking forward to a great ride with my training buddies on Saturday. We are headed to Yaphank for 30ish miles.