Written [and photographed] By: Bekah Ochs
The morning light was dim at 7am with dark rain clouds that covered the sky and added to the gloom. Cowbell in one hand and camera in the
other, I stood ready for the day. All around me, tires were being checked. Shoes snapped on. Words of encouragement spoken. Honestly, mornings became one of my favorite parts of the 2020 Indiana Bike Ride. I loved the few minutes of everyone gathered together, preparing for a day of pray, pedal, repeat.
As we began, I climbed into the comfort of my support car and tried to show my appreciation and respect for our riders by ringing my bell and shouting encouragement. They were riding 63 miles today. The least I could do was go a little hoarse and add band-aids to my bell ringing hand.
Three miles in, Sunny (the support driver I was riding with) and I noticed our small group of cyclists making their way up a long incline. Sunny pulled half-way up the hill, turned the radio all the way up, and jumped out of the car to cheer on the cyclists.
“You’re An Overcomer”-- Mandisa’s words of encouragement could not have come at a better time.
I’m not ashamed to admit I had tears in my eyes as Sunny began running beside Zan, shouting encouragement and waving a pom-pom. Zan pushed on, a smile on her face.
Our cyclists overcame a lot on this tour. I have a renewed respect for
cyclists and what they do, especially when it’s combined with praying and raising awareness of youth in Bolivia. 50% of the country are under the age of 29, making it the youngest country in South America. Bolivian youth are struggling greatly with depression, witchcraft and suicide. Young Life: Bolivia is striving to help students overcome these struggles by building relationships through clubs, retreats, and events that enable them to have Gospel conversations.
23,331 ft. of elevation.
$31,500+ raised for Young Life: Bolivia.
Those are the statistics.
The stories behind the statistics...that is what makes this a trip I won’t easily forget!
Despite Covid-19, Ends of the Earth Cycling was able to move forward and hosted our first in-person tour of 2020! In the middle of a global pandemic, God does great things. The Indiana Bike Ride was absolutely thrilling! Nearly 50 cyclists and support staff rode 330 miles over 5 days for the youth of Bolivia (South America). It was a hilly bunch, but our cyclists pushed through the 23,331 feet of elevation! $31,500+ was raised to promote and resource youth ministry in Bolivia.
To God be the Glory!