by Grace Berger, 2020 missionary rider
When I think of my experience with Biking for Babies all I can think is “wow.” I am left in awe of the wondrous works that we were able to accomplish as an organization through His will alone.
 was my first year with Biking for Babies as an organization, and I was really inspired to join the cause because my twin sister and I are adopted from Ukraine, and our biological mother chose life for the two of us. Her yes is the reason why I am here today, and it felt right to do something in honor of her yes: to help a cause that supports young women who are in the same position that she was in, that helps provide them the necessary resources that they need so that they can make the choice of life out of love rather than fear.
I’ve grown up in the [Catholic] Church. I received all my sacraments, sang in the choir, alter served, and even taught Sunday School with my mom. Yet, I never really had the opportunity to understand the pro-life movement and help live out its message.
When my good friend Jack Mannebach said he would be riding again this year, I thought wow that’s awesome. I really want to do that, and he helped me figure out the next steps.
Preparing for the ride was a lot of work; there was buying all the necessary equipment, dedicating a good portion of my day to riding, and a lot of Hail Mary’s. The biggest problems I faced were that Illinois is very very flat, I was riding by myself for the majority of my training, and there are no hills anywhere near my house. On the other hand, Wisconsin is very hilly, and my legs were definitely not happy about that.
There were times on the ride where I would be exhausted, crying uphill, and my body physically gave out on me and the only reason I was able to go any further was because of God’s grace working from within me and all of my teammates. So many times I was left to think if I am feeling this much pain, which is so little in comparison, how great was the pain Christ endured for us on the cross? How great is His love for us!
If someone asked me if I would do it again, despite how challenging it is, my automatic response would be YES (and I plan to). It was never about us. Everything was out of love for Christ and for these young women, many of whom are very close to my own age and who are struggling. They can’t say no or stop so easily. So we have to keep going on for them. We have to embrace the suck for them.
I knew at the end of the day that we had done what we had been asked to do. My soul was at peace, and the entire experience was so rewarding.
God has continued His work in my life even after the ride. The saint that we had been praying to the most during the ride was St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the patron saint of nature and the outdoors, because we had stayed at a camp called Camp Tekakwitha (a.k.a Camp Tek). I have just begun college this year at Illinois State University for Physical Education, and I have been participating with their Newman Center on campus. For our Bible study this semester, we all had been assigned a random saint, to pray to for their intercession, by pulling a slip of paper out of a hat. The saint I picked? St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
If you would like to join Grace and other Biking for Babies missionaries for our national ride in 2021, visit bikingforbabies.com/join before March to apply!