Please Sponsor Me:
I am going to cycle 36 gruelling miles to raise money for my internship with The Marin Foundation in Chicago this summer.
What I'm doing: The Jurassic Beast!
This fiend of a cycling event is around Dorset's Jurassic Coastline and is going to be a big challenge for me! It includes an elevation gain of 2119ft (with some spectacular views). Those are leg pumping climbs, the likes of which I have yet to encounter in my recent endeavour into recreational cycling. It takes place on Sunday 10th May 2015 (just a couple of weeks before I leave for the USA), so having had only 12 weeks to prepare, I'm already training hard.
In addition to the fitness and physical endurance required, it will also be pushing the boundaries of my mental stamina and perseverance. I have never attempted any sporting event of this nature before, so both the preparation required and the day itself involve facing new trials. The support of friends and family, as they sponsor me to complete this challenge, means a great deal to me.
What the funds are for:
1. To support The Marin Foundation
As mentioned earlier, I am raising money to fund a summer internship with The Marin Foundation: a charity seeking to build bridges between LGBTQ folk and Christians. They deliberately avoid taking "sides" and have no agenda, other than reconciliation. As far as I am aware, there are no similar ministries in Britain.
I will be supporting the work of The Marin Foundation by assisting in the running of various projects. These include their Living in the Tension gatherings (a safe place to discuss divisive topics in a peaceful and productive manner) and the I'm Sorry Campaign (Christians apologising at Gay Pride to for how the Church has failed to love the LGBTQ community). I will also be writing blog posts, facilitating social media platforms, assisting with administration and other duties and completing a personal enrichment assignment.
2. To support me
As well as what I can offer The Marin Foundation, this summer internship is primarily an amazing opportunity for me personally. I hope it will be a stepping stone towards a calling I have felt drawn to for many years. I believe I am ideally placed for this kind of work. I often think of myself as metaphorically bilingual, speaking the languages of both gay and christian communities, and being able to translate between the two.
I'm also passionate about showing LGBT people that Jesus loves them just as much as he loves everyone else. It breaks my heart that so many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, who would like to know God, feel that their sexuality prevents them from being near him. When in reality the Bible says nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). I can't wait to see first hand what The Marin Foundation does to build bridges and restore relationships. My hope is that one day I can be part of a similar ministry in the UK, possibly even instrumental in setting it up.
How the funds will help:
As the internship is voluntary, I need to support myself for the 10 weeks I will be living in the US. I will also need to pay for flights, insurance, a visa etc. It is amazing how many costs are involved when you start to add them up. Without your help and sponsorship, I could not afford to take part in this significant and life changing opportunity.
I estimate that I will need to raise at least £3000, half of which I intend to save up myself.
If I manage to exceed my funding target, not only will I be blown away by everyone's kind generosity, I would also like to extend my stay a few weeks. While I'm there, it would be fantastic to have the chance to explore and see some of the sights America has to offer. What an exciting adventure!
I hope that you will seriously consider sponsoring me to endure 36 miles of hard core cycling. I really appreciate all of your support. Thank you so much!