MARION, Iowa — A Marion ministry director is planning a fundraising motorcycle ride across part of Asia early next year. It’s part of his ministry, called “Fire Around the World,” which works to build schools and spread Christianity in remote parts of the world.
Daniel Hurt has building schools in places like the Himalaya Mountains.
“They have their own distinct language,” Hurt said of one tribe he built a school for several years ago. “They never had a written script, never had a school.”
With help of volunteers and local donors, he’s hoping to finish a self-sustaining community he’s been building in an isolated region of Northeast India.
Hurt started this half-million dollar project 3 years ago by digging ponds to stock with fish for food, planting 3,000 rubber trees, and finally, building a school.
“When this school is completed, parents will pay to send their children to this school, and out of the income of all this, that money will sustain the budget and future projects for India.”
Hurt said he’s about three-quarters of the way to his $500,000 goal. To complete the final leg of his fundraising journey, he’ll start another one: a 5,000 mile motorcycle ride from Singapore to the border of China.
Hurt said people can pledge money for every mile of treacherous mountain road he travels. He admits getting it all done on a 40-year old Harley Davidson — with lots of custom parts — could get tricky.
“This is a tractor seat that I had brass plated, and he’s mounted,” said Hurt, referring to Tim Carlson of Carlson Customs, who was making a few repairs on the bike Wednesday. “Nobody takes a Harley over there. When you get over there, there’s not going to be a Harley repair shop along the way.”
With the help of a local artist Scott Takes, Hurt is bringing the spirit of his work along for the ride.
“He took photographs I took and created these portraits on the bike,” said Hurt, showing us a portrait Takes created of an elderly tribeswoman.
Every cent pledged will go toward a project several years in the making.
“When somebody pledges $1, 100 percent goes to the project cost,” Hurt told us.
Hurt plans to have a documentary filmmaker along for the ride. He’ll start that 5,000 mile trip in March next year, and said it should take about 6 weeks. If you want to pledge, you can visit www.firearoundtheworld.org.