Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG
Bicycles with full travel bags, tents, six weeks on the road, no support car, no fixed accommodations, heat, wind, mist, rain and chill! That is a short summary of this year’s (and the ninth in total) bicycle trip of the NINIWA Team from Poland! The pilgrimage’s destination was the British Isles and the many Polish who for various reasons were forced to emigrate there. Many of these emigrants miss their families, friends, and language.A record group of 37 cyclists, with Fr. Tomasz MANIURA in the lead, traveled 5,136 km in 42 days. They traveled through Poland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales. This year’s expedition was called “The Joy of Life”! Every day the cyclists brought with them and shared an evangelical call to the people they met through a smile and kind words. They were also strengthened by St. Thomas More’s “Prayer for good humor,” which they prayed every day.
NINIWA Team cyclists have already traveled over 41,000 km and have been in 47 countries of the world. Their enormous distances have taken them to Jerusalem, through Siberia, and also south to Gibraltar, west (Cabo da Rocha, Portugal) and to Nordkapp, Finland, the northernmost point in Europe. Every year’s trip starts in Poland.
Who are the participants? Most of them are amateur travelers from Poland and even abroad. They don’t need the strength of a marathon runner! The power of the group is prayer every day, the Eucharist, faith in their message and the common support of their fellow travelers. Without those features, their travel regime would not work. As the cyclists themselves say, “The expedition teaches life!”
NINIWA Team is a part of the Polish Oblate Youth Ministry NINIWA. Another expedition will start next year just after the World Youth Days in Poland. Fr. Tomasz secretly dreams about going to the real Nineveh (the biblical city, now situated north of Mosul, Iraq). Unfortunately, the political situation might prevent this from happening.