by Katie Wanek, 2022 missionary (support crew on Ohio Route)
“I love ending the day tired, but filled with an interior joy, knowing that if I am tired, it’s because I have served the Lord.” This quote from a book I read a few months ago, Sr. Clare Crockett: Alone with Christ Alone, encapsulates the Biking for Babies National Ride quite well. As I reflect on the 2022 Biking for Babies National Ride, which was now two weeks ago, my heart is filled and inspired by the team of over 50 missionaries who gave everything they had in order to serve the Lord.
Throughout the week and then once again during the Celebration of Life, we were reminded that participating in the National Ride is not about ourselves. It is about sharing the Gospel of Life and glorifying God. All of the difficult times, the inconvenient parts, and the stressful moments, we are asked to offer up and unite to Christ’s suffering on the cross. These moments are opportunities for us to be drawn closer to Him.
By the end of each day, especially as the week went on, the effects of waking up at 3:00 AM were real. At evening events and team meetings, it was often hard to stay alert and focused due to the long day that had started well before the sunrise. However, being surrounded by my team and the generous community members who hosted us, I was filled with a deep joy, knowing that the long and exhausting day was spent by serving the Lord.
One morning during the week, as our team was preparing to hit the road after eating breakfast, one of our hosts came up to me, with tears in her eyes, and said, “thank you all so much for your ‘yes’ to this mission and for being joyful, young adults. Your group is an inspiration to many.” Her tears brought me to tears. The beautiful and touching moment was one of many that reminded me of the reason I keep coming back to Biking for Babies. I am passionate about the pro-life cause, love the mission, have a desire to support women in unplanned pregnancies and their babies, and find it absolutely vital to raise support and awareness of pregnancy resource centers. The National Ride creates amazing community, great friendships, and is a lot of fun. All of these reasons contribute to why I am drawn to the mission. But ultimately, the biggest reason why I’ve said ‘yes’ the past four years is because God reveals himself in such profound and transformative ways each and every time.
Throughout each National Ride experience, I am reminded of God’s infinite love for each and every single person and I am inspired to continue to proclaim the beauty and dignity of every single life. I am motivated to share God’s love with those I encounter and to share the message that life is a precious gift, at every stage, from conception to natural death.
During the Biking for Babies National Ride, I don’t think there is a single missionary who could say that they were not tired. However, I am confident that, in the midst of the exhaustion and fatigue, there was great joy among each route because of each missionary’s ‘yes’ to Biking for Babies and to the Lord.