Author: Jonathan Sheler

Fundraising, future rides, and more

It’s now been nearly three months since the 2017 Sea to Sea ride has ended its cross-continental ride. Over the last 18 months, you’ve been involved in fundraising, donating, and volunteering for this significant event. We are thrilled to announce that you—as donors, volunteers, riders, and fundraisers—have raised $1,683,981 ($1,326,543 USD) as a result of the 2017 Sea to Sea ride!  

The proceeds are now hard at work in programs and efforts to end poverty through World Renew and Partners Worldwide. We would like to once again express our deepest thanks to you. Thank you for your huge investment to donate, ride, volunteer, and support Sea to Sea and its goal of cycling to end poverty.  

Some of you involved have brought up the idea of future rides. After careful discernment by the Sea to Sea Steering Committee and the leadership at World Renew and Partners Worldwide, we have agreed not to plan a cross-continental Sea to Sea ride in the foreseeable future—and to end our ongoing Sea to Sea efforts in partnership together. 

That said, you may hear of similar fundraising efforts by either of our organizations that include walks, rides, runs, or other events to which you can contribute in ending poverty worldwide. For that reason, we encourage you to stay connected with both organizations by signing up for communications, following us on social media, and getting involved as a volunteer or fundraiser. 

Sign up for Partners Worldwide eNews 

Sign up for World Renew eNews and other updates (scroll down) 

It is our prayer that, over time, you can reflect on the impact, the goodness, the camaraderie, and the shared faith and vision we hold to make this world a better place—a better place you’ve had a part in making for the sake of the Kingdom through the Sea to Sea events of the past dozen years. 

We are indeed grateful for you. 


Sea to Sea, World Renew & Partners Worldwide 


Sea to Sea: True Dedication


“I believe that some of the most important leaders in the movement to end extreme poverty will be people of faith, people who are motivated fundamentally to help the most vulnerable among us.” – Jim Yong Kim, World Bank


On Tuesday, August 29, 78 cyclists, 14 volunteers, and 3 staff will arrive on the shores of the Atlantic in Halifax. For just over 50 riders this is the end of a 10 week, 72 day, 1728 hour bicycle ride that began in Vancouver on June 26.

Their mission: to raise awareness and funds to fight poverty through ride co-hosts Partners Worldwide and World Renew.

Riders participating in their small group

Cyclists as young as 12 and as old as 81 are participating in Sea to Sea. Jonathan Sheler of Partners Worldwide, who joined in Newberry, Michigan, and rode to Sault Ste. Marie, blogged: “Throughout the week, I witnessed the impressive camaraderie of the group. When 100 people are together for 10 weeks straight, conflict is bound to arise, but there was no evidence of that in this group. Riders young and old have built strong relationships, forming a tightly-knit community. Even after a grueling day of 100+ miles, an almost unanimous response would be “great ride!”

A day in the life of the Sea to Sea ride includes much more than 70-100 miles cycled in any kind of weather. Each rider is a part of a small group. Each group is in charge of a daily chore: cleaning up breakfast, cooking and serving dinner, loading the gear truck, cleaning up the campgrounds before departure. The small group ends the day with devotions and time to share the highlights and lowlights from the day.

Ida Kaastra Mutoigo, Co-Director of World Renew, who joined the ride for two weeks in July, blogged: “What is most rewarding in the Sea to Sea experience as well as our work in World Renew is having people, whether they are cyclists or volunteers or community members or church members or staff, find the refreshment for the soul that only Christ can give. As Psalm 23:1-3 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pasture, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” (NIV)

Riding and smiling

Luke Theule from World Renew’s Donor Relations team joined the ride in August for a week, riding from Quebec to Charlottetown, PEI. One evening he shared with the cyclists how what World Renew’s community development work is just like Sea to Sea. World Renew takes a community, or a peloton, and takes them from Vancouver to Halifax. World Renew doesn’t give people rides, but we help map out the route, offer some water and energy bars, and stay next to them for the entire journey. Sea to Sea has stages because it is a long journey; World Renew has stages such as agriculture, VSL, and health because the road to a sustainable, resilient community takes years. The easiest way to ride and ensure you finish the journey is to ride directly behind someone so they break the wind for you… drafting. Sea to Sea riders are drafting for vulnerable people around the world. And because those vulnerable people travel in their own peleton and will finish their journey, one day they will in turn have the strength and capacity to draft for someone else.

