I first heard of Wycliffe when I did the Kairos course at my home church in South Africa. The Kairos course is a short intensive course with the aim of challenging the typical Christian to become aligned to a 24/7 biblical mindset. The heart of the Kairos message, and in fact the Gospel, is that every follower of Christ is called to be involved in advancing the Kingdom of God, whether we go out to the mission field or not.
Since I had cycled a few long distance cycling races in the past, and seen how many charities participated in these races, I decided to put a team together to ride for the Bibleless people of Africa. In September 2013, Wycliffe South Africa published an article in Joy magazine regarding the status of Bible translation in Africa. Grant Easton was moved by the article and phoned Wycliffe to find out how he could get involved. He was redirected to me as the team leader for the cycle team, soon to cycle 95km in a big cycle race in Johannesburg, South Africa. Grant happily joined the team to cycle for the Bibleless. Grant and I became friends and a year later we were married! Three things stand out for me about this: 1) God’s timing is perfect, 2) he knows the desires of our hearts, and 3) he delights in using anyone available to serve him for his glory.
As a team of approximately 40 riders, we rode the ‘Cycle Challenge’ (as it’s called) in 2013 and raised R50,000. This was far beyond what I expected we would raise, which was so encouraging. We participated in the Cycle Challenge again in 2014 and 2015, with giant ‘Bible Man’ as the team mascot. The ‘Bible Man’ concept was Grant’s idea and he worked hard to make the vision of cycling in a Bible suit a reality. This was a big head-turner during the 2015 Cycle Challenge and a great way to raise awareness for the cause.
The funds raised in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 races enabled Wycliffe South Africa to kick-start a Bible translation project for the Himba people. There were certainly challenges in the three years of arranging this team event, but nothing that made me want to give up. For me it’s about the bigger picture… to see the Word of God made available in every language! Grant and I now live in Australia and we would like to encourage others to get involved by cycling, running, walking or even climbing for Bible translation. The great thing is that these events are for anyone, you don’t need to be a pro.
By Bernie Easton
Join the Wycliffe team at the City2Sea
Inspired by this story? Get active, and support Bible translation at the same time, by joining the Wycliffe team at the City2Sea run in Melbourne on Sunday 20 November.
Funds raised will go towards the Tonga translation project in Zimbabwe