Listening to Stories

By Janina Graves

Enjoyed seeing this adventurous gal (Mallory Ross) in Clinton, OK this morning. What an incredible journey she’s been on for the Imagine Bike Tour! We met at a downtown diner for breakfast and coffee before thunderstorms started rolling in. Below, she is pictured with me (Janina) and my father Rev. Charlie Graves, District Superintendent of the Clinton District.

Soon, the 3-week tour will be over, but what a privilege to hear her discuss biking through Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. One of her reflections specifically focused on the challenges of rural communities. Water issues, shrinking populations, and diminishing financial resources were just a few of the serious issues that folks in these towns were facing. She expressed surprise and gratitude at the ease with which people were beginning to share their stories and sometimes even intimate disclosure of the day-to-day challenges of their lives.

Most vividly, Mallory is recalling the incredible hospitality with which she has been welcomed by families and faith communities alike. We are so very proud of her perseverance and patience!