Bike for Bibles

Bike for Bibles Ontario Ride, Part 6 (Day 5)

Today was the most arduous day of the ride.  We knew this coming in:  the organizers I worked with probably wrestled over the route for today more than any other on the whole journey.  From Stirling to Millbrook, we had to traverse the Oak Ridges Moraine, among other topographical phenomena, and the hills were steep and numerous – really numerous.  Our riders were ready, however, and they met the task well.  I had more company in the “sag wagon” (the vehicle with the bike trailer at the back of the pack) than usual, but with the heat, humidity, and hills, some riders just needed a break.  (One of our young riders managed to sleep at some length on the floor of my van, which is testimony to how tired he really was!)

A Roman Catholic youth group hosted us in the canal-side park in Campbellford.  This was a helpful break for the riders, and a chance to learn that the design of the original Toonie (Canada’s two-dollar coin) was created by someone from Campbellford.

We visited Roseneath United Church for lunch, and were blessed with their hospitality – they even had balloons out for us!  Shortly after lunch, we took some colourable Scripture selections and stories to the Child Care Centre at the Alderville First Nation.  The children sang a song with us, and we had a good laugh together.  These two stops were a welcome break from the hills!

Other than the loss of a cell phone at the Bewdley waterfront (on the west shore of Rice Lake) on our afternoon break, the day was uneventful.  I was struck, however, at the use of the spiritual gift of encouragement among our riders.  From the back of the pack, I saw stronger riders come back to help the slower ones by riding alongside them, pushing their backs so that they can get that extra little burst of energy.  It was truly moving.  (See the fuzzy cell phone photo above.)

We are being billeted tonight; several families from the churches of the town of Millbrook are hosting us.  It began with a pot luck supper at Millbrook Christian Assembly, the local Pentecostal Church.  (As a Calvinist, the only kind of ‘luck’ in which I believe is ‘pot luck’, and these folks made sure I remain a believer!)  One particularly hospitable family opened up part of their fence so that our motor home could be parked on the back lawn!  And thanks to another neighbour who chooses not to secure his or her router, I am able to blog tonight before bedding down.

The gifts of encouragement and hospitality have been evident in huge ways this week.  God has been, and is, so good.

Tomorrow, we head for Bobcaygeon, via the Peterborough Lift Lock and Lakefield.  We look forward to a somewhat ‘flatter’ day!

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Encouragement From The Word

Pedalling For a Purpose

We started out early last Monday morning from Lindsay, spending nights in Cobourg, Picton, Kingston, and tonight, Stirling.  Tomorrow, we head for Millbrook, then Bobcaygeon, and finally, back to Lindsay.  In total, our riders will have ridden their bicycles over 700 km, through some very beautiful terrain, and through all kinds of summer weather – though mostly hot, sunny weather.

 

            These riders – more than twenty of them, ranging in age from 12 to 78 – have pedalled hard uphill and coasted downhill, sweating and squinting and getting grease “tattoos” on their calves from their bicycle chains.  Why?

 

            Because they believe in the Bible cause.  Specifically, they believe in the value of the work of the Canadian Bible Society as it seeks to translate, publish, distribute, and encourage the use of Scripture throughout Canada, Bermuda, and around the world.

 

            This year, our riders have raised money to provide a Bible partnership with church ministries that offer English as a second language classes across the country.  I’ve been working with the Southern Ontario Cooperative of ESL Ministries (southern-ontario-esl-ministries.blogspot.com) to craft the most appropriate Bible format and choice of translation for use with those who are new to Canada.  It’s an exciting venture.

 

            It used to be the ministry of the Canadian Bible Society to provide a Bible to every person who became a Canadian citizen at citizenship court.  Some years ago, we were denied that privilege by the government, and since then, we’ve been trying to figure out how to reach out to new Canadians with the Word of God by some other means.  The ESL partnership seemed the perfect opportunity, especially since it often reaches people in the first few months they are in the country – perhaps the time they are most open to receiving the gospel.

 

            Our riders recite every day – more than once, usually – the motto that spurs them on:  THROUGH OUR SPOKES, GOD SPEAKS.  Because of the work these cyclists are doing, and the help they are receiving from our roadies, the Word of the Lord is going to reach more and more hearts.  And with some 400,000 people emigrating to Canada last year, and the number expected to increase in future years, the need will be great.

 

            [T]hose who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40.31, NLT).  They also will ride their bicycles for the glory of God, and achieve their goal.

 

            If you would like to give toward the Bike for Bibles Ontario Ride cause, please click here.  You can follow my daily journal entries about Bike for Bibles on my blog.

 

            Our riders love support.  If you would like to come to Millbrook on Friday, Bobcaygeon on Saturday, or Lindsay on Sunday to cheer them on, please join us.  Email me if you need details on the route.  I’ll be happy to point it out to you. 

 

            God’s best!  I trust that through whatever you do – riding, walking, driving, breathing – God will speak through it to you and to others.