USA (MNN) — Prior to the Haiti earthquake in 2010, UNICEF estimated the country had about 380,000 orphans. After the disaster, they estimated that number had doubled.
That’s why cycling pianist Alan Curtis Tripp is riding 3,500 miles from one end of America to the other: to raise funds and awareness for the Haiti House project with Kids Alive International.
“What I’m trying to raise up is an orphanage for twelve children in Haiti. And the purpose of that is to get them off the street. If they [don’t] have that house, they might not survive,” says Tripp.
This wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment idea. Tripp has wanted to do this for years.
“I had the vision. I felt like God put it on my heart about 8 years ago, and I never got the chance to do it. But it never went away; it was just one of those things that was on my heart. Finally I got a few months this summer to go for it and to combine it with a few piano concerts.”
For the last two years, Tripp and co-worker Scott Griffin have partnered with Kids Alive to promote the ministry at their “Captivating Keyboards” concerts.
“It came to our minds that we want to do something that’s just specifically for Kids Alive… That’s what this trip is all about.”
Having started in Washington State and planning to end in North Carolina, Tripp is currently biking through Tennessee. After the hundreds of miles he’s put behind him, he says there have been many challenges, but Jesus has kept him safe.
“I’ve totally enjoyed God’s provision and faithfulness. He’s kept me safe, and that is no small thing, especially when you’re dodging semis and running from dogs that want to eat you.”
Bike repairs, dangerous night rides, and severe weather have been some of the challenges, and for the last two weeks he’s been riding completely alone, without a support vehicle.
Still, Tripp says, “Along the way, God’s provided a lot of miracles.” He explains he feels closer to Jesus every day.
“I said ‘Lord, you have me on this journey. Most people would be so lonely right now; they’d be out of their minds. But I feel Your comfort right now. I know You’re with me, and I know You have me on this journey for a purpose in order to save lives in Haiti. You’ve called me to this, to share Your Word and to share Your Gospel across the U.S.”
And Tripp has. He’s been able to go into a Native American reservation and share the Gospel with the people. He’s also been able to connect with people through his music. “It’s been a journey, and it’s been a joy,” he says.
“It’s not only life-changing for me to be seeing the glory of God in creation all over from the mountains to whatever, but also to be able to save lives in Jesus’s name.”
Tripp knows how fragile life can be. “I was told that I wouldn’t survive, as a little kid. I had Spinal Meningitis twice and something called Pneumococcal Sepsis, which usually if you do survive, you don’t have your arms or your legs. So God definitely gave me a second chance, literally, at life,” Tripp explains.
His sickness has helped him push forward and put his faith and trust in Jesus. Though he wasn’t supposed to be able to get out of bed, he’s now cycling the entire country.
“It makes you realize how precious life is, and at the same time, how short life is, how important life is. We only have a certain amount of time here to do what God’s called us to do, and to not waste that.”
How Can You Help?
“I can’t save the world, but I can save one person at a time… Together, we can make a difference. We can help others. We can deliver people out of poverty and show them Christ.”
While Tripp finishes his last few weeks of riding, he asks for your help.
“We’ve raised about $3,000 so far on the trip, but it actually costs $60,000 to raise up the Haiti House because the Haiti House is being built in an earthquake-prone area… I’m just going on faith that He’ll provide the rest.”
Click here to take action. Every dollar helps! The last day is July 24.