Long overdue update

24 02 2012

I’m extremely overdue for an update on how things are progressing with Cool Water Bikes. It has been 19 months since we started looking for space and nearly a year since we signed the lease for our new storefront on Howard Street. Since then, we have gone through a long series of agonizingly slow hiccups. But finally we are filing permits with the city to be able to begin the renovation needed to move in. The exact timeline going forward is still murky, but we are hoping to open in the new space later this spring. Please watch our website (www.coolwaterbikes.org) for news. As we transition to the new space, we really need more volunteers to help make it a success. We are working out details of what those positions will be, but if you are at all interested please give me a call (especially if you are able to commit time weekly during a weekday afternoon).

In the meantime we have continued to spend time building relationships with youth and spreading the word about Cool Water Bikes and Cup of Cool Water. In the last two months, we have had six youth work in the shop, either fixing their own bikes or working towards earning a bicycle. One young man earned a bicycle (along with a helmet and lock) just before Christmas.

We are planning our third annual Poker Ride/Run fundraiser. It will be on Saturday July 14 (10am – 2pm) and will start/finish at Gonzaga University (right next to the Centennial Trail across from the Law School). Details will be up on our website soon. We are looking for sponsors this year to help it grow to be a bigger success. If you are interested in sponsoring or in donating items for the raffle or silent auction, please get in touch soon.

Here are some other events we are planning to participate in this spring and summer. If you can help with any of these, please let us know.

  • March 24-25: Spokane Bike Swap – we will have a booth to sell bikes and parts and advertise CWB. We need help manning the booth as well as for setup and teardown.
  • April 14: Ronde Van Palouse – bicycle race on dirt roads south of Spokane. Volunteer and help advertise CWB to the bike racing community. Or race and wear one of our jerseys.
  • May 26-27: 24-Hours Around the Clock mountain bike race – this will be our fifth year. Join our team or come cheer us on.
  • June 30: Whitworth Criterium – bicycle road race on the Whitworth University campus. Criteriums are great for watching because the racers go around a short course lots of times. Cheer them on each time they go around.

Help needed

24 02 2012

This was in the last CCW newsletter which came out in October. I thought I’d post it here just because it seemed appropriate.

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)

per•se•ver•ance [pur-suh-veer-uh ns] noun
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

I don’t know if it is fair to call this last year a tribulation. However, it has been a time of testing for me personally. One year ago, we began negotiating a lease for space to move Cool Water Bikes. Today, we still have not moved, and I am not sure exactly when we will. There have been many moments in the last year that have felt difficult and discouraging. I have wondered if I have been trying to force something to happen that is more about building my own kingdom instead of God’s kingdom. We ran up against obstacles that at first seemed insurmountable.

I believe God has been teaching me patience and trust in him through all the delays. More accurately, I have seen more and more how little patience and trust I actually have. My only hope is that God’s love through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice is sufficient to cover my lack of trust. Through it all, when I have been anxious about the future, about whether Cool Water Bikes would succeed or fail, I have been reminded, by friends and family (and I think by the Holy Spirit) that this work belongs to God. He has brought us to where we are for his own purposes, and whether this endeavor succeeds (however we want to define that) or fails, he will continue to be about his business of rescuing and redeeming the hearts and minds of myself and the youth we serve here at Cup of Cool Water.

Although Cool Water Bikes is part of Cup of Cool Water, we have been running it with a separate budget in order to gauge the sustainability of this thing we call Redemptive Development. Cool Water Bikes is funded by a combination of donations and retail sales and service. We hope that as the business grows we will be able to add paid job-training positions for youth then begin funding other programs within Cup of Cool Water. Right now, those plans are on hold.

This year, we have averaged more than $1000 per month behind budget. The amazing part is that retail income has actually exceeded what we expected for the year (and that budget was set assuming we would have moved into the new building part way through the year). While donations have increased slightly over last year, there is still a large gap to bridge. The Cup of Cool Water Board of Directors has been extremely generous in their encouragement and support, specifically by supplementing the CWB budget from the general ministry budget. I am grateful beyond words for their support for this project, but I know that the current situation cannot continue indefinitely. I need help.

Can you help? We need an extra $1000 each month to meet our current needs. We need one-time gifts totaling $3000 to cover materials, sprinkler installation, and startup expenses in the new location. If you can give either monthly or once, please make your checks out to Cool Water Bikes (to help our bookkeeper). We can also take Visa or MasterCard if that is easier for you. Also, if you think your church or other group would like to hear more about how we are attempting to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ through Cool Water Bikes, please let me know. I would love to come and share our story. If you know people who are interested in bicycling, please advertise for us. I would love to give you some flyers and business cards to hand out. Call or email to get in touch: 838-8580 or noah@coolwaterbikes.org.

So what about the new shop? We are getting closer and tentatively hope that it will open this winter. We have a contractor lined up who has volunteered their time to oversee the physical improvements that need to happen. But there are still some hurdles to clear before we can open the new store. It is still impossible to make a very firm timeline because every time I have tried to do that before, each step has taken ten times as long as I expected. Will you pray with me for perseverance, character, and hope through the Holy Spirit?

I need it.