When Matt Robb first was introduced to Bike Out Hunger last year and invited to participate, he admits that the cause wasn’t the first thing on his mind. It was the excitement about a multi-day, 400-plus mile ride.
But as he started to research hunger in his area, his heart started to be pulled toward the cause, he said as he led morning devotions before the ride started on Wednesday.
“I really began to see that there is a need to stamp out hunger in my area,” Robb said.
He shared 1 John 3:18, which says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
This week the riders are acting and speaking, but Robb challenged them to not let this week be the only time this happens.
“This week should not just be the beginning,” Robb said. This week should be a catalyst for what we do all year and the message we proclaim along the way.”
Bike Out Hunger is about the joy of cycling, but it’s also about so much more – the people they encounter along the way.
“Everyone we come into contact with, we are ambassadors – not just for the ride, but for the cause of Christ. Today I pray we have spiritual eyes – that we won’t care about our speed or who gets finished first. Care about the people you meet and sharing about the ride and what Jesus is doing.”
Four more riders from Tyler came to Nacogdoches this morning to ride with the team, making a group of 30 cyclists. The group left at 7:45 a.m. and headed out of town to begin their ride down scenic roads with many, many rolling hills. Some of the quiet, country roads the team peddled down brought sights of historic old homes, small communities and lush Texas forests. The team logged their longest ride yet at about 79 miles.
The team encountered a few more obstacles today with flat tires coming just a few miles from the start. The group had more than eight flat tires, with one being completely shredded. But that was not the only challenge of the day. A couple of medical issues arose and two ambulances had to be called, one for a cyclist and one for a volunteer. Both experienced at different times some health issues not directly related to the ride, and praise Jesus that both are fine. They were able to get some rest this afternoon, are feeling much better and are eager to jump back into the ride tomorrow.
One pod of cyclists experienced a surprise as they connected with two random Tyler cyclists headed down part of the route. They struck up a conversation with the two men and they asked to jump into the ride for the rest of the day. They enjoyed their time with the group so much, they are planning on coming back to join the team as they ride from Tyler to Marshall on Thursday.
Onlookers continue to turn a curious eye towards the cyclists and ask about the ride. While stopping at a Valero gas station along the way today, a lady named Mary stopped to hear about the ride and was moved to give to the cause. Also, part of the team stopped at the Kettle restaurant next to the hotel for a meal after the ride, and their waitress also gave to the effort.
In the evening, Green Acres Baptist Church provided dinner for the team. The group participated in the churches Wednesday evening meal and Bible study, and several of the Bike Out Hunger team are members at Green Acres and were excited to introduce the team to their families. During the service, David Dykes, pastor of the church, recognized the team and gave the church an opportunity to give to the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger.
As the ride heads into day four, please be praying for good weather. Currently it is raining in Tyler, conditions that can make riding more difficult and dangerous. The riders are also starting to show a little fatigue since they have already logged about 225 miles. Despite this, the teams spirit is high and they are ready for another day of riding.