Turning a hobby into hope
Each year, Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative hosts hundreds of 24-hour training sessions across the country. Kim and Laurel Harvey, members of the team, host events like this regularly — but at a recent event in New Mexico, they wouldn’t simply be going back home afterwards. Kim was joining a group of nearly 30 people who would be riding bicycles 500 miles across New Mexico. This was all part of a mission to help raise money for Speed the Light to purchase a new vehicle for Convoy of Hope.
Nearly 30 cyclists participated in Bike for the Light. (PHOTO: Robert Bradford)
“I couldn’t imagine riding 100 miles a day for five days in a row,” says Harvey. “But when I met the other riders and felt their passion for the work we do, I was encouraged.”
In its fourth year, the group made their “Bike for the Light” journey to raise money and awareness for work being done throughout the world. The riders set off on a Monday morning and would ride 100 miles a day until they finished at the Texas border on Friday evening.
“Everyone put in a lot of training,” says Jason Dickenson, lead pastor of Harvest Church in New Mexico.
Some riders participated for different legs of the race, while others completed the full 500 miles. Dickenson’s 7-year-old daughter, Ava, and her cousin Koa joined them for 100 miles.
7-year-old cousins, Ava and Koa, rode 100 of the 500 miles with their dads.(PHOTO: Robert Bradford)
“It was really hard going up all the hills,” Ava says. “But I want kids to learn they can do things to help too.”
Dickenson said the ride was difficult, but knowing the impact being made gave them the strength they needed to keep going.
During a 65-mile training ride Ava stopped, turned to her dad and said, “Dad, I’m really tired … but we can’t stop because there are people that need us to finish.”
So that’s what they did. After days of physical and emotional wear, the team finished and raised more than $70,000, which is the biggest fundraising year yet. According to Dickenson, it was an incredibly emotional experience for all involved and he hopes it serves as an inspiration to others.
“It’s amazing to think you can make a difference by doing something as easy as riding a bike,” he says.
It is because of friends like him, who are willing to take a hobby, talent or passion and put it to good use, that we are able to provide help and hope to millions of people throughout the world. Thank you.