For the first annual Bikers with Boxes event, more than 200 motorcyclists hopped on their hogs and drove from places around the region to bring Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to the Billy Graham Library, one of the many drop-off points for National Collection Week, Nov. 17-24.
Altogether, the bikers carried more than 500 boxes, bringing the Library’s total collection number to nearly 1,000 boxes.
Each year, Samaritan’s Purse—a sister ministry to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA)—delivers millions of shoeboxes filled with school supplies, personal hygiene items, toys and candy, along with the message of God’s love, to needy children around the world.
These “bikers with boxes” truly went the extra mile to show their devotion to sharing Christ’s love with others.
“It was a little nippy,” said one biker standing in the lobby of the Library. “You’ve got to dress for it, dress in layers. You have to wear a facemask and can’t have any skin exposed or else you get real cold.”
A SPECIAL DAY
Riding more than two hours from Wytheville, Va., the Chariots of Light biker club, with 18 bikers and 125 boxes, traveled the farthest, and the Christian Motorcycle Association’s Agape Riders from Surry County drove almost as far. Both received prizes.
Before bikers walked into the 40,000-square-foot complex, the Library staff presented each of them with a special patch to commemorate the ride. Then the bikers embarked on the Library tour, which includes multimedia exhibits, vibrant films, and interactive displays that capture more than 60 years of Billy Graham’s history as well as the worldwide work of BGEA today.
One biker, who was about to begin the Library tour, shared about his ride: “Our chapter is the Ambassadors for Christ out of Lincolnton, N.C.,” he says. “We brought 18 boxes. We are about ministering to the lost through our bikes. We just thought this was a good cause and made it one of our events this month.”
SHARING GOOD NEWS EVERYWHERE THEY GO
Another biker spoke up and said, “The Christian Motorcycle Association has chapters all throughout the United States, and we’re in about 25 countries. We go to the motorcycle events and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He continued: “Sometimes that just means at a gas station while we’re getting gas—people come in there, and we are able to talk to them and minister to them. We go to the events and set up booths and hand out Bibles, pray with people, hand out cold water, hot coffee, and cookies—whatever will open the door for us to be able to minister.”
The Charlotte Hogs and the Posse Group each brought 30 bikers and received prizes for bringing the most bikers.
COMRADES FOR CHRIST
For many bikers, gliding down a road on a Saturday morning amounts to the perfect way to relieve stress and build camaraderie. Bikers have a strong sense of community.
While a few motorcyclists are speaking, their gang lines up around them, stopping to listen and take part in the conversation. They are brothers and sisters on the road, but more important, brothers and sisters in Christ.
“We minister to the bikers,” says another biker. “It’s not about the motorcycles; it’s about the people.”
BOXES WITH A MESSAGE
Since 1993, Samaritan’s Purse has traveled to more than 100 countries to deliver over 61 million boxes to children in poverty-stricken or war-torn areas of the world. Along with the boxes, children receive illustrated Gospel booklets, printed in their languages with the message of Christ.
In partnership with the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child project, BGEA is training local Christian teachers and providing them with tools to help children know God, follow Him, and share His love with others.
This Christmas, won’t you please help us with this special outreach?