Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Member Bikes Across Country to Raise Money for His Church

Story by Elaine and Jim Buchanan

Wanting to help speed up the building project for his church, member Gary Kasekamp, 74, embarked on a cross-country bike trip this summer.

Mountain View Conference’s Cumberland (Md.) church members have been in the process of building a church and community center facility for four years. The outside is basically finished, but the inside still consists of 2 x 4s. Dedicated to staying out of debt, members save money for each phase of the project, then complete it. They still need $300,000 to complete the project.

This summer Kasekamp dedicated a month of his time to help fundraise through GoFundMe. Kasekamp, a semi-retired professional wood worker, according to the Times News, started his journey in Seattle. Each day he rode about 100 miles, catching up to his wife, Mary, and their grandchildren in an RV each night.

Along the way, he encountered flat tires, water pump issues in the RV and the Rocky Mountains. Kasekap recalls that he pedaled up one mountain that was 11 miles uphill to an altitude of 7,000 feet and “pretty much passed out at the top.” His wife had to come and rescue him by backtracking 70 miles to find him because they lost phone service. The weather was extremely windy at times. He even encountered snow in North Dakota.

After about a month’s journey, the family is now safely home. They did not raise as much money as they hoped, but Gary says the trip was “worth the sacrifice.”

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