Friday, March 25, 2016

A Dry Run...



As March comes around in Peru, we start to see more movement each morning. We begin to see adorable little brown-skinned kids strutting their new backpacks to the bus stops. We see large groups of youth happily taking an exit from university classes as they migrate across the avenue. We see and experience the hustle and bustle of back to school shoppers preparing for the year. I am pretty certain that it happens the same in many places around the globe.
For our youngest daughter Emma, this year's first day at a new school was a highly anticipated event. After the hours of psychological evaluations and testing, rigorous shopping to procure the items on the lists of required school supplies, and trying to find school clothes for a 13 year old girl that would suffice, she had a full plate of stress before the year began.
First Day at a New School...Smiles
The day finally arrived. We wanted to make a big deal about it. She is totally worth it! We loaded up the car with her countless bags of school supplies, backpack, lunch pack, and a few other items. Regardless of what comes out of her mouth, there is always some uncertainty in a new situation.  I was quite sure there was a bit of stress weighing on Emma's heart, but she was rather excited and overcame the anxiety.
We began the short drive to the school. The road winds through a farming area and is riddled with mud and irrigation canals that seem to keep traffic from speeding through. As the school came into view, we noticed there was a lack of activity for what would seem to be the first day of school. We weren't early nor late. We were alone.
As we contemplated our situation, we reviewed the information from the school as to the start date of classes. We discovered that there was a confusing bit where the date did not correspond with the day of the week. The leap year troll somehow caused the confusion.  We headed home and celebrated as if it was her first school holiday.
Emma's focus for the past weeks was on starting school. She thought it would have been that day. However, it became a test run.  All the emotion and pressure was all for not...was it really?
Emma received another chance.  The pressure subsided. We prepared for another first day of school. This time she was more ready that she was the day before. She was experienced. She had already taken the drive. She had already experienced the emotional pressure of arriving at the school and wondering what to do. What an opportunity for this young girl to do over. It was like a dress rehearsal. She had nothing to lose. In fact, it was a blessing for her. A dry run.
Isn't it nice to have a practice round? All too often we view a situation like Emma's as a disappointment or wasted day. Instead, I challenge you to take it as an opportunity to improve and use it as practice for the real show. Be thankful for the "disappointments" in your life. They are opportunities for improvement.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Launched!



     An idea had been brewing in our minds. Since our trip to Lima to participate in the first ever international hard enduro race in Peru, Alex and I could not stop thinking about the potential.
     Let me introduce you to Alex. He has become a good friend and riding buddy. He also operates a motorcycle business in Cusco. He is a former motocross champion in Peru and loves riding motos as much as I do.
     Alex had a bad accident years ago and most people thought he was done with any type of competitive riding. I have since discovered that Alex is not like that. He has been on a recovery path for a while. When I first started hanging with Alex, he was quite timid on the motorcycle. In fact, there were times when he would ask me to ride his bike through a tough spot. Not the case anymore. I have made it a point to push this guy. He wants to do better. He wants to become stronger. He wants to be able to ride more technical stuff. Its inspiring to see Alex going for it.
Alex and I exploring routes for our new venture!
     Alex is somehow surrounded by missionaries.  Part of his therapy is to build the muscles in his replaced hip. He needs to teach his brain to connect with the muscles that surround his hip and left leg. Alex, while spending much time at the gym, happened to connect with Joe. I know Joe because he is a Christian missionary working here in Cusco. Joe happens to be a gym rat with a lot of knowledge about physical training. Joe has taken on Alex as a workout partner. This is part of Joe's ministry. He has been gifted with physical training knowledge and a deep love for people. Joe and I talk about Alex most times we are together. I make sure that Joe is pushing Alex to his limits. Alex is thankful to have Joe in his life and continues to praise his support.
     In a missionary world, we often work outside the standard mission stereotype. In fact, that is pretty much most of my world. I don't preach, nor plant churches. I don't hold evengelism seminars nor do I stand on corners trying to reach the multitudes. I have become good friends with Alex. That is where I shine. I love what I do. I am 100% convinced that when our ministry includes what we love to do, we have a much bigger impact on those around us. Just like Joe. He loves working out in the gym, he loves people, and is a faithful guy that shares his faith not just with words, but with his life.
     Back to Alex---After spending some time in Lima with hundreds of enduro dirtbikers like ourselves, Alex and I began talking and developing an idea to bring riders from Lima to Cusco to ride our trails. Each weekend the guys from Lima go to the same place to ride. Its good, don't get me wrong, but it ain't no Cusco! The Lima riders dream about riding in the Andes, but the logistics are just plain difficult. That is where our plan comes together.
Here is our new FB page for Hard Enduro Cusco...check out on the right, 9601 reached this week.
     Alex and I built a specific business model to meet the need for the riders from Lima. All they have to do is drop their motorcycles off at a transport company on Wednesday, buy a plane ticket to Cusco for early Saturday morning, and we do the rest. They come and ride for two full days in the area which they have been dreaming about for years. We do all of the logistics and guide them through the massive amounts of trails, then we send them home on Sunday evening after two days of bliss in the Andes.
     We just launched the program on Friday and are beginning to schedule dates for groups from Lima. We have already had over 9500 visits to our Hard Enduro Cusco Facebook page. It has been spreading like wildfire. Alex and I are super excited to be working together on this venture. It's amazing how God puts our passions together, places us in connection with specific people, then makes it all happen.  Please pray for Alex and I and our new venture. This is a great offshoot for MotoMission and just opens up the market for us in a whole new and fun way.

Stay tuned for more updates and keep the wheels down!
Scott Englund
MotoMission Peru