On a long journey with God

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We are all in search of something.

We seek love, answers, meaning; a purpose for our lives. The day we meet our Lord Jesus, he fulfils all of our needs. When we find that place where we belong, where we are to be used by God, then it all makes sense. It just feels right.

That is also why it is so frustrating and disappointing when our plans don’t succeed, but even through our perceived failings, God reveals his incredible character and wisdom.

This is but one of the lessons that Dries Fourie (back, third from left) learnt as he responded to his calling from God.

“We all received a command from the Lord as revealed in Matthew 28:18-19. We are called to make disciples, but I’m not a pastor who can preach from the pulpit,” explains Dries who works as a manager at a security company in Wellington in the Western Cape.

“I asked God to show me how I could get involved and He said: 'You can cycle, why don’t you use that passion and talent for cycling that I gave you for my glory?’”

That was when Dries who had been cycling since his youth had the idea of using a cycle tour in aid of Bible Distribution. However, it wasn’t plain sailing and the cycle tour plans repeatedly went awry.

“There came a time when I wrestled with God. I told Him: 'God you inspired these thoughts, you placed this idea on my heart, but every time I arrange an event, it fails just before we are due to start.'”

It would be a test of his patience, commitment and faith. Dries soon realised that God’s timing is most certainly not his.

Finally, everything clicked into place and in 2005, the first Wellington Cycle for Bibles Tour from Wellington to Hartenbos took place.

At the same time, there was a man, Alfred Yardley, a member of Dries’ church who was also doing his bit for Bibles.

"Alfred was disabled and his mother would drive him around to the surrounding towns where he would go from business to business, collecting money for the Bible cause.”

In 2006, Alfred died in a car accident.

“After Alfred’s passing, we really experienced how God used the Cycle for Bibles tour to fill the void that he left. It is now up to us to complete the task.”

The event has grown from strength to strength, with the completion of the 12th tour on 15 September this year.

During the four-day cycle tour, the cyclists rotate shifts to complete the 490kms from Wellington to Hartenbos. There are overnight stops at Montagu, Ladismith and Oudtshoorn. Bibles are distributed along the way and in so doing the Bible Society’s distribution work is shared with interested people en route.

There have been many remarkable testimonies on the tour. Dries shares one that will remain with him forever.

“There was a Xhosa-speaking prisoner who led a reign of terror at the Ladismith prison. He so terrified fellow-inmates that when he walked down the passage, they literally fled and pressed themselves against the farthest walls of their cells in order to avoid him. The prison did not have its own chaplain, but there was a volunteer fulfilling these duties. When the volunteer told this prisoner that we were on our way from Wellington on bicycles and that he would receive a Bible in his own language, God transformed his life within 24 hours. Today, God uses this very prisoner to spread the gospel in the prison.”

Testimonies like these have convinced Dries that all the effort is worth it.

“If you do your part, God more than does his part. He goes that extra mile for you. We just sow the seed, God is the one who makes it grow and one day we will receive our reward; and it will be great.”

He regards the Bible as indispensable in his life.

“The Bible is like a road map to me. It shows me the path to walk and without it I am lost. Specifically on the tour, because we come into contact with the public and hand out many Bibles, one realises that you sow into a person’s life. Just knowing that, that particular Bible can be used as a map, like I use it, is enough for me.

“I know that if I can put into practice the teachings of the Bible, I won’t be lost, I won’t lose the way. God will always keep me on the right path."