Christian Cycling Group Raises $1 Million for International Youth Ministries
A Christian cycling group has reached its goal of raising $1 million for youth ministries around the world.
According to Christian Standard, the milestone was reached by Ends of the Earth Cycling, which is associated with the New International missions group, earlier this month.
“Eight years ago, we set a goal to raise $1 million,” explained Justin Hanneken, executive director of Ends of the Earth Cycling. “This month, we have just achieved our goal.”
The idea for the cycling organization, which was founded in 2011, came after Hanneken’s boss at New International encouraged him to start a bike for youth pastors to cultivate fellowship.
Since its inception, Ends of the Earth Cycling has hosted 43 bike rides in 35 states, raising funds for international youth ministries on each ride. Each tour typically covers 300 to 500 miles and lasts five to seven days. About 1,300 people took part in the cause by riding bikes or supporting the team members.
“It’s really a mission trip. Cycling is really kind of a tool,” Hanneken said.
The first event hosted by Ends of the Earth Cycling began with a 300-mile bike ride from Fort Myers, Florida to Key West, Florida. At the time, a dozen runners and a support member participated.
The organization succeeded in raising $7,700 during its first event. The group used 10% of the funds to continue the program and donated the rest to a youth ministry in Bulgaria.
“At that point, Ends of the Earth Cycling was born,” Hanneken said.
A year later, 39 cyclists participated in the ride and raised $45,000. Eventually, the group set a goal of raising $1 million by organizing bike tours in all 50 states.
Later this year, Ends of the Earth Cycle will host a Vermont tour in July, marking its 36th state. In September, the group will visit its 37th state, Alaska.
According to the Ends of the Earth Cycling website, New International, which is based in Fort Myers, Fla., has more than 220 missionaries in more than 36 countries around the world.
“The United States has 90% of the world’s youth ministry resources and only 4% of the world’s youth,” the website states. “Ends Cycling believes that everyone deserves equal access to the gospel, and we are ready to go to the ends of the earth to see this vision realized through the power of Christ.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.