Clarence Doornbos

This year the peloton mourned deeply the death of Clarence Doornbos, who was struck by a vehicle while training in preparation for a leg of Sea to Sea. His cycling companion Claire Elgersma also sustained injuries. Clarence’s son Jeffrey Doornbos wrote on July 27: “Today my dad would have joined the Sea to Sea tour in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, for a two and a half week leg. I want to thank all of those who have donated in his name. And thank you to everyone at Sea to Sea and World Renew for your amazing support. It’s an amazing cause. He rides along with you all in spirit.”

What is most evident about all who have participated in Sea to Sea is their true dedication to the cause they are rallying behind. Sheler, in his blog post, describes how every rider has taken time away from their families, friends, homes, communities. They have given up their comfortable beds for an air mattress in a tent or school; they have taken time off from work and school. And now together, they have raised more than $1.6M million to fight global poverty!

Sea to Sea cyclists: creating hope and opportunity for people facing poverty.

We are forever grateful for you!

PEDAL REPORT: Leg #5, Sault Ste. Marie (MI) – Ottawa (ON)

Leg summary

Leg #5 kicked off with the riders returning back to Canada, into the province of Ontario. Ontario was wet, wet, wet. The first night consisted of pouring rain and it rained periodically all week.

On Monday, riders took a two-hour ferry ride from Manitoulin Island to Tobermore. A generous individual aboard the ferry treated every rider to ice cream! It was also a good time to talk amongst the group and get the word out about Sea to Sea to others on the ferry.

At one of the weekend campsites, the Tour was a ways away from restaurants and wifi. This was a positive, leading to some good bonding in the group, as well as an outdoor church service in camp led by our own Peter Slofstra.

Some highlights: riders were offered free haircuts in Orillia, ON and Peterborough, ON! They also had access to a doctor for consultation if needed.

Riders enjoyed ending the week by riding into Ottawa, the capital of Canada.


Check out a new Sea to Sea video that has some highlights from Sea to Sea 2017. Follow, fundraise, and donate as we make one final push to raise funds to fight worldwide poverty.


Check out the Leg #5 Sea to Sea Flickr for fun photos of what’s happening on the route, as well as the faces and bikes of Sea to Sea. Visit our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram for daily posts and updates.

Leg #5 statistics

•   Number of riders: 72

•   Number of volunteers: 17

•   Leg distance traveled: 819 km / 509 miles

•   Cumulative distance traveled: 5,228 km / 3,248 miles

•   Longest day: 169.7 km / 105.4 miles

•   Shortest day: 99 km / 61.6 miles

•   Tire tally (# of flat tires): 147

•   Crashes: Thankfully, nothing to report.

•   Oldest rider: 81

•   Youngest rider: 18

Prayer requests

•   Pray for the riders as they are on the final leg of their journey! The Tour             arrives in Halifax, NS in two weeks, on August 29.

•   We continually offer up prayers of thanks for the community and fellowship           provided along the route by so many generous churches and organizations.

Rider blogs

•   Jonathan Sheler

•   Jennifer Wikkerink

Sea to Sea in the news

•   My Kawartha

•   My Westman

•   My Westman

•   Daily Herald Tribune

•   Orilla Packet

•   Kincardine Record

•   CTV Video (Sea to Sea starts at 19:11)

Get Involved

•   Help us make one last push!Donate to a rider you’d like to support.

•   Sign up for the Virtual Ride to ride in spirit while being part of the solution     to ending poverty.

