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Mark Fila's Fundraiser:

Bike For Water

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Mark Fila

THE STORY:

Vision Statement

This September we intend to spread the love of Christ in two powerful, lasting ways. First, through Living Water International, we will fund the construction of a freshwater well for a community whose residents struggle with health and life because of their lack of access to clean water. Depending on which region we are able to support, we will have to raise between $5,000-$15,000. Second, we will bike across America, not only as a means of garnering support and funds for the freshwater well, but also to share the Gospel and the love that we have personally received from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are blessed by a faithful, merciful, and loving God and can’t help but look for ways we can best pass on this amazing and abundant love we have received to those who are hungry, thirsty, without clothing or shelter (Matthew 25:40). Partnering with LWI will provide us with an excellent opportunity to see those dreams fulfilled.

Our Vision: Connecting
Our journey is a catalyst to new connections. New relationships cultivated over candy bars at a gas station, local favorites at the town’s diner, visiting national landmarks & parks, even in the few minutes we’d spend finding water at a camp site. Alert at every encounter, we’re eager to find ways to relate to those we meet (Acts 17:22), excited to grow in our sensitivity to the Spirit and allow Him to guide our conversations.

Our Vision: Testifying
As part of our planning process, we will arrange to meet with churches across the country. Paul and the church fathers made a point of encouraging bodies of local believers (Acts 20:1, Philippians 1:1-9) wherever they went. We envision sharing our testimonies at each of the churches we visit, not only to strengthen their faith through our witness, but also to call upon the generosity of the body of Christ (Acts 2:44-45) to give in support of our mission (II Corinthians 9:5-15).

Our Vision: Reflecting
Our journey will not be without personal growth. Outside of becoming more confident & comfortable sharing our testimony under any given circumstances, our time on the road will allow for internal reflection as well.

From Mark
Ever since my early days of growing up I have associated physical activity, especially endurance events, as the times I feel closest with God. I know that on this trip I will have almost countless hours of this type of “God time,” as I like to call it. There will be tough times when I will have to lean on God and pray my way through certain days. I look forward to having so much alone time with God each day, and having many chances to reflect on the things that the Holy Spirit might have been teaching me. Witnessing, and sharing the love of God brings it’s challenges and I am extremely excited to see where this trip takes me, and the types of ideas it builds in me that will affect my life each day going forth.

From Josh
I have considered serving as a missionary or in the ministry, but have never truly tested the waters, let alone thought of diving head first into an experience like this where witnessing becomes a primary focus of my daily routine. My experience so far has been limited to short term missions and youth/college outreaches. I see long hours on the road each day as time between God and myself, opening my heart to him and becoming more in-tune with how He would have me witness to those around me. I am excited at the prospect of learning to let Him take further control each day over my thoughts, words, actions and my future. (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6)


Our Vision: Riding
What’s a day in the life biking across America look like? Early to bed, early to rise, and hard riding until the Spirit takes us to whoever we’re supposed to meet that day. Whether it’s through national parks or monuments, local restaurants, campgrounds, rest stops – wherever we ride, we are looking to share our story. We’re on fire for this trip, and have full confidence in the Holy Spirit that He will shine through us and lead us to who He wants to speak to.

Most nights we will camp – along our route, campgrounds, etc. Outside of nights spent with local churches, we don’t foresee too many nights near civilization unless it seems a necessity to do so (safety, sanity). As touched on above, this allows for introspection – writing and recording our experiences to date, thinking critically on how we can do better the next day. While we’ve set goals in terms of approximate dates we expect to reach various cities/destinations along our route, we’re not bent on racing to each checkpoint. Some days we’ll ride more than expected. Some days less. Our goal is not simply to just make it across America, but to make a difference across America.

Our Vision: Impacting
We’re setting out to change lives. Stir hearts. Bring God’s love and His Word to the people we meet. Make an eternal impression. With our hearts and minds open to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, we trust that our ride will sow seeds (Mark 4:3-20, Matthew 9:37, 28:19-20) in areas we would never have visited otherwise. We will learn to bring the Good News into every conversation. To share our faith and LWI’s mission in an engaging manner. To overcome adversity. To deal with disinterest and rejection. To be led into (and out of) areas by the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:7). And ultimately, to see God’s power at work across America – before, during and after our ride.

