Mountain Bike MinistryBy Jason Cannon Published 5:59pm Friday, July 1, 2011
Last week a group a cyclists rode across Alabama’s Black Belt hoping to raise awareness of their ministry.
Bike Across Alabama, Cycle of Service, cycled from Cuba to Phenix City during the days and stopping to participate in community service projects along their way.
The trip is an outreach of the Alabama Rural Ministry, who hosts mission work teams and volunteers who repair homes for under served families and provide Christian Education opportunities with children in summer day camps.
The group’s mission is “Sharing the love of Christ through home repair and children’s ministry.”
Last week’s trek took the riders through Demopolis as they travelled 245 miles in three days.
“Being part of the ride will do several things,” ARM Executive director Lisa Pierce said. “It will raise awareness of the poverty issues crippling this region. (It will) develop partnerships in the communities we visit along the way, (and) help repair homes along the route, bringing messages of hope and love.”
The main areas of work for ARM are in Sumter, Macon and Lee Counties. Because these three areas are so rural, these areas struggle with many problems.
In these areas job opportunities are scarce, economic problems are high and there are no adequate childcare systems for working families needing a safe place for their children. Some of the public school systems in these areas are even on academic alert. The combination of these factors contributes to the poverty level and leaves many citizens feeling hopeless.
Their two sites are currently located in Sumter County and in the city of Tuskegee, located in Macon County.
During the summer, these sites are staffed by college students from all over Alabama and each site has various responsibilities according to the development of that particular site.
The group was hosted by Southern Sportsman Lodge on Thursday night, June 23 and dinner was served at Livingston UMC with Rev. Wilson Kendrick speaking.
“The folks in Selma at Memorial UMC (fed) us and (provided) sleep space (and) the 621st BsSB National Guard unit providing showers,” Pierce said.
Montgomery FUMC provided lunch on Saturday and the work project of tornado response.
St. Mark UMC in Montgomery provided food and sleep space. Finally, Tuskegee UMC was the reception area on Sunday and then Epworth UMC in Phenix and St. Mark UMC in Columbus were the final reception teams.