Rolling through the hills along the Mississippi River, over twenty young adults pursued some of their greatest passions: cycling and athleticism, spreading the pro-life message, and wearing sunscreen. Okay, maybe wearing sunscreen is not necessarily a “passion,” but one certainly gets passionate about NOT being sunburnt by the hot July sun in southern United States. Our family and friends each helped us through prayers and other gifts to arrive safely at our starting locations, and it was off to the races from there. Team Chicago dedicated themselves to riding an average of 150 miles per day; on one of the most grueling days, riders reported pedaling furiously only going 10 mph because of the headwind! Team NOLA’s ride started with an easy half day of riding, and each day stretched longer and longer with mileage capping about 150 miles in their longest day.
When the two teams finally converged in Memphis, it was the first time many of us had met, and we celebrated the best way we know how: with Mass, spaghetti, and an ice cream truck! Stories of adventure and pain were exchanged, messages from old friends were shared, and new members of the Biking for Babies family were brought into warm embraces of tales from previous years. Ending with beautiful and inspiring words from Mike, Jimmy, and other supporters, the team spent the night in Memphis and parted the next morning after enjoying pancakes and chocolate milk: the only things one could want after physical activity such as the national ride.
Throughout it all, the 2016 participants were happy to learn of the success stories of different pregnancy resource centers we partnered with: new facilities opening, mothers choosing life, and donations rolling in, allowing for ultrasound machines and more educational opportunities to be offered to women. We also learned of the continued great need for these resource centers: the number of women who, even after receiving these services, did not choose life for their child; the number of Planned Parenthoods still in existence; the pain and heart ache families felt after making a life-altering and life-ending choice.
Brothers and sisters, there has been so much good work already done through Biking for Babies, and we still see how far we have to go before all hearts and minds in this country understand that choosing life is the only option we have to be a society that respects all of its citizens. The mission of Biking for Babies is not to make abortion illegal; rather, it is to convert hearts to understand that human dignity and worth trumps convenience, and that providing support for women in times like these creates a better culture and a better society for everyone.
On behalf of everyone from this year’s national ride, we THANK YOU. We thank you for your love, your support, your gifts, your prayers. We thank you for standing alongside us to spread this culture of life and to share the Gospel of Hope. We firmly believe that we can convert souls and know that you, our brothers and sisters, along with the legions of angels and saints, are on this journey with us. After reflecting on this past year, we are sure our Heavenly Father is telling us “well done, my good and faithful servant.” We now look forward to the work to be done over the next year because “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” We are ready and willing to serve however the Holy Spirit guides us, and we ask for your continued prayers for discernment, patient perseverance, and trust in a God who reveals all good things in His time.