Video stories of where your Sea to Sea support goes

Partners Worldwide:                             World Renew:
Jose Luis                                            The Hanif Family


Blog: A Week With Sea to Sea

The blog below is written by Jonathan Sheler, someone who helped coordinate this year’s ride, as well as a member of Partners Worldwide, one of the co-hosts of this year’s ride.

What is it like being on Sea to Sea, the great bicycle ride across North America? From July 27 to August 4, I was on a mission to find out.

I saw riders cycle 100 – 170 km / 70-100 miles a day. I slept in a tent. I ate camp meals. I spent every minute with a group of 100 cyclists who are traveling across North America, all while raising funds to fight poverty.

After spending a week with Sea to Sea, I’m compelled to share what stood out to me about this astounding ride.

A Floating Community

Throughout the week, I witnessed the impressive camaraderie of the group. When 100 people are together for 10 weeks straight, conflict is bound to arise, but there was no evidence of that in this group. Riders young and old have built strong relationships, forming a tightly-knit community. Even after a grueling day of 100+ miles, an almost unanimous response would be “great ride!”

The resolve of the group, and how accepting and accommodating they are of each other, is nothing short of amazing.

Another thing that makes this community so remarkable is the mobility of it all. 100 individuals travel 70-100 miles each and every day. They set up camp, eat, and sleep in a different location every night. Yet once they leave, no evidence of their presence can be found. It’s as if they simply float from campground to campground, school to school—living and breathing yet leaving no trace.

Sea to Sea manages this, in part, through small groups. Each rider is part of a small group that does devotions together every evening. These groups are also in charge of a daily chore. For some, it is cleaning up breakfast, for others it is cooking and serving dinner to the group, loading the gear truck, or sweeping the camp grounds to catch anything left behind.

Each group works together to complete their tasks with patience, understanding, and efficiency. There wasn’t an ounce of griping or a lack of participation. From the moment I arrived on tour to the time I left, I witnessed responsibility, accountability, and collaboration in everything that was done.

A Day of Riding

Thanks to several generous individuals who let me use their bike and gear, I took up the challenge of riding for a day.

The route stretched 108 km / 67 miles from Newberry, MI to Sault Ste. Marie, MI. After watching the cyclists complete back to back 170 km / 100 mile rides the two previous days, I thought this would be an easy, shorter day to participate.

Beginning the ride, all was going well. Then the headwind hit. Then the rain hit. Then the hills hit. I started out at about 7:30 am and made it into camp at about 1:30 pm, with three rest stops and a gas station break in between. By the end, I could barely walk. But thanks to the encouragement and companionship of Folkert de Boer, a fellow rider, I made it the last 30 km!

Participating in the ride for just one day made me realize that what these cyclists do every day is truly baffling. Despite often being short on sleep, they ride hundreds of miles six days a week because they, and I quote, “like it.”

Although there are riders as young as 12 and as old as 81, that doesn’t stop them. Although there are people who have injuries of many sorts, that doesn’t stop them. Although some may appear to be non-athletic and out of shape, that doesn’t stop them. They keep going.

A True Dedication

Sea to Sea isn’t just a ride, it’s a journey. It’s 10 weeks. 72 days. 1,728 hours. It’s 6,840 km / 4,250 miles.

Riders and volunteers are away from their family, their friends, their home, and their communities. They swap a comfortable bed for an air mattress in a tent or a school. They give up home-cooked food for, well, some pretty good food on the road! They take time off from work, school, or their summer. They spend time and effort raising funds (over $1.58 million!) to fight global poverty. This group is truly remarkable in their dedication.

But what is truly remarkable about this dedicated community is the cause they rally behind—the cause at the heart of Sea to Sea. Riders from all walks of life and areas of North America set out in one united goal: Cycling to End Poverty.

Because of the significant funds Sea to Sea riders raise for the co-host organizations Partners Worldwide and World Renew, tens of thousands of people around the world are provided with the opportunity to rise above poverty. Families facing injustice and inequality are equipped to create a better future for themselves.

