Monday, March 28, 2011

Hope and Courage Across America

While I was changing out the dishes from the winter set to the everyday ones, a photo on the newsprint I used for packing caught my eye.  With only 1 limb, he'll bike across U.S, read the 2008 headlines.

It's a story about Bob Mortimer and his family who were getting ready to set off on a bike trip from their home in Gig Harbor to New York.  They hoped to make it to the Statue of Liberty by September 11.  I wondered if they'd made it, and what I could learn about this courageous man.  So I looked him up.  What I learned from the website and the article tell the following story.

Bob Mortimer was a party-er.  In 1976, when he was 21, Bob and his brother Tom were driving home from Olympia when Tom took a corner too fast.  Neither was injured when they hit a power pole and slid down an embankment, but when Bob climbed back up to the road in the dark he didn't see the power line.  When his left arm touched the downed line,12,500 volts of electricity zapped him.  Ultimately both legs and his left arm had to be amputated.

His party life continued for two more years.  Darla Hollis, whom he met through his sister, challenged him to deal with his problems rather than drink and do drugs.  She took him to church, and he heard the message that changed his life.  He placed his faith in Christ, who filled him with hope and courage.

Mortimer gave up the drugs and alcohol, married Darla and, in time, began to share his story.  In 1989 they started Bob Mortimer Motivational Ministries, and he has spoken around the country and overseas.

On May 17, 2008, the Mortimer family -- Bob, Darla, Nicole (19), Grant (15) and Chanel (10)  -- left Gig Harbor to cross the U.S, on bicycle.  They traveled the 2500 miles in less than four months, arriving at the Statue of Liberty on September 12, stopping along the way to meet people and share their story.  They estimate they made personal contact with 75,000 folks and untold numbers through newspaper, TV magazine, radio. and internet.

They will make their second trip, this time from LA to Jacksonville, Florida, from April through September of this year  Put your hope in Christ and have the courage to use that hope to face the challenges of your life is their message.  And their mission? 
  • to celebrate the undefeated human spirit
  • to inspire hope in a God that cares
  • to stir courage in the face of trials
  • to make a difference.
You can check them out and follow their upcoming trip at

No comments: