Saturday, September 20, 2014

Well… I wonder, do you know Him?

“David said, ‘The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork. My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply. No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings.’”

And pour He did.

We had a beautiful day of gratitude and His loving arms were surrounding us every mile we went.

Just a few things that showed us how blessed we were today!

    ·      Sag drivers are the biggest blessing that a rider could ask for, and my, are each of them the best!
    ·      The crowd of 60 this morning supported us as we rode away from Maranatha Bible Conference  Center in Muskegon at 8:30 am.
    ·      Beautiful scenery surrounded us as we rode by the lake, through tunnels of trees, and cute towns. We saw God’s magnificent handiwork in action all day!
    ·      Phyllis’ chicken salad and cupcakes. (YUM!)
    ·      Thankful for protection during a fall that could have been much worse.
    ·      The wind was at our backs.
    ·      The cheers from Don. S-H-E-L-B-Y! SHELBY! SHELBY! SHELBY!
    ·      Warm weather and a few drops of warm rain that cooled us off.
    ·      The beautiful smiles of each rider.
    ·      The multiple, amazing homemade goodies. (Thanks everyone!)
    ·      Repair shop after hours.
    ·      Encouragement from quotes and verses that we were blessed with at every break.
    ·      Warm, relaxing showers.
    ·      Devotions. A great time of reflection to this wonderful day!

    Thank you so much for all of your love, prayers, texts, and support. We felt every one. To God be the glory. 

    Today's verse reminds us who He is!

    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Introducing the 2014 Ride4Life Crew!


    Amy Aeronauts

    Amy Aernouts has been married to her husband Joe for 28 years. Their life story includes being high school sweethearts and teenage pregnancy which gives them a passion for the ministry of Lakeshore Pregnancy Center. They love family time with their three adult children (Joey, Ethan & Alyvia) and daughter-in-law (Tawne), and are excited for the day they’ll get to hold their first grand baby in February! 

    Other than biking, The Aernouts’ love playing on West Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore and also spend as much time as they can in Winter Park, Colorado. This is Amy’s second year as a rider in LPC’s Ride4Life, she is thankful God gave her a whole new way worship him … on a bike!

    Bonnie Gruppen

    This will be my 3rd Ride4Life! I am excited for this challenging experience again! I am looking forward to enjoying God’s beauty as we the 700 mile ride around Lake Michigan.  I have been invested in this ministry for the past 13 years and it has been such a blessing.  As a Client Advocate I have been able to work closely with women and men in crisis pregnancy and also teaching Life Skills and Parenting Classes.  I have a true passion for all we do at LPC. Thank you so much for your support and prayers!

    Sherry Hoppen

    My name is Sherry Hoppen and I have been with LPC for 8 years as either a volunteer or staff member. My current position is as their Event Coordinator.  

    This will be my 5th Ride4Life and as hard as it is I keep coming back for more!  I ride because I have a true passion for Lakeshore Pregnancy Center and I also love to ride bike. I consider my involvement in this truly a God thing. I really believe in what they do here at LPC and want to do whatever I can to raise funds so they can continue the mission of saving lives.

    When I am not biking I love to spend time with my husband and our children. We have two married children and we adore our son and daughter-in-law! We also recently became “empty nesters” as our youngest went off to College. We love just about anything outdoors and spending time at our cottage. I also love to read, travel, decorate, and spend time with some great friends. I consider myself part of a team that God has pulled together to fight for the unborn.  Please consider becoming part of our team with your financial support and prayers. 

    Bobby & Jennifer Kerber

    Bobby is a local mail carrier for the Hopkins Post Office and Captain of Hopkins Area Fire Department. Jennifer is a self-employed residential real estate appraiser. Together they are blessed with two kids (Clayton 7 and Lexi 4). 

    What brings us to Lakeshore Pregnancy Center: Following Gods Voice!!! 

    Over two years ago this soon to be adventure started. Just weeks after we found out that we miscarried and lost our Baby #3; we were invited to a LPC event in Allegan. At the time we had no idea it would lead us to this 700 mile challenge that we are committed too. Over that past few months several pieces of the puzzle have been fitting together on the path and it is very clear to us that we are to complete this adventure together this year. We may not have Baby #3 here today, but with a heart for service and an athletic ability to ride we can allow others the opportunity to experience Gods outrageous love through LPC!!

    Valarie Kuipers

    Val is one of the Nurse Sonographers at LPC. Val has been married to her husband Ian for three years.  She spends time in both the Holland and Allegan centers. She will also be a nurse on the Mobile Medical Unit. “I am very excited to see how God uses this unit to impact peoples’ lives in the communities around us.”   Val also works part time at Zeeland Community Hospital on the Med/Surg unit.   This is Val’s second Ride4Life.  “Ever since being introduced to biking last year-- I have loved it! Looking forward the challenge again.” 