Each time they ride, Sea to Sea cyclists are creating hope and opportunity for the people who need it most.

. . .

Sea to Sea is truly a unique experience with a strong, vibrant community of riders, and seeing how it is lived out day-to-day is something that I’m blessed to have witnessed.

But the true blessing is the work these dedicated riders do raising funds and awareness to fight global poverty. As they pursue their passion for cycling, they are also putting their faith in action in a bold way—a lesson that will stick with me long after the ride ends. So to each and every Sea to Sea rider, thank you! Thank you for your service, your example, and your dedication to creating a world without poverty.

PEDAL REPORT: Leg #4, Grand Rapids (MN) – Sault Ste. Marie (MI)

Leg summary

Leg four gave the riders their first (and final) taste of the US on this year’s Tour. Riders cycled through the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan throughout the week.

It was a week of long distances, with three “Centuries” (rides of 100 miles or more) happening on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. We’re thankful that riders were able to make it safely through the week.

A significant milestone was achieved by riders: they’ve passed the halfway mark! Riders celebrated cycling 3,490 km with 3,490 km yet to go. They were treated to strawberry shortcake (including fresh strawberries) at Delta Diner in Delta, WI. Click here for photos from the celebration.

The Tour was blessed with some surprises during Leg #4. First, Claire Elgersma visited camp to talk with the riders about cycling safety as well as offer words of wisdom in the wake of Clarence’s tragic passing. Second, a tour co-host, Partners Worldwide, provided and served a pasta and pizza dinner for the riders on Thursday evening.


Check out the Leg #4 Sea to Sea Flickr for fun photos of what’s happening on the route, as well as the faces and bikes of Sea to Sea. Visit our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram for daily posts and updates.

Leg #4 statistics

•   Number of riders: 67

•   Number of volunteers: 20

•   Leg distance traveled: 893 km / 555 miles

•   Cumulative distance traveled: 4,409 km / 2,740 miles

•   Longest day: 171.6 km / 101.4 miles

•   Shortest day: 106.9 km / 66.4 miles

•   Tire tally (# of flat tires): 134

•   Crashes: Thankfully, nothing to report.

•   Oldest rider: 81

•   Youngest rider: 12

Prayer requests

•   After a long week, pray for the riders to be able to press onward during the         final three weeks of the route.

•   A prayer of thanks to the churches and organizations who hosted us for meals       and fellowship on Leg #4.

Rider blogs

•   Deanna Bulsink

•   John Stehouwer

Sea to Sea in the news

•   Moose Jaw Times

•   Manitoulin Expositor

•   Soo Today

Get Involved

•   Donate to a rider you’d like to support.

•   It’s not too late!—Sign up for the Virtual Ride to ride in spirit while being       part of the solution to ending poverty.

Video stories of where your Sea to Sea support goes

Partners Worldwide:                             World Renew:
Josephine                                           Change the Story of Poverty


Sea to Sea in My Kawartha

Cyclists riding for a special cause wheeled into Lindsay hoping to raise money in the battle against global poverty.

The Sea to Sea ride website states the ride began when, in 2002 a missionary nurse described a fundraiser that spanned the Appalachian trail. “After three years of planning, the first Sea to Sea tour celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Christian Reformed Church in Canada …,” the site notes.

A group of Sea to Sea riders

The ride covers 6,759 kilometres; it left Vancouver on June 26 and will end in Halifax on Aug. 31.

As the riders stopped at Jennings Creek Christian Reformed Church in Lindsay for lunch on Thursday (Aug. 10), tour manager Ed Witvoet said the ride takes place about every four years; this is the fourth since 2005.

“It goes from Vancouver to Halifax and there are different legs,” he explained, noting that not all cyclists do the cross-country ride.

“There were 135 that signed up and 52 are doing the coast to coast ride,” he said. “We have 75 riders this week.”

