Bicycling Across America to Support “Mission Aviation Fellowship” and to Spread the Gospel

1984 Univega Specialissima sport touring bicycle

On Friday, July 15th, Jason Bauserman happened upon Tom Thwing at the Durbin Library.  Thwing, who lives in New Castle, Colorado, has been riding his vintage 1984 Univega Specialissima sport touring bicycle across the United States in support of Mission Aviation Fellowship and spreading the Gospel.  After Jason contacted us, we were able to do a quick interview with Tom over the phone.

“Hi, I am Tom Thwing, I am bicycling across America” said Thwing. “I am sharing the Gospel and also sharing about Mission Aviation Fellowship. We are an organization that has about fifty small plains that we use to help out people who live in isolated places like in the jungle or places where they need assistance to have things brought in quickly or people brought out (for) medical services.”

May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors

Jason Bauserman and His Grandson, Garrett, pictured with Tom Thwing (from Thwing’s Facebook) page

“This summer I have just really enjoyed taking a new journey through the Appalachians. I’ve never been on (U.S.) 250 and I really enjoyed going up over Cheat Mountain and going through the forest and the coolness and seeing the country-side-so beautiful.  I used to live in Seattle, and I’d bike from Seattle to Boston and back. This is my fiftieth journey across America. ”

What do you think about West Virginia?

“I have really enjoyed it -I took an extra day in Elkins. I just stopped in for a church Bible study and I just really felt at home, and it’s so peaceful here. It is so nice to be away from the interstate freeways. Back West there are places where the only road available is the interstate. Back where I live -I live right off the interstate – and for me to ride to work, I have to ride the interstate, so I really love being able to ride these country roads.”

What makes these trips special for you Tom?

“There’s two things that make these trips valuable to me. One is I’ve always dreamed of spending more of my life and more of my time praying. So, as I am going down the road, I love to sing praises to God, so pretty much the whole day I am singing praises to God. It’s just a dream come true to be able to do that. And the second thing that I’ve been able to do is I’ve seen that god actually sends people across my path. I call it a divine appointment, it’s like God meant for me to meet them and to share about the Lord and about Mission Aviation Fellowship. And, those are the things that really make the trip for me. I love to just tell them about what God has done for us and what God is doing now, and how people can get involved helping others who the world has kind of forgotten about, people who are in isolated places and we aren’t even aware of their existence, but Mission Aviation Fellowship with their planes are able to make contact and help them get help from the rest of the world. We, for example do a lot of work in Haiti flying in relief supplies and rebuilding supplies. We currently are flying refugees out of Lesotho in Africa.”

“Many places where there is conflict, governments have come to value the amount of humanitarian work that is being done. And also, we are able to help the Christian workers and the missionaries who have need to be transported into the remote areas. It saves lots and lots of time if you do it with an airplane.”

How can people find out more?

“You can find out lots of stuff by looking up”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“Just that it’s been really fun and beautiful riding through West Virginia.”

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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