July 27, 2018
“May this ride serve as a token of love to You, Lord,” said Word Rider Rupert Bustamante as he led the opening prayer that kickstarted the Quezon Bible Ride last July 20, 2018 (Friday).
The big bike enthusiasts from Word Riders Philippines, led by over-all team leader Rod Salvacion, traveled with volunteers and a number of Philippine Bible Society (PBS) personnel to Tiaong, Quezon to deliver 1,800 Bibles across four different high schools.
The four chosen schools were the following: Recto National High School, Lucasan National High School, Paiisa National High School, and Cabay National High School. The recipients of the Bibles were all Grade 8 students.
Grade 8 students are at the perfect age to receive the Bible. This is the time when they are curious and questioning. They are transitioning from “child” to “teenager.” They now face a variety of more complex issues such as identity construction and peer pressure. The Bible being introduced into their lives couldn’t have come at a better time.
Friday morning started out very rainy and stormy. Clouds covered most of the sky and the wind was quite strong as well. Literally braving the storm, these riders were subjected to varied periods of great heat and cold. What passion these riders must have to push through such inclement weather!
The Bible Ride wasn’t just a mere Bible distribution. Additionally, the riders had fruitful interactions with their students in their 45-minute sessions. You can clearly see, feel, and hear the passion of these big bike enthusiasts. They engaged with the students by facilitating games, telling stories, sharing more about themselves, and teaching the students how to find Bible verses.
They also shared the mini pamphlet “How Should I Read My Bible?” that came with the Bibles that each student received.
Some riders and volunteers had booming voices when they were speaking. An example of a very warm voice that commanded the presence of his classroom was rider Eric Shuck.
“We have the passion to ride motorcycles,” Eric enthusiastically explained. “Why not use our talents and gifts to share God’s Word?”
Others seemed to have a more calm and playful approach. Using relatable anecdotes and comforting words that pulled at the heartstrings of the students, Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera captured the attention of his classroom. “We want you to have a personal relationship with the Lord,” he said. Sensing his deep passion and sincerity, the students were nodding their heads attentively, relating to every word this rider spoke.
Word Rider Chris Calalang said, “I am a rider and I feel it is my calling to be part of a group that spreads the Word of God.”
These words were repeated almost uniformly throughout each classroom that the Word Riders stepped foot in. So much love poured into one statement made all the students feel the passion of these big bikers. They became eager, overjoyed, and excited as well!
Some students huddled in groups as they flipped through their Bibles together. Others took the solo route and explored their personal copies on their own. One thing was clear: all the students overflowed with gratitude.
One rider went on to say this to reassure the students and to motivate them: “You will go far with the help of the Lord.”
The riders and volunteers weren’t the only ones motivating the students. Even the teachers were in on the movement to promote Bible reading and the deepening of one’s personal relationship with God. These teachers felt the joy radiating from these riders and it was hard not to be inspired because indeed, the passion was just so contagious!
Teacher Diana from Lucasan National High School had this to say: “I am very happy that the Word of God is being spread. Now that they have Bibles, the students will be interested to read. We hope that the students learn to read the Bible, follow what they read, become truthful towards their fellow students, and only aspire for God’s grace and
no one else’s.”
Many teachers expressed their gratitude for the Word Riders program. Teacher Virginia shared, “It’s the first time I heard of the Word Riders, but I am very happy because the students will now learn how to read the Bible.”
Praise God for such dedication! We really need more passionate people to expand the Lord’s Kingdom. Our greatest hope right now is the younger generation. As one of the teachers shared, “The ones that will bring social change are the youth.”
Join PBS in praying for the next generation, that they will grow in their faith and personal relationship with the Lord. Also, let us pray for all the riders, volunteers, and supporters who continue to make the Word Riders Philippines campaign possible. We thank our partners, Petron and Union Church of Manila, for their contributions and assistance. May the Lord bless everyone’s hearts and may He shower blessings into their lives.