Pondering out loud, I said to my wife, “Sometimes I feel uncomfortable with the fact that I’m so passionate about something that mostly benefits me.” I was recognizing that I had the skill and desire to ride my bike, but didn’t want it to be all about me. The moment passed quickly, and I didn’t really expect it to return. However, that fleeting thought turned out to be the beginning of a calling; a call to a Journey as a Pedal to Plant rider.
My wife Ashley and I have been married since 2008. We have two boys, Boaz (5) and Joshua (3). In 2013 Ashley and I were both ordained as ministers in the Church of the Nazarene. We have served as staff pastors in churches in West Virginia, Florida and Ohio. Currently, my wife is the children’s pastor at Shepherd Church of the Nazarene in Gahanna, Ohio. I am serving as the phys-ed teacher at shepherd Christian School.
When I was in elementary and middle school, I spent quite a bit of time on my bike, as most boys that age do. Having a bike meant freedom. Some of my best memories of childhood start with a bike: cruising around town, pushing my bike up big hills to see how fast I could go down them, riding over make shift ramps to see how much “air” I could get, and family bike outings. As I got my driver’s permit, the years of riding my bike slowly began to fade into my past.
In 2010, I was able to go on cycling tour through California and Arizona as a class with Mount Vernon Nazarene University. The trip re-ignited my love for cycling. However, the bike I rode on that trip was rented, and I didn’t have one of my own at the time. As time went by, I was able to get a bike of my own. But when you have two kids under the age of three you sometimes have to get creative about when and how you ride your bike. But now that the boys are older, I am starting to be able to increase my mileage every year.
About a month after I verbalized my thoughts to Ashley about cycling without a cause, I came across an ad on Facebook about Pedal to Plant. As I started reading about it I thought “This is a really exciting idea. Who is doing this program again?” I scrolled back to the top and saw that it was being run by Extreme Nazarene Missions. I realized that I had an opportunity, to use a seemingly insignificant skill, to plant new churches. I had clicked on an ad, and I received a calling. I knew that I needed to do whatever I could to at least be a section rider and maybe a full rider. I prayed about it then mentioned it to Ashley a few weeks later, and expressed my desire to participate in some way. She was immediately supportive, and we kept the idea in our prayers for a few more weeks. Eventually we decided that I should do the full ride because at this point in my life, I am a PE teacher and I don’t work in the summers. This is a unique opportunity, and we made sure to recognize the significance.
I am a Pedal to Plant rider because I believe I am called to be a Pedal to Plant rider. In the same way Ashley has recognized that she is called to take care of our household during the 12 weeks that I am gone. My goal is to raise 20,000 dollars towards planting a new church. The funds I raise will come from everyday people like you. Perhaps you too are called to be a part of Pedal to plant. The prayers and financial support of people like you are essential to the success of this trip. My hope is that you will be in prayer about how God can use you to contribute to the planting of new churches through pedal to plant.
If you would like to make a financial contribution you can do so by going to my donation page on Facebook.
You can learn more about Extreme Nazarene Missions by going here.