Following our last meeting in June I completed my sermon for the European Motorcyclists For Christ Rally in Finland, I was asked to send it in advance so that a translation could be projected as I preach in August.
In late June Sandy and I organised the CMA team and equipment for the large Holy Joes Café at the Motorcycle Action Group Farmyard Party Rally, Helmsley, North Yorkshire. The rally has 5,000 – 6,000 bikers attending and MAG kindly provide us with an enormous marquee and we run the café 24hrs a day between Friday and Sunday, it was a great success and having a large team we could get alongside bikers and supply marshals to cover camp fields etc. We are privileged to have a close relationship with MAG and they really appreciate the hard work CMA contributes to the rally. This year I conducted a wedding blessing for a couple who live in Norfolk, this was planned well in advance and provided an opportunity to share the Gospel, we presented them with a celebration cake and a Biker Bible. It was a very positive time and it was clear their friends were moved by what was said. We had two great friends from CMA Netherlands working with our team at the rally (Ineke and Mark) they were interested in Holy Joes to see if it would work in their country.
The week after the Farmyard Rally I rode to Helensburgh to meet with the Rest of Scotland Branch, we had a good meeting with supper and I gave some training on ‘Looking beyond the outward appearance of those we are trying to reach.’
The following day I joined the Forth and Tay Branch running a Holy Joes tent at a Scottish MC Rally, the team worked well and made a good impression. Most of my time in Scotland the weather was very wet but my new set of tyres (Pilot Road 4 Trail) were excellent.
I was invited to share my testimony in Cleveland at a Full Gospel Businessmen’s meeting.
In early July Sandy and I rode to a Biker Breakfast at Torver a small village near Coniston in the Lake District, Cumbria – the Lakes and Lancs branch are involved in the breakfast that is hosted by St. Lukes Church and the branch led the short service before the breakfast started. It was incredible to see approximately 100 bikers from all backgrounds arriving for the breakfast we spent hours chatting and gently letting people know that God is interested in their lives. The bikes included classic, vintage, off road, touring, custom, sports bikes etc. a great cross section of the biker community. If you are able to attend these breakfasts you will be blessed, they occur on the first Sunday of each month April to October, the service begins at 9.30am for half an hour then the breakfast follows.
Sandy and I led a ride out with mostly Harley’s to the Yorkshire Dales we had a good day connecting with many bikers we know through the Bike Show Coach Trips I run.
Mid July after I finished my preparation and planning we set off for the National Rally based once again at Lenchwood Christian Centre near Evesham, we were blessed to have Rene Changuion the CMA International Coordinator with us again and he gave two seminars on the Qualities of a Leader and was our main speaker on Saturday evening. Our mission partners Open Doors and World Horizons attended the rally and took advantage of getting alongside our members. During the rally we showed the ‘God’s Not Dead’ movie it was a great challenge and motivated us to have an answer for the Truth we believe in. There were a number of Netherlands CMA with us at the Rally and sadly as they rode home one member John Pol was involved in a road accident and as a result of his injuries he passed away. It was a desperately sad end to an amazing weekend but our memories of John will always be of him worshipping the Lord with a huge smile. A few days later His family came over to Oxford to identify his body, Ted and I met up with them and gave our condolences on behalf of everyone in CMA UK it was a privilege to be able to bring comfort at such a difficult time.
Two days later I left to travel to the EMC Rally in Finland, the journey was time out for me with the Lord to prepare my heart to preach and be an encourager to leaders of other clubs in Europe. Sandy couldn’t get time off work to ride with me so she flew in for the weekend and engaged with the Ladies on site, God was doing a mighty work of Grace in many lives. The rally was a great success and situated an hour from Helsinki at a Lutheran Christian Centre, 550 bikers attended; we had numerous speakers and three Presidents meetings all at different venues 50 kms away. During our Presidents meetings I was asked to be on a sub committee of four leaders to contact all clubs in Europe to discuss how we can improve the rally to increase attendance particularly with new clubs and we were able to confirm the dates of EMC rallies in the near future as follows: 2016 Spain, 2017 Latvia, 2018 Holland, 2019 UK.
Two days after returning from Finland, Sandy and I had a much needed holiday.
On the 25th August I went to God’s Garage the club house of the God Squad in Stockport to hear John Smith the GS founder speak, it was good to meet up with John again, he has been suffering from cancer for quite a few years and although unwell his passion is undaunted.
The first weekend in September Sandy and I organised the CMA team and equipment for Stormin the Castle MAG Rally at Witton Castle, County Durham, approximately 5000 bikers attend this rally, we run a 24 hr Holy Joes and have an amazing time connecting with bikers we have known for many years. I was on site for four days. During the pre rally Marshals meeting which was held in Holy Joes (150 present) Lindy the Marshal Coordinator who has become a close friend told everyone that “This is Holy Joes run by CMA, these people care and will look after anyone that needs help!”
On the 13th September I attended the Ace Cafe Brighton Burn Up working with Sussex Branch and a few nearby branch members. This event is huge with estimated attendance nearing 40,000 just for one day, many bikers ride from the Ace Café all the way to Brighton, the sea front is jam packed with bikes and bike related promotion stands, we had a CMA tent backing on to the beach. Our day was very busy sharing the Gospel with many people that God had prepared, one young man read my testimony on my bike and when I explained in more detail he was amazed that God could give him a new start. Before he left he gave me a big hug with tears in his eyes. ‘Lord bring him to his knees that he might find you.’
Recently I had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon and it transpires that I have to have surgery on both of my feet removing sections of bone. I shall be in casts with metal pins for six weeks followed by physiotherapy, it will take three months before I can ride or drive. It is hoped I can have the operation in early December so that I can be back on the bike by April. I anticipate that I shall be off work for a month but then be office based on computer etc. during my recovery. Please pray for Sandy – I don’t do sitting still not even on a bike!
I have been working with Bibles For The Nations to order another 10,000 copies of the Biker Bible we are nearly there.
I have received an invitation to visit CMA Belgium next year to preach and bring some training.
I have been invited by World Horizons to preach at a church in Roubaix France next May as part of the WH/CMA weekend near Lille.