Vir­tual trek funds Bi­ble give­away

Grand Falls-Wind­sor oc­to­ge­nar­ian ped­als 900 kilo­me­tres, raises $10K

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - News - BY THOM BARKER

On Jan­uary 1, on the verge of un­der­tak­ing a vir­tual bi­cy­cle ride from St. John’s to Port aux Basques, 84-year-old Don­ald Green looked at the cal­en­dar in his Grand Falls-Wind­sor home.

“You are never too old to set an­other goal or to dream a new dream,” read a serendip­i­tous quote from Bri­tish au­thor and Chris­tian scholar C.S. Lewis.

“That sort of caught my eye,” he said. “When I started, that was on the cal­en­dar the same day.”

Re­cov­er­ing from a bout of ver­tigo, sport­ing a pace­maker and a be­ing a cancer sur­vivor, Green knew he needed the ex­er­cise. He set out to the Ex­ploits Val­ley YMCA with the in­tent of cy­cling 905 kilo­me­tres, the equiv­a­lent of the dis­tance across the is­land of New­found­land.

Char­i­ta­ble mis­sion

A cou­ple of weeks later, he de­cided to com­bine his quest for fit­ness with a char­i­ta­ble mis­sion for The Gideons. His goal was to raise $10,000 to dis­trib­ute 2,000 bibles to peo­ple in China and Malawi.

“A lot of peo­ple said I was crazy, I wouldn’t raise it,” Green re­called.

He did, how­ever. On July 6, he ar­rived in Port aux Basques, vir­tu­ally speak­ing, with do­na­tions to­talling in ex­cess of $10,400. Sup­port came in de­nom­i­na­tions of $5 all the way up to $1,000, and from all over the coun­try, from St. John’s to Van­cou­ver, but mostly the cen­tral New­found­land area where Green is quite well-known hav­ing been a busi­ness op­er­a­tor in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

His wife, Ina Green, is proud of him.

“I’ve known this man for over 50 years,” she said. “I think it’s won­der­ful that in spite of his health is­sues and that, he’s got de­ter­mi­na­tion and he never gives up and that’s what keeps him go­ing.

“When he takes on some­thing to do, he doesn’t give up un­til it’s done.”

Fam­ily af­fair

Ina was es­pe­cially happy it ended up be­ing a fam­ily af­fair.

“It was won­der­ful that our son (David) got to come home, and (Don­ald) and David went up to the Y and fin­ished the last three kilo­me­tres to­gether, David on one bike and he on the other,” she ex­plained.

“Both of our chil­dren, David and Su­san, have been a help to him, and their friends have come on board with do­na­tions and things like that, but for David to be able to come home and fin­ish the last three kilo­me­tres was re­ally a nice touch.”

In his ap­peal to po­ten­tial sup­port­ers, Don­ald wrote: “There is no greater gift we can give to the needy, hurt­ing peo­ple than a copy of God’s Word.”

Asked why that would be more im­por­tant than, say, food, shel­ter or clean wa­ter, Don­ald turned to scrip­ture, specif­i­cally Matthew 6:19-21.

“The Bi­ble says: ‘Lay not up for your­self trea­sures on Earth, where moth and rust (doth cor­rupt), but lay up trea­sures in heaven where nei­ther moth nor rust nor any­thing else can af­fect it’,” he ex­plained, para­phras­ing slightly.

“Look­ing at food and shel­ter and wa­ter, it is sort of a ma­te­ri­al­is­tic thing, but look­ing at the word of God, it lasts for­ever, it’s eter­nal. The fo­cus is on the in­vis­i­ble, the eter­nal, more so than the ma­te­rial, more im­por­tant than wa­ter, more im­por­tant than food in a sense, that’s how I would as­sess it.

“You can’t ra­tio­nal­ize as such, but you have to take it by faith,” he con­tin­ued. “I don’t know how the sun rises in the morn­ing and sets in the af­ter­noon and (how) all the plan­ets are kept in place, and the tide rises and falls and (how) the moon af­fects it, so this is where we’re com­ing from.”

Ina agrees about the im­por­tance of spread­ing the word of God and of­fered a slightly dif­fer­ent take on it.

“I feel as a Chris­tian, we have to let peo­ple know what we’ve ex­pe­ri­enced and the joy, I might as well use the word joy,” she said. “I’ve been serv­ing the Lord, I’ve been a Chris­tian since a child. I gave my life to the Lord quite young and I’ve had a won­der­ful jour­ney. I’m now 79 and I’ve not re­gret­ted in my life. I’m quite happy with the way I’ve been guided and part of that is en­joy­ing His word and be­ing guided by it and want­ing to share it with oth­ers, the joy that I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced.”

This is not the first time Green has raised money for The Gideons. He has been a mem­ber of the group for around 15 or 16 years and, in 2008, he brought a very spe­cial guest to Grand Falls-Wind­sor.

Paul Hen­der­son is a leg­end of Cana­dian hockey for scor­ing the goal that re­ver­ber­ated around the world in 1972 to give Canada the win over the Soviet Union in the much-touted Sum­mit Se­ries. Per­haps lesser known is that, since 1975, he has been lend­ing his celebrity to Chris­tian causes.

“I had him come into the province and he spoke to a break­fast we had here in Grand Falls, a men’s busi­ness break­fast,” Green re­counted. “The bot­tom line is we raised around $14,000.”

Don­ald has never been over­seas him­self and will not ac­com­pany the New Tes­ta­ments his ped­alling bought, but The Gideons will add more than 2,000 Bibles to their to­tals of 32,000 in Malawi and 250,000 in China.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also dis­trib­utes copies do­mes­ti­cally to Grade 5, col­lege and univer­sity stu­dents in ad­di­tion to its most fa­mous ac­tiv­ity of plac­ing the book in ho­tel rooms.

SUB­MIT­TED

Don­ald Green raised more than $10,400 vir­tu­ally ped­alling across New­found­land.

SUB­MIT­TED

Don­ald Green ped­als a sta­tion­ary bi­cy­cle at the Ex­ploits Val­ley YMCA dur­ing a six-month, 900-kilo­me­tre fundrais­ing ef­fort that col­lected more than $10,000 to buy Bibles for The Gideons to dis­trib­ute in Malawi and China.

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