A few weekends ago, Lowell participated in an adventure race with his cousins Stephen & Jordan, and his brother-in-law (once removed) Lance. (The same dudes that did the triathlon with us.)
The two-day race for Extreme Missions and Bible translation was put on by Wycliff Bible translators for the purpose of raising both awareness and finances for Bible translation and mission work in other countries.
The boys were team “Feroge” (each of the teams were named after a Sudanese tribe). I knew their challenges included mountain biking, canoeing, hiking, orienteering, and linguistics, but I (like them) had no idea how grueling it was going to be.
This is what the race included:
Nearly two hours of white water canoeing, ending in a one-kilometre portage.
Immediately after that, a hike up a 1,600 meter mountain, from where they had to find their way back via a different route using compass and map to arrive at the finish line eight to ten hours later.
As the teams raced along they had to meet a number of challenges: Set up a campsite correctly and quickly, following directions given in Swahili or Japanese by native speakers. Find a specific location on a map of Japan with the names printed in the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. Memorize a lengthy Bible passage.
The next day started with a timed hand-and-foot climb up a ten-storey high rock wall, another hike, then a two-hour race on mountain bikes to a narrow lake where they used canoes to ferry the bikes and themselves across to a simulated African village. Four mono-lingual speakers of Dinka, a Sudanese language, awaited them there, and the racers were challenged to translate a list of words from English into Dinka.
From there more biking, more hiking and finally rappelling down the cliff with a sprint to the finish line.
(L to R: Stephen, Jordan, Lowell, Lance)
And who raised the most money? Stephen sure did! And he won a mountain bike for his (and his wife's!) solid effort:
It was the effort of all these intensely athletic individuals that raised more than $25,000 to return exiled Sudanese national Bible translators to their homeland so they can continue Bible translation among their own people:
**The technical, good-sounding text in this blog was provided by Jack Popjes (a Wycliff missionary) and the pictures were taken the Wycliff photographer. Thanks boys.