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  • Derric Hicks

Bihac - Srebrenica Bicycle Marathon

I really wish I could write well enough to adequately describe my experience of riding across Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦 in memory of those impacted by the genocide in Srebrenica just over 20 years ago. My family and I moved to Sarajevo 10 months ago for my job. While transitioning to a new place, especially a new culture, is always a challenge, we have been overwhelmed by the welcome we have received. Of course, this is a beautiful country, but it’s our new family and friends that have made this feel like home so quickly for us. A few moths ago, we started putting a team together to ride 300 miles across the country, from Bihać to Srebrenica, to honor the memory of the victims of the genocide, to learn more from people’s personal stories, and to just ride alongside those who were personally impacted. Our team of 13 was a combination of riders from the US/Canada and some of my local friends here in Sarajevo. We joined over 300 other cyclists from across the region. It was such an uplifting experience to see riders from so many different backgrounds, cultures, languages....come together to help each other along the ride, share personal stories and even embrace each other as they sought to get a glimpse into each other’s hurt. It was absolutely gut-wrenching to hear the capacity that humans have to do such evil things. I felt helpless knowing that there was nothing I could do or say to take away the hurt....nothing to do but listen. However, I did see so many things that fills me, and hopefully others, with hope. I saw people putting political and religious differences aside and genuinely seeking to listen to and understand each other. I saw people showing compassion, hospitality, generosity, and selflessness. I could sense God smiling down on what He was seeing. As I was riding and needing strength, I could feel God’s pleasure. If I could highlight one thing that God made so evident to me on this ride, it would be this: You don’t have to agree with someone’s political or religious views to be friends and show love. You don’t have to experience or understand someone’s hurts to show compassion. “God never commands us to do something without giving us the grace to perform it. God’s power is always greater than our perceived limitations.”

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