There are more than 1000 living languages left in the world that have no written language. Wycliffe works with SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) to see several goals achieved: - To create a written language for every 'living' language in the world including a dictionary. - To preserve every existing, remaining language in the world no matter how few people speak it as their mother tongue. - To bring literacy (the ability to read) in one's mother tongue. - To do all of this by assisting the people of those languages achieve this as 'their own' project. - To translate the Bible (NT at a minimum) into each of these languages after the languages are preserved and as a tool to help these languages be preserved, and of course, so that this number one best seller to this day in English is available in the mother tongue (heart language) of every person in the world. The goal of these races is to get the above objectives *started* in every remaining language in the world by 2025. We who read English as our mother tongue (heart language) are so blessed that we have literacy and have so much written in our language. Wycliffe and SIL has been bringing literacy to others around the world for 75 years and are greatly respected even by many countries that despise the Bible for what it says, they are allowed and encouraged because of the benefits that literacy brings their people. Our team is named: Tenacious Bamali. (Bamali is one of the 10 Ndop languages. The gospel of Luke is currently being translated into that language.) **My personal goal is to raise $5000.** I'm hoping that that number is too low - that I should have aimed for a much higher number. Would you like to help? Your donations are tax deductible in Canada and the US. For USA talk to me and I'll get you the current instructions. The funds raised this year will go towards the 10 languages in what is called the 'Ndop' languages in Cameroon, Africa. What is my participation in the Race to 2025 and Wycliffe in previous years? - I have helped at least 6 people in the physical training to prepare for the race. (Climbing mountains, snowshoeing, X-Country skiing) - Jan (my wife) and I have financially sponsored others running this race the past 5 years. I'm putting my mouth/body where my money is this time. - I have twice gone to Papua New Guinea for about a month to provide training and other support. Ask me about the time I lectured in a language I did not know and do not know to this day (Inoke) with the result that the chief of the Inoke language reversed his edict from "no one is allowed to learn to read" to "every child and every female is required to learn to read" (females teach the children, male and female). I did not know a single word - but I demonstrated 'literacy'. - I have volunteered as a computer technical consultant for over 20 years to Wycliffe USA through Dave Huffman (now retired.) - My wife and I have financially supported many Wycliffe workers for decades, through one we saw a language go from having nothing - not a single word written down, to the publishing of a New Testament in 2013. - My company 'Maintenance Connection Canada' has a program called 'Maintenance Connection Canada gives back', we have through the years financially and physically supported literacy in and for the poorest peoples of the world - and my partner and I intend to do so as long as we are alive. - I attend and financially support Café Logos in Calgary (a periodic meeting where we have an 'ethnic' meal and get to hear from people working in literacy and other such around the world.) There has been a lot more in my lifetime, but the above is a good representative sample. Can an 'old fat' guy like me physically do something this challenging? - I hope so! - For those that don't know, each year I bike several hundred kilometers, all in one day 'for fun' (That's a pedal bike not motor!) And I bike hard to church (30-60km depending on my mood) most Sundays. (About 16 weeks of the year there is snow on the roads, I don't those weeks. But -20C/-4F and 35C/95F weather doesn't stop me - it doesn't get hotter here, but it does get colder. Rain and Wind does stop me though - I'm a fair weather cyclist. 2017 was particularly rainy and ) - When I was 17 I was told by my doctor after x-rays that I only had 1/2 of my lungs due to the many bouts of pneumonia I had getting to that age, he told me it was permanent damage but gave me tips on how to increase capacity in the areas not damaged and I have done reasonably well for someone who lives his life as a desk jockey. - Many people are surprised by the amount of physical activity I do, how long I can sing in choir on one breath - to be blunt, they look at me and see how fat I am and assume that I can't do physical activity: Mountain climbing, hiking for miles with children on my shoulders, biking the highest paved pass in Canada (that is where I have the most difficulty - not much oxygen up there), spelunking - taking many minutes to squeeze through one tight spot, cognizant of the fact I was going to have to come back the same way. - When I give blood, the nurses frequently comment on how low my resting heart rate is and ask me if I am a weight lifter - the only sport they can think of for someone of my, ah, physique - and no, I don't lift weights my arms are as weak as spaghetti noodles. But I know I am not as fit as your average 25 year old (despite my doctor telling me otherwise in early 2017) I am committed to - physically training harder between now and then than I have in any 5 months in the past - and to lose 10lbs so that my performance will be the best I am physically able to do. (I had 'just' lost 6lbs in the 2 weeks prior to this commitment, so total of 16lbs) My team does not expect to be the fastest in the physical challenges -obviously not having invited me on the team! That honour will likely go to a team with 4 'jocks' on it - my son Zander was on one of those teams 2 years ago and yes, they won the physical challenges hands down - I won't be on, air-quotes, 'that' team. But we do intend on striving to be the best we each can be. You see, this race is not about 'winning' personally, this race is about helping hundreds of thousands of people around the world 'win' - by bringing them literacy and other resources and training to get the best advantage of their new found literacy. Our team leader has participated in several of the races and has won the 'Steve Rehn Sportsmanship Award'. Is it safe? There have been several serious injuries though the years including people injured and then stuck on the mountain overnight waiting to be air-lifted out by helicopter with months of hospitalization thereafter. There are dangers in any serious back-country 'race', but Wycliffe and Frontier Lodge work hard to keep the danger as low as possible given the natural risks involved in a sport like this. The very first thing on the agenda, after registration, is the Safety orientation. Am I financially involved this time? Yes, there are costs to participate, we pay all the 'costs' of participating, renting or buying all the equipment we need, food, lodging, onsite safety and training experts. Because of that 100% of YOUR donations go to the literacy project, not one cent of your money goes towards the 'costs' of participating. I also continue to financially support others as well. If you want to participate there are several ways you can: - You can join a team yourself - You can participate financially - You can volunteer on the weekend itself - there are many things that need doing. - You can volunteer to help my wife look after our 4 little munchkins while I'm off training and/or running through the mountains. I won't be taking them hiking on my shoulders on this trip!