Witvoet said the cyclists taking part are from all over North America and range in age from 12 to 81.

“We’ve raised about $7 million in all four tours,” he added.

Sea to Sea is hosted by two agencies, World Renew and Partners Worldwide, and partners with churches and nonprofits to end poverty.

Witvoet said the money goes to anti-poverty efforts in communities in developing countries. Partners Worldwide, he said, is a Christian network that partners local businesses with those in other countries, using skills and mentoring to end poverty.

For more information on the ride and how you can help, visit

Original article found here.

Sea to Sea in Orilla Packet

Eve Luimes always wished she could do something to help the young homeless people she saw on the streets of downtown Ottawa.

“I always thing that it could be me if I wasn’t so lucky,” said the 12-year-old. “And I thought it would be great if I could so something about it.”

When her mother asked Luimes and her brother to accompany her on the cross-country fundraising bike tour Sea to Sea, Luimes jumped on the opportunity and joined the dozens of other riders going from Vancouver to Halifax while raising money to battle poverty in developing countries, as well as North America.

Luimes trained every weekday since September to be able to ride up to six hours each day on the tour that started June 26 and ends Aug. 31.

When they started out, it was hard to ride long hours each day, she said, but she’s built up her confidence and stamina as she approaches the end of the fifth, and her final, leg that in Ottawa Saturday.

For Rod Ledeboer, a rider south of the border who is going all the way, the camaraderie and scenery are a good way to stay focused and keep going.

“You learn to persevere,” the Sioux Falls, S.D., resident said during a stop Wednesday at Orillia Christian School. “It’s a mental and physical struggle, but I psych myself up in a variety of ways. Sometimes I think about my granddaughter, or focus on the next destination or talk to my fellow riders.”

Out of the 135 riders who joined the tour for a week or two wherever they could, 54 signed up to make it to the east coast and contribute to the $1.5-million target, which, according to the website, has now been surpassed.

Sea to Sea is organized by two non-profits — Partners Worldwide and World Renew, which was formed out of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) of North America, said Terry Barnes, tour director, adding more than 60% of the riders are members of the CRC.

The money goes toward projects in developing countries.

For the rider, the tour serves two purposes, said Barnes.

“One is to get riders and all donors to become more aware of poverty, not just globally but locally, too,” he said.

The other goal is to provoke thought and action among participants so they will go out and take action against poverty in their own communities.

That was one of the reasons why Peter Slofstra, a retired CRC pastor, and his wife, Marja, decided to join the tour 12 years after they first participated in the cross-country ride, which was named by Peter.

What keeps them going each day is a mix of faith and community support, he said.

“Every day, we know we have to reach the next day’s destination,” said Peter. “Today, we set out from Meaford to Orillia, a 135-km ride. The mental game we play is to tell ourselves, ‘We’re going to cycle 25 km to the first rest stop, and from that to the next.’ Once you’ve had that five- to 10-minute break, you’re energized to go to the next target.”

For Marja, the source is more spiritual.

“When it really gets tough, I will just say to myself, ‘This may hurt or may be tough, but the people I’m riding for don’t have a cozy, comfy home to go to,” she said. “So what if I hurt a little bit? I have that light at the end of the tunnel, whereas a lot of people in dire poverty don’t even have that. And that keeps me going, too.”

For more information, please visit

Original article can be found here.

Sea to Sea in Owen Sound Sun Times

Having participated in all four Sea to Sea Rides to End Poverty, George Vanderkuur has put in a lot of kilometres on his bicycle.

By the time this year’s tour ends at the end of August in Halifax he will have travelled another 6,757 kilometres over the course of the 10-week ride.

“I like biking and it is really neat if you have something you enjoy doing and can also do something good with it,” said the 75-year-old Pickering resident, who is the oldest Canadian in the ride.

This year’s ride made its way through Grey-Bruce on Tuesday with a lunch-time stop at VanVugt Garden Centre on Grey Rd. 1 just north of the Owen Sound city limits.

