By Dottie Brown

My life has been a journey with a varied assortment of rich experiences, and cultural adventures. As I have walked my chosen path, cancer has always been there, like an unwanted companion, forever there, continually spewing its undeniable pain and destruction. Its presence has eaten away at my inner soul, and robbed me of moments of joy and laughter.

The first time I become acquainted with this vile foe, I was a young teenager.  My father, an Oregon farmer, had been a strong, dominant man able to tackle the continuous demands of a farm.   Through my youthful eyes I watched this same man atrophy to a mere skeleton.    Colon cancer ravenously devoured him.   I remember accompanying him to doctor visits and missing the many festivities of my senior year.  He arduously fought to preserve his life, but unfortunately he lost the final battle. Shortly, after my high school graduation my father died painfully in our home.  That solitary event acted as a catalyst for me. My decisions about health and how I treated my body had been forever altered.

Little did I know at the time that this self-commitment would turn into more than a fight to reclaim my health but a commitment to give hope to women who have had mastectomies, and for those who have endured cancer.

By Chris Johnson,
Director of Communications

I love it when a week ends on a good note. But that doesn't quite sum up this week. This week began AND ended on good notes — with some good notes in between.

This week began with the Mercer University women's basketball team touching down in Ghana on our first-ever Global Builders trip to the country. This week, they're just playing basketball, but they'll spend the next two weeks building houses with us, and I'll be there for the final week to capture some of that action and tour our operations and a few sights there. This all helps kick off our “40 Years in Africa” campaign. Click here to learn more about it.

And it ended with the signing of a new covenant partner in North Georgia — the Lanier Fuller Center for Housing — and the imminent signing of our very first covenant partner in Canada. You can learn more about both of these next week at And please go there and check out the news feed, which is so active it's hot to the touch.

This week we also reported a record year for U.S. Builder teams, which you can learn about by clicking here. That follows on the heels of another record year for the Global Builders. And we're getting a lot of interest from people wanting to join our ministry as volunteers, donors and especially covenant partners.

All this growth, though, is not a result of thinking ahead. Actually, I think it's a result of thinking back to the past. When we say we are staying true to the roots Millard Fuller and Clarence Jordan planted more than 40 years ago, it's not empty rhetoric. Those roots are strong, and we see no need to abandon them.

By Carol Hawkins

Today was our last build day. We were actually working on 3 different sites. Two wheelchair ramps were built and my team helped clean and organize a local food bank. As I was working at the food bank I had a few conversations with volunteers about food systems and the importance of food banks in the system.  

By Alex Goldsmith

Well hello there!

We are now resting in our new church home after accomplishing what was arguably the hardest three-day stretch of this trip so far.  This morning we awoke expecting an easy day considering what the past two days had looked like and boy were we in for a surprise! 

We awoke this morning in Pacific Standard Time, which meant an extra hour of sleep!  We got rolling on our 77.1-mile journey at about 7:30am.  I was feeling very fatigued this morning and judging by the moans and groans coming from the riders around me I would say that they felt similar.  It always takes those first twenty miles to get warmed up.  Dottie, our new rider bought us subway sandwiches yesterday, which made for a great breakfast part II at the first rest stop.  Everything moved smoothly as we past through beautiful farm country through out the morning.  Things got a little spicy around mile forty-two.

We began a beautiful descent that lasted about ten miles in all.  We weaved around hairpin turns and flew down the straight always.  Steve was riding ahead of me.  He was so excited about the beautiful views that he started screaming and doing a little dance.  I then realized that the shouts of joy were actually shouts of a bee that had flown into his jersey and stung him at least three times.  When he finally concluded with his dancing we continued on our way.

After our last rest stop the honeymoon was over.  We were once again greeted with a nice afternoon climb.  We pushed our way up testing our leg strength and our mental endurance.  We made it over the first hill and on the way down the short descent we could see the next climb off in the distance.  This one was a monster!  It looked like one of the steepest yet and we were not looking forward to it.  When we arrived at the base of the hill the road veered off to the left avoiding the climb.  Oh happy day!  Ten miles later we arrived to what would become our place of residence for the next two days.  We unloaded the trailer napped and headed to Lewis and Clark State College for showers.  The church now smells like delicious lasagne.

It sounds like there is quite the to-do list for us here in Lewiston for our workday tomorrow.  We work best with lofty goals.  It is hard to believe that this lofty goal of a bike trip is soon to be accomplished.  We shall enjoy every minute of the next week and a half.  As for now I think I will enjoy it by taking a nap until dinner!
Thanks for reading!

By Kristi Bowman