26 Oct Day 08 From Guillonville to Mont St Michel
August 8th, 2017 – Day 8 of a 26 day, 11 flight and 4 country adventure, Capturing Grace in France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain.
Mine and Carissa’s last day with the World Without Orphans Cycling team was epic as we reached the Atlantic ocean and the spectacular Mont St Michel in the Normandy area of France. One of France’s most recognizable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
Reaching the Atlantic ocean has been almost a month in coming since the teams departure from Germany and the celebration was great!
The time that Michael, Carissa and myself have had with the team these past eight days have been unforgettable and I look forward to sharing more of their stories in the days to come.
I now write this post from the country of Ukraine and I miss the team greatly. These men and boys have a contagious appreciation for life as a result of their relationship with the one that breathed into us the breath of life. They have experienced all matter of atrocities yet continue to love big through the grace of God. This has been an unforgettable eight days in France and my heart is grateful.
DETAILS ABOUT THIS TRIP-
I am so excited to photograph The World Without Orphans Bike Tour as thy make their way from Paris to the Atlantic Ocean. In just two days from today I will ride with this team as they make their way through Chartres, Le Mans, Angers and Nantes, ending at the west coast of France in the town of Saint-Nazaire.
“This bike campaign is organized by partners in the World Without Orphans movement and is being led by Gennadiy Mokhnenko, pastor and director of Republic Pilgrim, which is the largest rehabilitation program for street youth in Ukraine. Gennadiy and his wife Lena are parents to 32 previously abandoned children.
“My adopted children used to live on the streets. Some of them were as young as 4, and we knew if we didn’t take them, most would end up dead or in prison,” Mokhnenko said.
Gennadiy understands that his own family is not the typical example for adopting children, but he believes strongly that everyone can do something. See the beautiful video
about Gennadiy Mokhnevnko’s story of adopting these thirty two children. I highly recommend watching Almost Holy
as well, a full length movie about Gennadiy and his life’s work in Ukraine.
The World Without Orphans around-the-world bike tour seeks to advocate for orphans in need of families, encourage national adoption in the countries where they ride, and encourage the development of solutions to end orphanhood worldwide.
The World Without Orphans Bike Tour began in 2011 when a group of Ukrainian orphans from Mariupol started riding eastward to raise awareness about orphans. Their quest continued on for 4 summers, and led them to far-east Russia, covering a total of 15,000 kilometers. Tens of thousands attended gatherings that were set up as part of the tour, while hundreds of thousands heard the message about adoption through local media campaigns. As the team continued on in their ride east they regularly heard news of families who had stepped forward to foster and adopt children as a direct result of the campaign.” – From the World Without Orphans website
This year these courageous young bikers started in Bochum, Germany on July 16th and have made their way through Germany and Switzerland before this years tour ends at the west coast of France. While on the tour, the group will speak at public events, hold press conferences, and meet with foster and adoptive parents throughout Europe.
[In August my daughter Carissa and I set off on a 26 day, 11 flight and 4 country adventure, Capturing Grace with our camera’s as we journeyed through France, Ukraine, Russia and Spain. I am now back at home in the US, posting about the experience of those twenty six days from my journal]