My friend and I were born-again Christians, and we were on fire for Christ. We prayed for a way to grow our faith and remembered that our Christian college had sponsored a group of runners the summer before to run across the country and share the Gospel from the Pacific to the Atlantic. We loved this idea for outreach and immediately told all our friends and family that we were going to do the same on bicycles. Six of us started planning the trip, wanting to grow our faith and share the Gospel with those we’d meet. We called ourselves “Commission Cyclists.”
However, we just assumed the school would fund us – as they had the previous group. But to our surprise the group of guys who went the year prior had gone so far over budget that the Dean couldn’t sponsor us – his funds were spent. This brought us to our knees, and we prayed for guidance. Had we missed God’s direction for our upcoming summer? We all felt God still wanted us to go, so we agreed to go ahead with our plans, not even taking a tent with us as a way to build our trust in Christ’s provision.
Our days were spent cycling and sharing Jesus’ love in parks, campgrounds, college campuses – anywhere God led us, as well as having church services along the way. Each evening of the trip we’d stop and pray, then approach a home and ask if we could sleep in their backyard or garage. Every night we prayed, folks were most generous, opening their homes when we told them about our cross country mission. Most times we were offered guest bedrooms or couches. But any night that we got sidetracked and forgot to pray, we’d go to multiple houses and be turned away… until we remembered that we hadn’t prayed. We would stop, pray and repent, and when we approached the next home we were immediately welcomed in for the night! God is so good!
This scenario rang true all summer long. We never lacked for food and lodging, and we ended the trip with funds to spare! The whole trip was an amazing faith-builder and demonstrated the true power of prayer.
Clark Barnard – Waterloo, Iowa – 1979