    Jonna Lubbers

    This is Jonna’s 3rd Ride4Life. She says, “I am a Child of the King, wife, mom, and friend! There is so much to be excited about.  All that is happening at LPC is so beautiful! It is an honor to be riding and being a part of something so much bigger than ourselves!”

    Garry Markvluwer

    I have lived in Holland all my life, graduating from Holland Christian High School and Hope College. My wife, Sheila, and I have two children, a daughter Leah, a son-in-law Antoine, and a son Tyler. I learned about Lakeshore Pregnancy Center in 1999 when my wife started working in various aspects of the ministry. For the first few years, I was a casual bystander with limited involvement. This soon changed as I began to volunteer at some of the events and experienced the positive impact the staff and ministry were having on the community. Today, I Ride4Life to help Lakeshore Pregnancy Center raise funds to continue operating its five centers located in West Michigan and I welcome your financial support.

    Please join me in holding up the staff and volunteers in prayer as they serve as the hands and feet of Christ. Every day, they are fighting for the life and souls of the unborn, and they are ministering to the needs of the men and women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy.

    Patty McNeil

    My name is Patty McNeill. My friend, Amy, rode with Lakeshore Pregnancy Center last year, and I lived vicariously through her as she posted her updates.  Everytime I read her posts I thought, "I would really love to do that next year."

    Last fall, Amy brought me to a dinner to learn more about Lakeshore Pregnancy Center. I love what they believe in! They are a beacon of hope to help women, and men, that find themselves in life situations that they don’t know how to handle.
    People have asked me, "Why are you doing this bike ride?" I want to help support Lakeshore Pregnancy Center.  My husband asked me recently, “How do you feel you are making a difference”? By doing this ride I feel I am making a difference. I believe in what they are doing and I want to help keep them going so that they can make a difference in hundreds of lives.
    I am married and have 4 children. I enjoy cooking/baking, reading, spending time with friends, and riding bike. 

    Ivory Niewenhuis

    My name is Ivory Niewenhuis, just for a short time yet though! Soon, I my name will be Ivory Ries! On May 30, 2015 I will be getting married to my high school sweetheart, Vince Ries. But before that day comes, I will be graduating from Dordt College with a degree in Communications with emphasis in Public Relations, also, I have minors in Psychology and Human Resources. Currently, I am in my senior year at Dordt and I stay busy with homework, practicing and performing organ, and working at KDCR, the Dordt College radio station. 

    This past summer I lived with my sister, Val, and brother-in-law, Ian, in Zeeland, Michigan. Some of you may know that Val works for the pregnancy centers as a nurse sonographer. As she got more involved with the ride, she encouraged me to think about joining the Ride 4 Life. At first, I was very hesitant because I would be missing school for a week and training while I would be doing homework, work, and practice. However, everything started to fall into place! I was able to get a bike, the professors of my classes were very encouraging, and of course, God pulled at my heart to help the centers through this fundraiser. The rest is history and I am getting prepared to come back to Michigan in less than two weeks, ready for the ride of my life!

    Kelly VanTimmerman

    My wife, Gwen, and I are longtime residents of Allendale and own VanTimmermen Greenhouses.  We are the proud parents of three grown children, a daughter in law, and one precious grandson.

    As a believer in Christ I value a ministry like LPC to give caring non-judgmental support to those at a critical crossroad in life.  Our church home is Watermark in Grand Haven.  This is my first Ride4Life Venture.  I’ve not ridden a trip of this magnitude before and I am so excited to be a part of this awesome team.

    Don Wickstra

    Don has a family dentistry practice in Hamilton with his son Ben. Don and his wife Lynn have been married almost 40 years, with 2 married sons and 6 grandchildren. In his spare time Don enjoys cycling, woodworking, and bridge. He travels yearly to serve in Honduras. Don served as Treasurer for many years and also serves on our Building and Grounds Committee.  

    He is an active member of LPC’s  Ride4Life committee and is riding this year for the 4th time!. Don has been thrilled to see the expanding impact of the Center in Holland and beyond!

    SAG Drivers

    Terry Agal

    I am currently retired professionally after a twenty-five-year career in engineering management (BSChE; MBA).  I have also been blessed with the opportunity to serve on the staff of Holland Youth for Christ (7 years) and Maranatha Bible & Missionary Conference (8 years).

    I have driven a school bus (sub/part-time) for over twenty years which has qualified me to serve as a Sag Driver for Ride 4 Life 2014.  I will be driving LPC’s 38 ft. motor home that serves as our mobile clinic.

    My spiritual gift is serving others and I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving the LPC bike riders as they participate in Ride 4 Life.

