My name is John Michalak and I am a second year missionary with Biking for Babies! I first heard about this movement back when I attended St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. I was the president of the pro-life group on campus and I am an eagle scout and created a memorial for aborted and miscarried children for my project. A lot of people I went to school with asked me if I wanted to participate. At first I really didn’t want to because I was in ROTC and had no time to train and I wasn’t much of a biker anyway. However, after some thought and prayer I thought I would give it a go after I graduated in 2020. I had signed up and was already starting to train, but due to the pandemic and civil disturbance in the summer of 2020 I was unable to do the national ride. I was very discouraged, and after the summer I went down to Oklahoma for artillery officer training for six months. During this time I was only really focused on my training, but Kevin Biese gave me a call in February asking me to sign up again. To be completely honest, I was not excited at the thought of coming home from six months of training just to train for biking, but I again discerned and once again signed up for the national ride. I was partnered with a pregnancy resource center (PRC) in Prattville, AL called Mary’s Haven. Being from Wisconsin, I had no idea if I would ever visit just due to the geographical separation. But as luck would have it, after my training completed I drove to South Carolina for a wedding and randomly stopped at Mary’s Haven on a rainy day unannounced by myself. I got a very confused look from the director when she first opened the door, but after I introduced myself she welcomed me in, introduced me to the volunteers, showed me around the facility, and told me about all the amazing work that they do. I’m so glad that God put me in the right spot at the right time. That visit really gave me a lot of inspiration when I first started training after I got home. In July of 2021 I rode on the Northern Route from Green Bay, WI to St. Louis, MO totaling over 600 miles on my bike with some amazing young adults who in a very short amount of time became good friends. This movement helped renew my faith as well after a time when churches were closed and I was alone in a new environment for such a long time. I felt as though I wanted to continue to share my faith, and God gave me an opportunity by allowing me to return to the parish I was confirmed through to assist teaching students preparing for Confirmation. It has been a blessing to see them really grow in their faith in a world that is so chaotic. I decided to come back this year when I get a call from Kevin again asking me if I wanted to lead a route and ride. At first, my reaction was “Do I really want to ride all those long hours again?” But when I thought about it, all that time on the bike wasn’t so bad when I knew that there were amazing people riding with me and sharing in that physical pain and offering it up for the welfare of mothers and children who truly need our help. I ride for children who cannot defend themselves and for the mothers who are scared in a world that pushes them to give up their child. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead this year and to meet so many amazing people along the way.
Goal: $3,500 | Raised: $3,931 | Progress: 112% | Updated: 09/16/2022