We don’t intend to leave our journey on the road. We will take extensive notes, photos and even video interviews whenever people are willing, synthesizing everything we gather not only for our website & blog updates, but a book / promo-video that we would be able to present when we visit the water area we’ve funded. What do people think about LWI? Have they even heard of LWI? What does it mean to be an American? What do we believe in? How do they think we as a nation can help change the world? Our hope would be that we could capture both our experiences sharing our faith as well as people’s reactions to LWI and our effort to try and make a difference in the world around us in a unique way.

Who We Are

Mark Fila
Until May of this year I will still be considered a Senior at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am about to graduate with my Art of Ministry, and Bible Majors. My dream is to pursue Christian counseling by going to seminary and getting my MA (after this bike trip). I am currently on the varsity baseball team at Cornerstone and I play shortstop and second base. But my undergraduate college career of school and baseball is about to come to an end. I miss the thrill of making a difference in the world through passion and adventure that I had before college when I was with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I spent my YWAM days in Los Angeles, and lived in Morocco for 2 months. I feel a very strong call into mission work, and building lives for Christ.
I have wanted to bike across America for years, and finding that Josh had this same desire made my dream a reality. My heart for people, and sharing the love of Christ has propelled me into this decision to bike across the country to raise money to build a well for a community in need. When my life is completed I want to look back and know that I impacted the most people I possibly could have for Christ, and also to know that I never backed down from a challenge to impact those that Christ loves. I have an opportunity to impact people, and change my own life drastically through the thrill of adventure. This trip for me will set a tone for my life that I know will stay consistent in my heart until I die; that being a willingness to sacrifice, go on an unknown adventure, and to lay down anything for what I feel God has called me to. I cannot let an opportunity like this go by. I want to change a whole community through the most essential element in life; water. I want that changed community to know that the new living water they have is from the heart of Christ and that He is the true living water. May our Lord Jesus Christ become more known throughout this wonderful world!

Joshua Klevorn
Currently working in Manhattan, I graduated from the University in Michigan in 2010 and (led by the Lord to NYC) have been working with Frederic Schwartz Architects (FSA) since graduation. Blessed by the Gabrielsens in West Orange, NJ, I was able to stay in their spare room during my first few months at FSA (commuting 90 minutes one-way into the city) and quickly fell in love with the their local church body at Christ the King. Blessed by the Lord financially (an unpaid internship at FSA turning into a salaried position with benefits), I was able to afford to move into the city the following spring, and began to attend church at the Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Discouraged by the long hours at the office (which left little time to get connected on a more intimate level at Brooklyn Tabernacle), however, I decided to seek out another church. Once again, the Lord was on my side. Calvary Baptist (on 57th and 7th Ave) was the very first church I attended after Brooklyn Tabernacle, and for the last 15 months, I have been actively involved at Calvary and recently became a full member. I have the privilege to serve in leading worship during both morning and evening services on Sundays, and help lead the young adults group Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. I am also a member of the church choir.

My trek across America with Mark will most likely be at a crossroads between jobs as I earnestly seek out where the Lord would next have me humbly serve. I have recently felt the Lord lay on my heart the necessity to follow Him with all that I am, to trust in His guidance and to lean not on my own understanding, but to acknowledge Him as supreme and seek His will above all.

Our Route
In early September, we will drive from Northern Michigan to Morehead City, NC in order to have a car waiting for us at a family friend's house on our return. From Morehead City, we will fly to San Francisco, CA and make our way back east with the following waypoints/dates in mind

LOCATION APPROX. DATE
San Francisco, CA 04 September 2013
Yosemite National Park, CA 10 September 2013
Zion National Park, UT 20 September 2013
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 25 September 2013
Arches National Park, UT 01 October 2013
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 07 October 2013
Denver, CO 09 October 2013
Kansas City, MO 15 October 2013
St. Louis, MO 18 October 2013
Chattanooga (Church here), TN 21 October 2013
Charlotte, NC 28 October 2013
Morehead City, NC 30 October 2013

The Team: $0 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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