Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

Rev. Seok Jin-wu to Meet 5,500km Cross-Country Bike Riding Challenge in June

2017-05-18 17:30

“As a disabled person myself, I’d like to send out a hopeful message to other disabled persons and their families,” said Rev. Seok Jin-wu (49, photo). For the past 11 years, he has pedaled some 6,500 kilometers along four major rivers, and along coastal roads around Jeju Island and the Korean peninsula. When he is on the road, he always wears signs on his chest and backpack saying, “May our society stand together with disabled persons.”

Rev. Seok said, “I’ve met so many disabled persons who were in such despair due to neglect by the world that they had given up on living a humane life. I wanted to give hope to them and their families, so I began riding a bicycle.”

When he was 15 years old, Seok suffered from acute glaucoma and became almost blind. He said, “My sight continues to get worse. Just a few years ago, I was grade 4 disability, but now I’m grade 2. I barely recognize silhouettes.”

Through his rides Seok has raised funds to support overseas short-term mission trips helping orphans, and to pay hospital costs for pastors' children belonging to not-yet-independent churches. His upcoming project is for 20 boys and girls who are disabled or living with their grandparents. Rev. Seok’s goal is to raise funds to send them on the trip “Disabled and Non-disabled Dreaming Together.”

He will start his bike riding challenge in New York, passing through Chicago on his way to Los Angeles via Route 66, taking 90 days. The entire route is 5,500 km long. In 2008 he attempted a cross-country ride, but had to stop midway because of the lack of financial support.

These days, he trains himself by riding 80 km every day for five hours. He said, “A bicycle moves ahead according to how much one pedals. I believe that my legs will be energized by many people who look at disabled persons with love.” [Bank account to send support: Daegu Bank 010-9985-8947 (account holder’s name: Seok Jin-wu)]

Reporter Choi Ki-young (ky710@kmib.co.kr), with Yeara Ahn-Park (yap@kmib.co.kr)
Illustration by Young Eun Lee

Full Story in Korean:
장애인 위해 미국 자전거 횡단 도전하는 시각장애 석진우 목사… 뉴욕∼LA 5500㎞, 희망 라이딩: 대구∼서울 시작으로 11년 간 6500㎞ 달려… ‘장애인이 함께하는 사회 되길’ 메시지

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