“Why would I ride my bike when I have a perfectly good car?” or “it is cancelled if it rains, right?” Good questions.
Saturday October 1 is the annual Ride for Refuge. The Brampton event has been hosted at Immanuel every year due to our ideal location on the edge of Caledon. If you would like to ride, or sponsor, or volunteer, please go to the Ride for Refuge website. Look for “Riding for Haiti” if you want to support our team.
Sunday October 2 is the first annual Ride your bike to church day. The idea of this day is to connect our Sunday gathering with the event on Saturday. Not everyone is geared up to do the ride on Saturday, but why not do your part and ride to our worship service on Sunday? Perhaps fundraising is the barrier for you. The good news is that the deacons do all the fundraising for you. They will take an offering on October 2 for the same cause as we are riding for on October 1 – our partnership with Haiti.
The partnership with Haiti was recommended to us by World Renew and World Missions, the very people who guided our prior trips to Haiti. We are being encouraged to connect with ministry in Haiti, specifically the area of Jacmel, in a way that honours and empowers the ministry there. We walked through material called “Helping without Hurting” a couple years back. In it we learned that when we come with the posture of provider it is more damaging than helpful to both parties. If we come with the attitude that we are the givers and the Haitian church is the receiver, we miss out on opportunities to learn and grow ourselves. The best way to truly help is to take up a spirit of co-learner. Both we and our Haitian counterparts have much to learn from God and from each other.
This method of mission may be a little frustrating for us at first. We like to see something accomplished…something concrete built. But the reality is that building an ongoing relationship where we listen and learn how best to walk with them in the Spirit has a much better chance of building lasting capacity. This is not about showing quick results as much as a lasting effect.
So we ride our bikes as a small example that we are willing to do something different, sacrifice a little, and go the extra mile for our brothers and sisters. And we don’t cancel when it rains or is cold just like we don’t drop a partnership just because there are obstacles and challenges. Hope you can join in.
Pastor Erick Schuringa