The first winter storm of the season is always a bit of a surprise. The day starts sunny and bright; construction workers run around on roof tops in t-shirts; moms take their kids to the park; homeowners put their plants on the porch to squeeze the last few rays of sunshine out of the fall. Then the storm front builds on the horizon. The roofers throw down tiles as fast as army ants; moms hurry their kids back home in strollers and bouncing on their hip; homeowners hustle their plants inside as the wind kicks up, blowing leaves from one yard to the next. There is a bite in the wind. And the storm descends. The snow swirls, then the white begins to accumulate, visibility ranges from vague to nothing. Whatever needed to be done is done, and everyone hunkers down to wait out the storm. Except for Eddie. And Phil and me.
We were heading home from Billings to Rapid with a stop off in Sheridan for fuel. The main difference between us and Eddie was that we were on four wheels and Eddie was on two. Of course, Phil had to connect. The front surfaces of Eddie’s bike were caked with ice and snow. The only part of him that we could see were his eyes.
“You remind me of my sons! I’m Phil.”
“Where are you headed?”
“Billings to Denver.”
“Eddie, I have to ask. Are you doing this because you have to or because you want to?”
“Because I have to.” Bold, determined sigh.
“Eddie, do you know God?”
His eyes lit up. “Yes!”
“Can I pray for you?”
Again his eyes showed his approval.
Phil prayed for Eddie’s safety and courage and then gave him his cell number.
“Let me know when you get there. We’ll be praying for you all the way to the finish line.”
This isn’t just a cool, epic story. There is a parallel here that we don’t want you to miss.
The team at Family Heritage Alliance works on public policy. Much like the seasons of the year, politics has an ebb and flow, a dynamic of preparation, accomplishment, regrouping, planning. And much like Eddie, despite all the planning we can end up doing our work in some very uncomfortable climates. Not all our work is because we want to; much of it is because we have to. In order to see God honored in South Dakota, we have to take a stand, at times even opposing our friends. In order to see life being valued, we battle for the unborn and the elderly. In order to see families thrive, we support the education of our children from a Biblical worldview. And the climate is not always favorable.
But like Eddie, people come alongside us at FHA to pray for us, to point us toward resources and contacts, and to support us financially towards our goals. In this season in America and in the state of South Dakota, we cannot do this work without you. Your prayers and financial support are key in the success of this journey.
You may be wondering what happened to Eddie. He texted us late that night. He stopped in a small Wyoming town to spend the night. The hotel receptionist gave him a room and a meal at no charge. I’m sure that not only fed his body, but his soul as well. Eddie told Phil that he had no idea how his tires stuck to the road, but they did. “God must have done that.”
We are thankful that we reached out to Eddie and didn’t miss being a part of his adventure. Will you join us in being a part of what we can accomplish this year through FHA?
Today is #GivingTuesday, and the beginning of our end-of-year fundraiser. The recent Stand Banquets gave us a much needed boost, but we need an additional $20,000 in 501c4 Non-tax-deductible funds in order to be successful in the 2019 Legislative Session. We also are in need of $20,000 in 501c3 tax-deductible funds to support our continued work! Whether you are looking for a year-end tax-deduction or have a desire to support our efforts at the capitol, we need your help to reach our goal of raising $20,000 in 501c3 and $20,000 in 501c4 funds by January 31st!
As always, checks to Family Heritage Alliance or FHA Action can be sent to PO Box 329, Rapid City, SD 57709. Thank you for standing with us through all types of weather!
-Phil & Charlotte Shively