In late summer, our students and interns were not only exposed on rock faces and exposed to the elements for 15 days, but they were exposed to the reality of God and to one another. Here’s what they learned.
Praying specifically each morning about my fears calmed me down and gave me a sense of peace, and I felt more ready to conquer whatever the day held for me. Meeting this goal each morning then helped me learn in a very real way that God is bigger than my fears and is present with me as I face them.
In the past I’ve had the attitude of “yeah, God is real, but I need something to prove that. I need evidence. I see nature - I get that. But I need a personal experience.” And this trip hit me hard with that. Even though God pushed me to my limits, He showed me through that how real He is.
16,670 miles ridden
$200,000+ raised in gifts and pledges
Men: Luis Magallon, 399
Women: Rosemary Lechnowsky, 329
New tandem record:
(The previous tandem record was 324 miles.
This year we had two tandem teams surpass the previous record.)
Gary Robinson & Carol Douglass, 350
Paul McClain & Michael Johnson, 329
Most money raised (CER staff):
Nate Boyd - $14,543
Most money raised (non-staff):
Jonathan Palmer - $14,237
Mark your calendars for next year’s Ride! July 24-25, 2020
More than a grueling physical event that its name implies, the Agony Ride serves as an annual “reset” for many - a stripping away of the crust that has hardened over our hearts in response to the pain in this world and the trials we face. This was evident as rider after sagger after rider stepped on stage during our Sunday church service following the Ride to share a personal reflection.
Second-time rider, Michael Johnson, who has participated in a number of organized cycling events, says what sets the Agony Ride apart is not just the exemplary service provided at each SAG station, but who is providing the service. “When you’re two hours into the Ride and things are starting to hurt, and it dawns on you that you have 22 more hours to go, it’s mentally crushing...[The students] are what makes it...[You] lifted me up and kept me positive and kept me going. You took that crushing weight off...” Our students gave of themselves continuously and found that the riders did the same. This is the beautiful illustration of the ongoing cycle of unrestrained giving that happens at the Agony Ride.
Thank you to all who sacrificed to be out in the Sierra Valley with us this year and to the thousands of sponsors from all over the world - we continue to be overwhelmed by your generosity.
(To those who were unable to attend the Sunday Service, a recording is available here.)
In June, we had the opportunity to celebrate God’s work in and through the lives of individuals this past year.
Jan Kern was the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Service Award, providing extensive invaluable insight and coaching to the staff this past fall.
Amanda (Polejewski) McIntyre (‘07) shared a message of encouragement from the stage as our Alumni Award recipient.
Student Amanda received the Cornelius Grant, which will aid in her ongoing stay in the program.
Graduation was held in early June. We are very proud of our students who finished their California high school graduation requirements, but are continuing their time as students at Christian Encounter.