Church of the Nazarene - South Asia Field
Riding a Bike for Jesus
and the Children in South Asia
The road pitched up steeply as I battled the mountainous climb over the Great Divide in the Apache National Forest in New Mexico. I pedaled my bicycle in the dark, the headlights shone on the road and my wife, Sharon, followed me in the SAG (support and gear) vehicle. It certainly was not wise to be riding in the dark, but I was giving all my strength to get to the summit before Sharon realized the danger and demanded I conclude the day’s ride. Suddenly, as she came to her senses, she rolled down her window and called out, “David, you have ridden 103 miles today. The mountain will be here tomorrow. It is dark and dangerous. Get off the bicycle now.” My legs were already shaking from the trauma of riding 103 miles in the mountains. I was exhausted, but pleased with our efforts for the day as God gave us strength.
This mountainous ride over the Great Divide was during the third week of our 2011 ride across the United States for the children of South Asia. As I drank the recovery drink, Sharon laid her hands on me, as she did at the end of each day’s ride. She prayed, “Lord, we thank you for this day and for giving us strength and protection as David rode. We ask you to bless this ride on behalf of the children of South Asia.” We were in total darkness. Sharon cranked the ignition and as the vehicle’s lights came on, a huge mountain lion walked across in front of the Tahoe. Sharon and I looked at each other and realized God had protected us from being on the mountain lion’s dinner plate. In less than a mile, as Sharon drove up the mountain, she spotted a large black bear on the side of the road standing on its hind legs. If I had not obeyed Sharon’s wise call to conclude the day’s ride, the mountain lion or the bear could have prematurely ended not only the ride, but probably my life. That was a day in our life as we rode our third Compassion 575 bicycle ride for the children of South Asia.
You may ask, what is this all about? And why is a 52 year-old man riding a bicycle 3,100 miles across the United States? The journey for our family began after my brother’s first trip to Bangladesh. Glen saw the incredible needs of children in Bangladesh and God laid on his heart to do something about it. Glen set a goal to run 150 miles in two days on an elliptical machine in late 2007. Then after taking the first Work and Witness team to Bangladesh in the spring of 2008, God spoke to me about riding a bicycle in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina along the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway to continue the fundraising efforts for the children of South Asia. The distance of our first ride was 575 miles, thus the name Compassion 575.
Our friends, Nazarene churches, and South Asia Field partners caught a vision and began investing sacrificially to sponsor children in Child Development Centers (CDCs). Since Glen’s elliptical run and our first bicycle ride in 2009, over 900,000 US-$ have been raised to provide hope to children in extreme poverty. 43 CDCs have been sponsored. We have witnessed first-hand God’s use of CDCs to provide hope through a faith-based education. The impact these schools are having in villages and communities in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh is truly incredible. In 2017, we sponsored our first CDC in Pakistan. Praise the Lord! We are grateful for all those who have sacrificed to sponsor children. God has truly done something incredible and we give Him all the glory. Sharon and I are so thankful that God allowed us to be part of this ministry and fundraising initiative.
Compassion 575 is a fundraising partner for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries – South Asia. Join us on the journey as we continue this fundraising effort to sponsor needy children in CDCs. For more information and online giving click here…