Updated: Oct 20, 2020
By Justin Hanneken - Ends Cycling
“So, you guys are a fundraising ministry?” This question is very common in our line of work. It used to bother me but now I recognize what we do at Ends of the Earth Cycling is quite complex. Until someone comes on a tour with us, it really seems like our primary goal is fundraising - but, in fact, that’s quite the opposite.
The first ride from Ft. Myers to Key West happened 9 years ago. Our goals back then were simple - bring together youth pastors from across our city for 5 days of community, prayer, and a chance to share with them about global youth ministry. Fundraising was icing on the cake.
Fast forward 9 years, and we are delighted to have led 33 Christ-centered cycling tours. The cyclists on those tours have raised almost $700K for youth ministries globally; but even still - fundraising has remained of 3rd-importance to us.
First and foremost, our ministry is focused on PRAYER. This is evidenced by our daily prayer themes that we share with our riders and community-at-large. It is also evident when we gather as a CREW and pray every Monday for about an hour - lifting up requests from all over the world. Prayer is further evidenced by our hashtag: #PrayPedalRepeat
Second to prayer, we are really big on advocacy. Story-telling is very important to us - and we want to share the story of our beneficiaries with accuracy and excitement. This is evidenced by our Podcast, “Cycling for More” and our BLOG - Stories of Impact.
After prayer, and advocacy, yes - we do raise funds. Financial resources are great; but human resources are also important. That’s why we raised up people to go and we go ourselves!
[Above Picture] Auntie Elisabeth translated for Justin as he taught from the book of Titus in Sri Lanka. Pastors were so encouraged by the teaching!
Just 2 months ago, I was accompanied by Matt Miller (EC Associate Director) and Jimmy Akers (EC Alumni) on a short-term project to India & Sri Lanka. On this trip, we had the privilege of visiting a ministry that we had previously ridden for, in 3 distinct tours. We came alongside them, hosting 6 training events for pastors (with 158 pastors/leaders attending), and 5 outreaches to youth and children (totaling 175 children). We encouraged them and they encouraged us. We prayed together, worshiped Jesus, enjoyed good food, and long - OK really long - drives in the mountains. And it was all worth it - why? Because relationships matter!
[Above Picture] "Pongal" is a Hindu celebration that was celebrated while we were in India. It has to do with Harvest time - and a perfect opportunity to preach that Jesus is Lord of the Harvest!
We don’t just raise funds, we raise prayers. We don’t just send funds, we send people. For us - this is a Kingdom thing, not a cycling thing. We rejoice in all God has done and will continue to do. Pray that we remain laser-focused and humble all at the same time. May He always get the glory!
[Above Picture] - The brothers we stand with in this picture have become exactly that: Brothers! We have worked with them annually for several years now and long to be with them again.