Sea to Sea riders

Approximately 80 riders were taking part as it made its stop near the city. Just over 50 of the riders were taking part in the entire ride, which departed Vancouver on June 26, while other riders join in to take part in various legs of the tour.

The four rides Vanderkuur has taken part in have been from Vancouver to Halifax, Seattle to New Jersey, Los Angeles to Staten Island and this year from Vancouver to Halifax again. He has also taken part in two shorter rides that are called Sea to Sea.

Vanderkuur first learned about the ride from a member of a running group he was part of. He was a bicycle racer in the past and decided it was something he would like to participate in. He has been hooked since.

“It is a challenge every day,” said Vanderkuur. “If the wind is in the right direction and it is not raining it is a lot of fun. If the wind is against you and it is raining it is a challenge.”

He said some of the less experienced riders spend a lot of time in the saddle during the ride, which can be tough. More experienced riders spend more time up on the pedals.

“No matter what you always look forward to camp,” said Vanderkuur.

The Sea to Sea ride is held to fight poverty through both fundraising and by creating awareness. A venture of the Christian Reformed Church, it had aimed to raise more than $1.5-million in 2017 for the relief agencies World Renew and Partners Worldwide. By Tuesday, that goal had already been surpassed.

“The idea is to help people out of poverty by having them help themselves rather than just giving them a handout,” said Vanderkuur. “There are two aspects to it. There is helping people individually but also helping small businesses getting started.”

Tour consultant Ed Witvoet said a total of 135 cyclists are signed up for this year’s ride. He said so far this year they have had amazing weather along the way.

“We have had maybe only three or four days of rain, but nothing really significant,” said Witvoet. “It is good to be here in Ontario.”

Witvoet said the tour has also run really smoothly this year.

“We have had great cyclists, great attitude, great support people and we have met a lot of great support along the route,” said Witvoet. “Churches and ministries have opened up to support us along the route for meals and billets and whatever.”

Witvoet said everyone involved in the ride has a passion for cycling, but they are able to combine that passion with a purpose.

“That purpose is raising awareness for those that are struggling and caught in the cycle of poverty both locally and globally,” said Witvoet. “We are raising awareness on the issue of poverty, but more so raising funds or resources to help two organizations in breaking the cycle of poverty for a lot of individuals and more specifically for communities.”

Witvoet said many of those involved in the ride are avid cyclists, but they also get many who aren’t.

“We have people that just started cycling in the spring, but they are behind the cause,” said Witvoet. “Many of these guys are just average cyclists, coming from various walks of life.”

Herb Grootenboer of Brantford joined the ride near Espanola in northern Ontario and is cycling to Ottawa. He wanted to take part when he first learned about the ride in 2005, but was busy working. Now that he is retired he has found the time to take part.

“I have decided to do the one week and see how that goes,” said Grootenboer. “It has been awesome. It is a great bunch, it is a great cause and the people we met are hospitable.”

Grootenboer said the cause is his main passion for taking part.

“We are trying to end poverty,” said Grootenboer. “I am not sure this will do it, but we can be a stepping stone for it.”

Sea to Sea in the Daily Herald Tribune

Garry Roth

On August 13th, local cyclist, Garry Roth, will be joining the Sea To Sea cycling tour, in Ottawa, ON. Garry will be riding from Ottawa, ON to Halifax, NS, over the next 16 days, for a total distance of 1753 kms. This averages out to approx. 130 kms/day of cycling, through 5 provinces.

“Sea to Sea” is a cross country cycling tour that raises funds and awareness for poverty reduction. This year, Sea to Sea will be supporting “World Renew” and “Partners Worldwide”, both of whom are agencies that have programs that work at addressing poverty around the world.

“What excites me about Sea To Sea,” says ROTH, “is that this is an opportunity to apply my ability in endurance cycling towards helping others. This is a way of combining a great cause with something I love to do!”

