A big thank you to our 75 participants on 12 teams, and to our generous Mennonite Church Canada family who sponsored these riders in this year’s Ride for Refuge event held in communities across Canada on Sept. 29, 2018. Together, we raised more than $19,500 towards our International Witness ministry.
The Ride for Refuge event bills itself as “a family-friendly cycling and walking fundraising event” that enables people to support charities that provide refuge and hope for the world’s most vulnerable people. Our 12 Ride for Refuge teams participated in order to stand up for those “whose lives are deeply and often permanently affected by forces and events they can’t control, or who are exploited by the greedy and powerful who care nothing for human suffering.”
The funds that we raised will be used to enable Witness workers to continue to walk alongside those struggling with alcohol and gambling addictions, mental health issues and spiritual darkness; empower local church leaders to put Scripture into action to help the poor by dedicating their time and finances; facilitate small conversation groups that provide participants with a safe space where they can be vulnerable with others; unite small communities of faith to reinforce a shared Mennonite identity in a context of misunderstanding and suspicion; and to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples in their struggle to protect their ancestral lands and in their journey towards their right to self-determination.
Jason Martin is the director of MC Canada’s International Witness program.
Bikers taking part in the Winnipeg Ride for Refuge, including those riding in support of MC Canada Witness workers, are pictured at Covenant Christian Reformed Church before the ride began. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)
Team FMC Edmonton rode to support Witness workers Michael and Cheryl Nimz in the United Kingdom. Team members pictured from left to right: Jacob Wiebe-Neufeld, Tim Wiebe-Neufeld, Karl Blank and team captain Ryan Andres, all of Edmonton First Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Karl Blank)
Craig Neufeld, team captain of the Rosthern Rouleurs, in action. The Rouleurs raised $4,320, the most of any of the 12 MC Canada teams. (Photo courtesy of MC Saskatchewan)
The Tiefengrunters was one of four teams from Saskatchewan taking part in this year’s Ride for Refuge on behalf of MC Canada. The four teams Saskatchewan raised a total of $9,665, nearly half of all the funds raised for MC Canada Witness workers. (Photo courtesy of MC Saskatchewan)
Mary Anne Falk, left, and Tina Doell both of Carman (Man.) Mennonite Fellowship, were riding for Christine and Tom Poovong, Witness workers in Thailand. (Photo courtesy of MC Manitoba)
Team Mennonite Boys and Girls Can Ride from Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church raised $1,765 for MC Canada Witness workers during this year’s ‘Ride for Refuge.’ ‘We had a great ride,’ says team captain Brian Quan. ‘It was a picture perfect day for our 15 riders. (Photo by Brian Quan, Toronto Chinese Mennonite Church)