    Carolyn Doyle

    Carolyn is currently in her 3rd year serving as Executive Director of LPC.  She has been a part of LPC for 9 years.  This is Carolyn’s 5th Ride4Life.  On her first ride she rode half of the route and “sagged” the other half.  Since then she has felt her “true calling” is to SAG & support the Ride team.  This year Carolyn will lead the SAG and Ride team with devotions, encouragement, and routing.  She sees this opportunity as a blessing and an honor.

    Nancy Noteboom

    Because of the great service provided to women and men in pregnancy crisis situations, my husband and I have been supporters of Lakeshore Pregnancy Center for years. But through a friend we also began to follow the annual Ride4Life.

    My name is Nancy Noteboom. This past spring the LORD laid it on my heart to become more involved with the Ride. At the time I wasn’t sure where or how. When the Holy Spirit nudges, it is sometimes/often scary, because it involves a change and leap of faith. As it turns out it isn’t all that scary but it is still a leap of faith. I will be using talents he has groomed me with: map-reader, support team, cheerleader. I will be a SAG member. 

    A SAG member is a part of the team who drives before and behind the bike riders to guide and protect them on the route. We will prepare, serve and clean up snacks and meals, fill water bottles, set up chairs for a quick rest at breaks, wash clothes, give a hug or encouraging word.

    I have aging parents. I have a sister who was recently in an auto accident and is now a paraplegic. I am a mom. I have friends who sometimes need a helping hand. I sometimes need the help of others – we all do. Now it will be my turn to use my skills to help the riders’ part of this 700-mile journey easier. I will be there to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Just as the LPC clients struggle in their situation and LPC is there to help and support them, I will be there to support the riders.

    Please pray for everyone on the SAG team for health and strength, and the right words of encouragement to give. I’d also like to thank my husband for his support of me taking the time away from home to do this. 

    Diane Meyerholtz

    Hi, my name is Diane Meyerholtz. I became involved with LPC as a Bilingual Receptionist for a summer years ago. I then stayed on as a volunteer receptionist several times a month. My journey in this ministry began over 30 years ago when I found myself pregnant, unmarried, and the daughter of pastor/missionary’s in Mexico. As scared as I was chose Life.  Now 30 years later I have three beautiful children, two wonderful daughter-in-laws, one outstanding son-in-law, and six beautiful grandchildren. I divorced many years ago and through God’s love and grace am married to a Godly, loving man. 

    My journey has led me not only to a passion of saving lives through LPC but to working with children as my career.  I am a translator for a local school translating and supporting Latin families with children of all manners of developmental delay. God has opened many doors for me to share his love and support of these families.  My husband Mark and I enjoy camping , traveling, biking, kayaking, hiking, and spending time with all of our children and grandchildren.  I am truly blessed and wish to be a blessing in my commitment to be a servant to the riders on this Ride4Life.

    MaryAnn VanKampen

    I really enjoyed my years as an elementary secretary with Zeeland Public Schools. But, retirement now allows me to spend more time with family and friends, volunteer and travel. Although I won’t be riding 700 miles in 7 days, being a SAG driver for Ride4Life is so exciting.  It’s an opportunity to help Lakeshore Pregnancy Center raise money to help those dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    Final group photo - Day eight!

    FINAL DAY!!!

    What a day. Our stay in Ludington was quite eventful. We soaked hot tubs to relax after a long ride, ate dinner, had sweet fellowship with new friends and a sang couple songs of karaoke. Too much fun.

    Riding through Hart -last leg of the trip
    We started today early to make sure that we arrived on time to reunite with our family and friends for a picnic at 2:30. We felt the wind of the Spirit all day, living deep inside of us and pushing us all the way home. We made great time and really didn’t want to stop long for breaks.
    We rode through Hart, Shelby, and Montague. Upon arriving into Muskegon we decided to stop at a waterfront park to group up before arriving to the Welcome Home Picnic. We had our final devotions; we prayed together, took some groups photos, said some tearful goodbyes and sang the Doxology one last time (it has become a theme song this trip). We then mounted the bikes and finished the last few miles.  We were cheered home by a great group lined along the road. It was an emotional finish line to end an emotional week.

    God has been so good.  He has protected us and strengthened us through every one of the 712 miles.
    It has been an honor to get to know each member of the team and we are proud of all that has been accomplished (in HIM). We rode 712 miles, we climbed close to 4,000 feet, and raised approximately $75,000 for LPC and Alpha Family Services. 

    We thank the Lord for ALL He has done, we thank YOU for all you have done and we especially we to thank each family for supporting your spouse on this ride, letting them be away from home for a week and for covering the home front. We thank each supporter for your putting tangible action to your  belief in life.

