(Contributed by Rich Dixon)
FRONT RANGE FREEDOM TOUR 2016 looked a lot like a bike tour. We had 18-person team of cyclists and support personnel. We wore bright orange and blue cycling jerseys. Our riders cycled 500 miles and climbed 14,000 feet along Colorado’s Front Range from Cheyenne to Raton Pass.
A closer look at our jersey would reveal phrases that distinguish the FREEDOM TOUR from an ordinary bike tour: Heart of the Father. Light in Dark Places. Journey for Freedom & Justice. Hope Starts Here. Stop Human Trafficking. Hope Changes What’s Possible.
The FREEDOM TOUR is a mission trip. We cycle to bring hope and freedom to kids rescued from human trafficking. We do this crazy thing to support 22 kids at the HOME OF HOPE in New Delhi and to increase awareness about the horrible crime of human trafficking.
We ride bikes, but our impact comes from opportunities to share our story with individuals and groups along the route. We measure success in things like lifelong friendships established, hearts impacted, church partnerships formed, laughter generated. And more than $40,000 contributed so far by hundreds of incredibly generous individuals and sponsors to support those 22 kids.
When I’m asked for my favorite memory of the tour, it’s always about people rather than events. Whether Welcoming New Friends from Colorado Springs or speaking to old friends at Praise Assembly Church in Pueblo, connecting with the folks God’s placed in our path is always the most rewarding, energizing aspect of the week.
We’re reflecting and telling more stories on our blog. Check out an inspiring tale of headwinds and teamwork (Pneuma Or Hot Air?) and the night We Talked About Justice. Please follow along (http://richsride.org/blog/) and join the conversation.
The journey continues because the need continues. We’re already planning for 2017, but our 22 kids need your support all year. You can contribute or make an ongoing donation on our website to help these children receive the Christian education, counseling, and holistic care that will help them become the strong young men and women God created them to be.
Join the journey in your own neighborhood by purchasing the Front Range FREEDOM TOUR cycle jersey. Purchase one for yourself or as a gift for a cyclist friend/family member. They’re great conversation starters on the bike trail, and proceeds support the HOME OF HOPE. You too can be part of the story!