At the Halfway Mark
This year we are honored to have an active Air Force soldier with us. Sr. Airman Scott Reeves was raised in Amarillo, TX and is currently stationed in Washington, DC. This has been a big trip for Scott; during Friday’s morning devotion, he re-dedicated his life to Jesus!
On Sunday night, we found a swimming pool and had a water baptism for him. Pastor Wes Alvarez did the honors following an emotional testimony definitely the relationship built over the last 12 months to bring Scott to this place. We continue to see the value in our style of building relationships and letting God do the work.
Scott also had the honor of serving in the first Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Las Cruces, NM Viet Nam War Memorial. Last, but certainly not least, Scott will ride the Missing Man position on the final leg of the run into Washington, DC. These are both high honors on the run.
Friday was a great day despite several wrecks. First, a bike hit an “alligator” – tire tread from a truck – in the middle of the highway. Before he went all the way down, another bike hit him and knocked him back up! We were laughing and rejoicing that no one was hurt. Then the wheels fell off!
Another man wrecked his bike going into the check station. He was doctored and his bike was loaded onto the trailer.
About two miles from our final fuel stop in Pecos, TX, we were riding at a high rate of speed when one bike rear-ended another. Both bikes slid 215 feet down the highway. One man walked away. The other was not so fortunate; he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He has broken ribs, road rash on his face, shoulders, hands and legs, and a bruised knee. We are thankful he will make a full recovery in a few weeks. It was 10:00 p.m. before we had him secured in the hospital and back in our rooms. Exhausted from a 17-hour day, we still had praise in our hearts knowing that everyone will be okay. The Wreath Laying Ceremony in Las Cruces, NM.
On Saturday morning at the Odessa Viet Nam War Memorial service, a veteran named Shiloh spoke. He was hit by an IED (roadside bomb) in February 2007. There were five soldiers on his detail; three were killed. Over 35% of Shiloh’s body was burned. He has made a tremendous recovery but has lost most of one hand and still has to undergo plastic surgery to repair scarring on his head. His speech was moving and we wish it could be played on the secular networks. He was proud to have served and taken this precious thing we call Freedom to another nation. He stated, “The last time I checked, they attacked us first.” There were many tears and applauds as this young man moved a crowd of Viet Nam veterans and era people.
M25 Director & RFTW Chaplain, Gary Burd, prays with a rider.
The Sunday morning service was a great time of ministry. We had a sermon, prayer, and the congregation sang “Amazing Grace.” Following the service, a retired soldier came asking for prayer. The day before, I loaded the man’s bike on a trailer because he did not have enough physical strength to continue riding. I spoke briefly to him about the love and power of the Grace of God, then I prayed, “Lord, give this man your grace and let it be so real to him that he must acknowledge Your hand upon his life.” At the first fuel stop, I asked him how he was doing. He replied, “It worked; at (number) mile marker I felt God touch me. I knew it was Him. I could hardly ride for the tears in my eyes.”
Bo Pearson, a Biker Missionary with the IPC, was asked to bless the food at Sunday’s meal. Then he was informed he would be involved in the Missing Man Table. This is a big honor and a very emotional experience for those involved. Bo and his wife Debbie have been ministering to the person riding in the Missing Man position all the way across the country. They give the rider a bell to hang on their bike and explain it is to remind them of the soldiers who can’t be with us because they died in combat or are a POW/MIA.
We have all had multiple opportunities to spread love and pray with numerous folks. Misson: M25 has certainly made an impact these first five days, and we believe the best is yet to come. The closer we get to DC, the more emotional it gets. About 40% of our riders are first-time participants, making this the largest Run For The Wall we have ever been on.
We see that you are still praying for us and watching our goings. This is a dangerous run. There are times when we ride in excess of 90mph, dodging through traffic trying to catch up with the pack after we’ve stopped to help someone. We clog the interstate for miles and other drivers get upset. We understand their frustration. There are so many great things that come from this outreach, but there is danger woven throughout the event. Please keep us in prayer – we know God will get us through victoriously!
Chaplains, from L-R:Gary Burd, Sr. Pastor of Chrisitan Heritage Church, Supt. of Great Plains Conference, and Mission:M25 Director; Bo Pearson, IPHC Biker Missionary; Wesley Alvarez, Pastor of My Father’s Vineyard PHC in Pensacola, FL; RFTW Senior Chaplain Richard Moore; and Ox, Mercy Hands Ministry of Dickson, TN.