Parks Pace of Albany, fourth from left, and the bicycle tour group She's My Sister stopped at First Methodist Church of Albany on Wednesday to talk about their cause of helping African women and children. The group, sponsored by the American Bible Society, is riding from Daytona Beach, Fla., to new York City.
ALBANY The call was for money and prayer, and speaking to the First United Methodist dinner group was Gordon Brown, a member of the scripture-driven bicycle tour, She's My Sister.
Sponsored by the American Bible Society, the 2nd annual She's My Sister tour started last week at Dayton Beach, Fla., with New York City set as its destination. Among the eight riders is Parks Pace, an 18-year-old Albany native and the son of Jim and Kay Pace.
Brown, the group's primary spokesman Wednesday evening, has made the trip before, he said, and would love it if the journey matched the roughly $150,000 in donations raised last year. He said the amount was more than had been expected.
The group is raising money to help women and orphans in the violent Democratic Republic of Congo, where an outlaw group, The Lord's Resistance Army ,is known to kidnap children and use the rape of women as a weapon. Brown said other agencies are doing a good job of providing medicine, food and shelter, and the mission of the AMS is to provide and train pastors and to offer spiritual guidance.
According to Brown, while just $10 can provide a Congo woman help for "wounds of the heart" for up to year at one of the 23 trauma-healing centers in the locations of Banda, Bangadi, Duru or Doruma, it's also important to pray and to spread the word, especially on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
The group's visit to Albany came in part because the bikers don't travel on major highways, Pace said. Today at 7 a.m., the biker band was to already be hitting the road to beat the heat. All the members prefer rain — when they can get it — to the blazing June sun.
"Except you know that when the rain stops and the sun comes back, you have the humidity, too," Pace said.
Their trip Wednesday was an "easy" one from Tifton — just 45 miles or so. "I was feeling (my legs) a little bit today," Pace said, "coming in from Tifton, but they're breaking in."
Today's trek to Butler will be more of a challenge at 76 miles. Friday's wheeling to Atlanta will come in at just under 100 miles of pedaling. One member of the group is the designated van driver, in case of accidents and for the care and feeding of the bikers. Churches along the way provide lodging and food, along with people to learn about their cause.