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200-Mile Bike Trip Challenges Participants

GREENVILLE, Mich.—Hiking on trails, swimming in Lake Superior, cliff-jumping at Montreal Falls. These activities blended with a 200-mile bike trip organized by Lincoln Lake Baptist Camp and sponsored by Dr. Paul Sweetland, member of First Baptist Church, Middleville, Mich. Mark Shaw, pastor of Calvary Baptist, Greenville, was the Bible teacher for the weeklong trip, whose theme was “Asking Questions, Finding Answers; Living a Life that Matters for Time and Eternity.” The trip was designed to be challenging, both physically and spiritually. The purpose was clearly in harmony with the camp’s mission to “be an outreach of the local church, using the unique atmosphere of camping to evangelize and make disciples through the Word of God.” Each morning the riders and staff were given a brief overview of the evening chapel message so they could ponder in advance what was to be studied. On some days it was a simple question like, “Does God really care about what I do, and how would I know?” Some days cyclists looked for as much evidence as possible of God’s existence or His love. Each night in the chapel service the cyclists processed the day and merged into the subject from God’s Word. Chapel services were “wilderness style,”  in that the cyclists had to deal with the elements of weather. Sometimes the wind was so strong that they could not hold papers or Bibles. One night it rained so hard that they sat in the van in the dark. All of the campers made a spiritual commitment of some type throughout the week, which they shared with one another. Two of the days were mountain bike days; the other three were “road miles.” The  longest day included about 55 miles. All of the day trips were in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the areas of Munising and Copper Harbor. All  gear was stowed and hauled in trailers so the bikers were free to ride unencumbered. Cooking was done on site, and the bikers carried food with them during the day. Often the “sag-wagon” met them for lunch. This support vehicle and personnel were indispensable, as the group needed tubes, chains, towels, additional gear, and snacks along the way. Pastor Shaw remarked that the highlight of the trip was twofold: the attentiveness of the staff and campers to the Word and their desire to apply the truth to their lives; and seeing his son and his wife take the servant-leader role in guiding and facilitating the trip—even caring for people in some precarious situations. By God’s grace everyone returned home safe and growing in the Lord.