While this is a coast to coast cycling event, Garry will be riding the last leg of the tour. The Tour left White Rock, BC on June 26th, and will be arriving in Halifax, NS on Aug 29th. The tour travelled across Canada to Winnipeg. MB, south into the United States, and will be coming back into Ontario. 135 cyclists from Canada and the USA are taking part in the tour: some doing individual legs and some riding the entire tour!

Sea to Sea in Soo Today

A group of bicyclists entered Sault, Ont. Friday morning via the International Bridge as they continue their bi-national trek across the continent to raise awareness and funds to fight poverty.

The 2017 Sea to Sea ride, which began June 26 in Vancouver and aims to end in Halifax Aug. 29, is a 6,750 kilometre journey including 131 Canadian and American participants.

Not every bicyclist has signed up to go the entire distance, some of them opting for a partial journey instead, but SooToday caught up with three Sea to Sea bicyclists committed to going all the way.

“This is my first long bike ride.  I started training in the spring and its been quite an experience.  I started in Vancouver and the plan is to go to Halifax,” said Edmonton’s Jack Oudman, a retired truck salesman.

Jack Oudman, Ally Johnson, and Jasper Hoogendam, three full-length riders.

“The first three weeks was a real learning curve but since then it’s gotten easier to keep up with the group,” said Oudman, who said the weather along the way has been “fantastic.”

It’s a diverse group, ranging in age from 12 to 81, including many family members travelling together.

The pedalling pals include 81 men and 50 women, and have already pulled in their target amount of $1.5 million in donations, with more coming in.

70 per cent of the riders are Canadian, including 50 from Ontario’s 130 Christian Reformed churches.

Non-church members are welcome to join, though the Christian Reformed denomination has been the main catalyst.

“I took this on for the cause,” said Calgary-based Ally Johnson, a clinical nutritionist.

“Realistically, is poverty something we can end?  It’s really about creating solutions so that people who are in a state of poverty have opportunities to step out.”

“All people have innate abilities, so what is wonderful about this ride is that it partners with two organizations (Partners Worldwide and World Renew, who aim to combat extreme poverty affecting 800 million people worldwide).”

“Partners Worldwide creates opportunities for jobs to be created in North America and overseas,” Johnson said, pointing to examples of a project in which South American communities are being helped to export coconut oil, and a World Renew project helping out with farming in Africa.

Johnson said she plans to continue bicycling to Newfoundland after the Sea to Sea ride officially ends for the rest of the group.

“Part of this ride is rehab for me, but its also living the idea of being of service and help,” said Jasper Hoogendam, a retired Christian school principal from Cobourg, Ontario, who is recovering from a head injury.

Not only does the Sea to Sea effort strive to help communities worldwide develop economically to get out of poverty, but the bicyclists themselves have become a community, Johnson said.

A previous cross country Sea to Sea bicycle trip took place across Canada in 2005, another in 2008 across the U.S. celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Christian Reformed Church in America, and another U.S. trek in 2013.

Those three rides raised $5.4 million to support over 1,000 organizations focused on ending poverty.

Every rider going the full route has been required to raise $12,000 for the cause before starting the journey.

The required amount is less for those not going the whole distance from coast to coast.

Receiving contributions from family, friends and workplaces, along with special events in municipalities and church communities, some have received donations of almost $50,000.

“$150 gets a family on its feet, so I’ve just passed the $15,000 mark on my run, so if you do the math it means 100 families will be helped,” Hoogendam said.

The group has been staying in tents every night, but has also been able to stay in schools, churches and homes along the way.

From Vancouver, the riders went through Calgary, Regina and Winnipeg, then entered the U.S. south of Lake Superior for about 700 kilometres.

After re-entering Canada through the Sault Friday, the Sea to Sea riders will travel through southern Ontario’s cottage country, then on to Ottawa and the east coast.

Donations to Sea to Sea’s fight against poverty can be made by going online or by calling 1-888-272-2453.

Original article found here.