The Summer 2014 Adventure

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It’s about an adventure that I’m undertaking in July 2014 and how I arrived here.

In December of 2012 as part of some work that Stacey and I do for an organization called “Care of Creation“, I was at Urbana, a conference put on by InterVarsity. Urbana is focused on students who are considering missionary work as part of their future.

IntroCardDown the aisle from us was an organization called Venture Expeditions. I had some nice conversations with the folks at their booth and picked up a couple of brochures that described what they did. In a word (or 10), they use “adventure to raise money for justice projects around the world”. The concept sounded exciting but a bit out of my league (can the concept of adventure and 58- year old, middle-aged western white guy exist in the same room?) so we just filed the brochures we picked up in our “dreams” file.

In the two years since we I ran across Venture Expeditions (VE), a couple of things have happened. First, I changed jobs to a location that allowed me to combine my daily commute with my love of cycling and second, I have really been pulled toward a desire to understand the concept of justice and what exactly that means as it applies to my world view as a follower of Jesus Christ.

This (long and cold) winter, Stacey and I talked a lot about how we might make good and purposeful use of our three week vacation. Long story short, we came across the brochures for Venture Expeditions that she had squirreled away and found out that they were sponsoring a long-distance cycle ride from Minneapolis to Chicago. OK, I thought, this might be up my alley — a bit of a stretch but none the less, up my alley.

Start: Minneapolis / St. Paul Finish: Chicago

Start: Minneapolis / St. Paul
Finish: Chicago

I liked the idea of the ride but was a bit unsure of the fund-raising part of the whole thing. It involves raising $3500.00 that will be designated toward specific projects that help refugees in Burma and Thailand.

At this point, I am going to admit two things. First, I know absolutely nothing about the situation that has produced refugees in Burma and Thailand and second, I have a real aversion to asking people for money.

I solved the first one by doing some research and found out that the families are fleeing a civil war in Burma (Miramar) that started in 1948 (no, that’s not a typo). According to a recent article in Time, this war is the longest civil war in history.

Like all refugees, these families are forced to leave their homes in the war zone and flee to refugee camps. These camps in Thailand are crowded, have a very unreliable food and water supply and no (or very poor) schools. In short, a lot of the resources that the people in these camps need for basic survival comes from agencies that Venture Expeditions partners with.

I figured that if Biblical justice is restoring the world to the way that God intended it to be then doing something that helps address the situation in these refugee camps qualifies as justice.

Working out the first part didn’t do much for the second part — the one about raising money. Thinking about this one is a but more complex. Money, I believe, is a tool and a resource that God uses to enable us to participate in his work from wherever we are (2 Co8 8:1-5 talks about how the Macedonian church took up a collection for those who were in need in Jerusalem.

DSC_0397In situations where justice is needed, some of use choose to use our physical resources (i.e. we can travel overseas to Thailand) to “do justice” and others of us choose to use our monetary resources to do justice by enabling others who are on-site or can travel to purchase food, schools and housing for those in need.

VE is asking me to contribute some of my monetary resources (there is a cost to me to participate in this project) and my physical resources (our team of 12 will be staying at churches along the way and speaking to groups to raise awareness of the situation in Burma / Thailand).

VE is also asking me to supplement the monetary and physical resources I contribute by asking others who I know to also use some of their monetary resources for this “action of justice”.

So that is the purpose of this letter — to ask you if you would consider participating with me (and a team of 12 others) in doing justice for the refugees along the Burma / Thailand border. If  you want to come along for the 5 day 450 mile ride and presentations … let’s do it. If, however you want to participate by contributing to VE you can do that here. Either way, it allows you to participate in an adventure and justice.

I promise (regardless of your decision) that I will keep you informed (and entertained) and up to date on my ride in July and what I learn about the situation in Burma /Thailand.  It’s all a wild adventure that both of us can participate in.

Thanks for listening and considering!


P.S. When you decide to contribute, make sure that you choose “Gluck, Fredric – Midwest Tour” from the (Optional) Sponsor a Participant  drop down box. Your contribution will help me reach my $3,500.00 goal (and our team to reach our $42,000 goal) for this summer.