    We could not have accomplish any of this without the favor of the Lord and the support of each of you. So again, Thank YOU!
    Final mile, up the hill and around the corner.

    We would also like to thank each of our sponsors:
    ·         Requets Foods
    ·         Artex Label
    ·         J & H Family Stores
    ·         Quincy Street, Inc
    ·         Zeeland Vision
    ·         Hamilton Medical Center
    ·         Westside Service
    ·         Holland Litho Printing Services
    ·         Main Street Bicycle Co.
    ·         Koetje Wood Products
    ·         Generational Wealth Management
    ·         West Michigan Bike & Fitness
    Due to each of these underwriters, every dollar raised by the riders went directly to the ministries of LPC and Alpha! We are grateful.

    Welcome Home!
    Thank you all for following us along the way, praying for us daily, texting encouragement, sharing scripture, and being there at the end of our adventure.

    As one of our riders posted tonight on her facebook page…
    It is finished!
    Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
    Praise Him all creatures here below.
    Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    The team was amazing today. After yesterday and those hills, the fact that everyone was able to get on their bicycle successfully and pedal away from the motel was a praise in and of itself. God was good to us again today. Despite back country roads and a period of heavy rainfall, we made it to Ludington in one piece and with joyful spirits.
    1.       Betty rode the entire 80 miles today—such a trooper! At the breaks she was even helping get out the snacks and pull the chairs out for other riders.
    2.       The team successfully completed another 80 miles--- only 70 more to go! The winds were calm for the last 20 miles, with the promise of a tailwind tomorrow!
    3.       Notable quote of the day: “If I can’t find something, it’s probably up my shorts”
    4.       We’ve all learned over the course of the week that Val is capable of telling 20-mile long stories (coffin—HA!)
    5.       An unidentified creature managed to haul away a rather large piece of road kill only a small distance ahead of the riders. The debate now is whether it was a cougar or bobcat.
    6.       We only suffered 1 flat today
    7.       There was an awesome demonstration of teamwork at one point when our fellow rider (Laura) realized she had blown a tire as she was climbing a very steep hill. Not only that but she simultaneously realized her pedal clips were caught. Thanks to Amy & Mary for quickly identifying the problem, dropping their bikes and coming to Laura’s aid. It was a beautiful analogy to what we do every day in an effort to save lives on the verge of a crash. Way to go team!

         8.       As in every other sport, a good smack on the rear is appropriate especially when hill climbing. Thanks to Rachel for reminding Sherry of this acceptable behavior. It worked!
        9.       Karaoke--- enough said.
        10.   Singing the doxology tonight as we gathered for devotions in the hotel… once again, thanks to Betty for leading us with her beautiful voice.
    Despite an Achilles injury pulling Sarah off the bike for the rest of the trip, we are thankful that God’s plans are always bigger. 
    Rachel apparently has NOT had enough.
     She is now trying to ride the
    bike rack outside of the restaurant!
    She has been able to share Scripture with the riders on breaks and help out in the sag wagon. It has been a good reminder that God not only sees our futures, but will use our giftings and unique abilities as long as we are willing. 

    We are all missing family & friends and cannot wait to roll into Maranatha tomorrow between 2:30 and 3pm. Please join us for a welcome back picnic… God has been good! Come cheer us to the finish line. We want to finish well--- to God be the glory.

    Addendum to Day 6

    We were pulled over by a concerned policeman. Thank you officer for your concern. 
    When we arrived at the motel tonight we knew that we had no choice but to stop everything and give God the glory for all that He accomplished today.  We are really getting to know one another and loving it. What a great team we have.  

    1.       We did not get lost today.

    2.       We climbed over 3,500 feet and 1,000 feet in the last 60 minutes of the ride.
    3.       We rode a total of 103 miles (12 hours on the rode).
    4.       Praying at the bottom of hills for power to make it to the top.
    5.       Sarah  has become the scripture girl at the break stops.
    6.       MOOmers Ice Cream stop – at 80 miles …23 more to go (thanks for ice cream Don).
    7.       We killed a snake today. Running over a live snake with a bike is rather scary.
    8.       We had another rider join us for about ten miles of riding. Thanks for joining us for a while!
    9.       Ben changed another guys flat tire at our lunch stop. The man was out of spare tubes and we have plenty since we went ALL day without a flat.
    10.   Laura wins the quote of the day, “I would rather give birth 4 times than ride up these hills.”

    Amy  and the gang pushing through the last huge hill
    We don’t have many photos to post tonight because they are not loading well with the limited internet.

    What a day! A very fitting verse was sent to us today.
                    Psalm 121

                    “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will neither slumber or sleep. The Lord watches over you. ..The Lord  will keep you from harm, he will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.”