by David Schmitt, 2019 missionary (rider on Northern Route)
“All my life I longed to be a hero. My sword raised high, running to the battle. I was gonna take giants down, be a man you would write about, deep in my chest is the heart of a warrior. So why am I still standing here? Why am I still holding back from you?”
These lyrics from the song “What If I Gave Everything” by Casting Crowns made me realize this year how complacent I had become in my faith and how I was simply standing still, holding back from God. I knew the man I wanted to be and the things I wanted to do to serve God, so why was I still standing there, holding back from him? Maybe I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone or to put in the work, I don’t know. But whatever it was, I knew I was tired of holding back and standing still and that’s why I’m here: that’s why I’m a Biking for Babies missionary.
I’ve been following the Biking for Babies organization for years and always thought to myself, “wow, what a great cause and what a great way to raise awareness for not only a culture of life, but for pregnant women and for the pregnancy resource centers that seek to help them.”
Despite this thinking and support of the organization that I have always had, I had never become involved. I had thought about getting involved and doing more with the organization, but I found myself continually saying, “I’m too young,” or “I’ll do it next year, next year I’ll get more involved.” I found that I was standing still and being complacent with my faith; I was comfortable with where I was, and while I wanted to grow in my faith and become a better disciple, I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone and do something completely foreign to me.
Looking back now, I guess all I needed was a little nudge, and God was giving it to me through a friend who had previously become involved the year before, Nick VandeHey. Nick reached out to me in February, asking if I would be interested in doing the ride this year and becoming a Biking for Babies missionary, and as soon as he asked me, I knew inside myself that it was time to get involved, that it was time to step out of my comfort zone and start making a difference.
I’ll be honest: once I had committed to being a missionary and being a part of the Biking for Babies organization, I realized it was a little more demanding and time consuming than I originally thought it would be. However, I now know this to be because it takes a lot of dedication to do amazing things like what Biking for Babies is doing. This past year, the missionaries for Biking for Babies set a goal to raise over $150,000 for pregnancy resource centers across the country. This money has gone towards a variety of things to help these centers give pregnant women the resources, support, and love they need to have their child and to care for their child before and after birth.
This year, the pregnancy resource center (PRC) that I worked with and fundraised for is Agape Pregnancy Resource Center located in Des Moines, Iowa. The mission of this PRC is to demonstrate the truth and love of Jesus, while also helping abortion-minded women to change their minds and choose life by giving them the resources and support necessary to help them through their pregnancies. The PRC offers a number of resources to these women such as free pregnancy testing, free ultrasounds, free STD testing, pre-natal classes, post-birth classes, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, and more.
The PRC has a great deal to offer pregnant women that are in need of help and many of these items are what the money fundraised will go towards. One of the things that I find to be most incredible is their free ultrasound testing. At this PRC, 85% of women who see their ultrasound change their mind and decide to keep their babies. Eighty-five percent! That’s awesome. That’s what the money is going towards, towards saving lives and towards cultivating a culture of life! To me that’s just so beautiful and amazing.
In addition to all of this, the PRC seeks to establish relationships with the community, the churches and pastors, and with these women as well. They seek to build long, life-lasting relationships so that all people feel welcomed and feel as though they are part of the community and the family. The PRC is 100% donor supported, and so it is people like all of us, donating our time, our effort, and our money to help support these centers and the women and their babies that they care for.
When I was talking with the PRC about what they all do and why they do it, I asked if there was a specific story that stood out to them at all as being truly special or memorable and the director of the center told me that there were many incredible stories, that each woman who came in and who comes in to the center has an incredible story, but that there was one from his first two weeks working with the center that stood out to him most.
About a week or two into his job, a woman came in to the center, heavily considering abortion. This woman didn’t want to have an abortion, but she was scared and so she came in simply asking for prayers to help her through this process and to decide what she was going to do. Everyone from the center came to pray for her, and the director told me that in this moment of prayer, the presence of God was so clear and so evident that the everyone in the building were brought to tears, and the woman completely changed her mind and decided to keep the baby.
When I hear this story all I could think was “wow, the power of a prayer.” How beautiful and inspiring is that and the power that that prayer had in that moment, not only on that woman and her child, but on the people all around her. I think that’s pretty amazing.
I didn’t know it when I first signed up to be a missionary for Biking for Babies, but the pregnant women, their babies, and the centers that support them are why I am a missionary. It’s these people that pushed me and motivated me to stop standing still and to give everything. The things that these people are doing for these women and for their babies is so incredibly beautiful and life changing. They are literally saving lives and offering themselves up fully for others.
I didn’t know it when I signed up, but that’s what I want to be a part of, that’s what I want to fight for and to help support. But in the end, these centers and the ride that myself and so many others completed in July to raise awareness for, mean absolutely nothing and can do nothing, without the additional support of the people from the community all across the country and across the world.
Please consider supporting Biking for Babies and the PRC’s that we work with and support. Stop standing still and start using the heart of a warrior that God has given you.