So far in this 4-part blog series, we’ve learned about the adventure of being on mission, the problem we seek to change and the solution that Biking for Babies offers to the throwaway culture of indifference. If you need a refresher, read Part 1 or Part 2. Going back to our example of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and some secular figures who achieved greatness, what did it take for them to reach their goal? What is it going to take for us to reach our goal that America, rather the world, possesses a culture that cherishes and sees the intrinsic value of life at every stage?
Let’s look at who our missionaries are to get a sense for what it takes. So far this year, we have more than 40 young adults who have said yes to becoming a Biking for Babies missionary! They come from across the country, from different backgrounds, varying points in life, and varying physical abilities. They live out Christian values of charity, compassion, grace, peace, and mercy. Some are single and in college, others are married with children, while others are seminarians.
These young people say yes to Christ’s adventure of Biking for Babies because they want to:
- Put their pro-life beliefs into action
- Be part of a mission that illuminates the beauty of every life
- Learn how to be a better pro-life advocate
- Transform the culture into one that responds to crisis with generosity, for love of one another
- Enact tangible change for those in crisis, by supporting pregnancy resource centers and those in crisis
- Make abortion unthinkable by changing the response to unplanned situations
And there are many more reasons our missionaries give for why they want to be a part of this mission. Despite those differences, what is it that all of these young adults have in common? Sacrifice.
Sacrifice is one of the most notable characteristics of someone on a mission, a world-changer. Our missionaries are willing to sacrifice for the sake of others, others they may likely never meet. And is this not the epitome of our faith? Sacrifice is exactly what Christ asks us to do not once but 5 times in the Gospel. Sacrifice is how Christ changed the entire course of history. Sacrifice, and the model of the cross, is how Paul converted so many to follow Christ. It is exactly this sacrifice for the other that Blessed Pier Giorgio alluded to when he stated “We must sacrifice everything for everything: our ambitions, indeed our entire selves, for the cause of the Faith.”
Every missionary has their own way of sacrificing in order to even make it to the National Ride. They pay a ride fee, travel to the starting location, and prepare physically and spiritually for months leading up to the week. And some even leave behind families, like Zac and Dessa, parents of 6 children, who joined our mission, donating their time, talent, and treasure, so their children can see a better world.
The sacrifice on the ride is obvious to many. Our support crew put aside their own needs and comfort in order to feed, water, and sunscreen our riders, cheering them on the entire way. Our riders average 10 hours and over 100 miles on the bike each day. All of these sacrifices are offered for the women who are considering abortion right now. Although in no way does sacrificing sleep to wash your riders’ jerseys or riding a bike across the country compare to an unplanned pregnancy, this helps our missionaries reflect on the sacrifice that is needed to support others. In the hardest moments, when a rider just wants to be done for the day, they ask themselves, “why would I get off my bike, when I’m asking her to stay on hers.”
The miles matter. The sacrifice matters.
It is this sacrifice of comfort that allows us to walk side by side with Christ in this great adventure in our faith, drawing us to the Holy Trinity.
As we move into the second week of Lent, reflect on how you sacrifice for others. How can you lift up those around you, by putting your own needs aside?