The 2016 Ride for Hope was held on June 18. We had a turnout of only 10 bikers, making the event a bust in our finite human eyes. The discouragement seemed to heap itself on our shoulders after weeks of running around town securing sponsors, posting flyers and coordinating last minute details. Was Ride for Hope a failure??
But GOD! He sees more than we can see. He doesn’t measure an event based on money raised or the amount of people who come. He looks at the heart and delights in our obedience. We are grateful that numbers do not determine our “success” or represent all that God did that day or any day.
Funds were raised for an upcoming Swaziland trip and to benefit local ministry as well, but more than that, we saw God honored in many ways. Riders had a blast, the rain held and they revved those engines. Their faces had smiles and they enjoyed their bikes with gusto. A bunch of strangers loved each other and had fun together whether they were riding bikes, hanging out or serving. Volunteers came to spend almost all of their Saturday in grilling burgers and hot dogs, cooking baked beans, representing Grace Klein Community and the BeMoreRandom store, and enjoying conversations with new people…so many kind hearts giving and serving with beautiful attitudes!
Why is this event not a bust? It could be a million reasons, but one close to the top may be for the one biker who does not “do” church, who hasn’t “been” in 30 years. But that day, he did! He hung out with the church and hopefully he felt loved and valued and hopefully he realized he doesn’t have to “go” to anything, because church is the people of God and Jesus wants to hang out with him on a motorcycle through some country roads on a random Saturday. And Jesus wants to hang out with him every other day too.
When we serve together we build community with one another, trusting one another a little more with our joys and our sorrows. Relationships are more valuable than any money we raise for any initiative. The only reason we even hold fundraisers is because of relationships. We love God and love people. If a community event brings glory to God, unites people, shares Jesus, and grows us in our obedience to Christ, then wow, what we did mattered.
Our hearts are behind Ride for Hope because we long to raise funds to help orphans locally and globally. We see some areas we can improve on for next year, but for this year, we praise God for unity.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
We are grateful to all of you who prayed and physically gave. We love how people can serve and care for children in Birmingham and Swaziland.
We would appreciate your prayers for upcoming ways we can share about Swaziland. A team of community volunteers desire to travel to Swaziland in September, but we need more funds for the airfare to go. We long for God’s will, not ours, and His provision to make a way if we are to go in September. No matter, we trust God’s plan because His plan is never a bust!