Thunder Roads Ohio Launches Mission 2021 with Sam Childers in Rocky River.
On Sunday, August 25th; Thunder Roads Ohio had the opportunity to join with Armored Disciples Motorcycle Ministry and other riding ministries to welcome Sam Childers – The Machine Gun Preacher – to Cleveland for an afternoon.
If you’re not familiar with Sam Childers and the work he’s done – it’s a story that you need to hear. In the simplest of terms, he is a biker from Pennsylvania that traveled to Africa back in 1998 and witnessed atrocities that ended turning his world upside down. He has since literally saved the lives of THOUSANDS of children that in many cases had been simply left to die.
That’s not dramatics or an overstatement. These were orphans that had lost their parents to the violence that has ravaged Sudan, Uganda, and the region for more than 50 years. In this part of Africa, there were no governmental social services for children. And the violence and horrors were simply so overwhelming that many traditional missionary and aid organizations simply withdrew from the region. It was a situation so bad that news organizations and even the worlds governments simply looked the otherway.
But along comes Sam Childers, a BIKER from Pennsylvania, and he took it upon himself to make a difference. One man on a mission to save the lives of children.
Instead of being overwhelmed by the challenge – he SIMPLY DID IT. He did what nobody else seemed capable of doing – and he’s been saving the lives of children ever since.
For more on Sam Childers and his organization – Angels of East Africa, googgle them online or visit their Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/MGP) @MachineGunPreacher. You can also visit our websites and follow our social media pages for updates on his work and how YOU can help.
Back when we started Thunder Roads Ohio in 2011, we first crossed paths with Sam and learned of his work. I was already aware of the atrocities in Sudan after meeting a war refugee from the region while I was in school years before – so I felt a calling to help however I could. We supported a few appearances and helped share his story. But as happens in life, we became distracted with the realities of our own lives and we lost touch.
Then it just “so happened” that Sam would be in Florida this Spring while we were in Daytona for Bike Week. And then “coincidentally” it turned out that Sam would be in Ohio this Spring for a Bike Blessing with the Kingdom Knights Motorcycle Ministry in Akron.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Sam and do an interview – which you can find on our facebook page and website. In doing so, we had a simple question – “What’s going on with the Machine Gun Preacher – ten years later, what’s happened with your mission?”
To which his reply was even simpler – “I never stopped.”
We will share more of his story and work over the coming months and you can find more online, but the simple truth of his life and all that he’s accomplished was exactly what we needed to hear after all we’ve been through over the past year. It was the inspiration for a new charitable initiative and focus for our organization – Mission 2021.
MISSION 2021: And the Machine Gun Preacher Bike
Mission 2021 for us is all about launching a new initiative that is focused purely on making a difference.
It’s not about politics, race, past history, or any other drama or excuses that might overwhelm or distract us.
This isn’t JUST about saving the LIVES of children in Africa – it’s about waking us up and inspiring us to make more of our own lives. Sure there’s A LOT of craziness going on in the world – but we CAN NO LONGER simply leave it to others to fix. We all can’t travel to Africa, nor should we. We have plenty that we can do in our own corner of the world – or even just here in the United States. But in supporting SAM’S WORK – we can help energize change in our own communities.
Our belief is that MISSION WORK and helping others is inspiring and can fuel change in our own lives.
We’ve partnered with Sam’s organization – Angels of East Africa, LLC (a 501c3 organization) and Western Reserve Charities, Inc, to launch a campaign to not only support their work in Africa and organizations working to make a difference in our own communities right here in Ohio and the US.
A central piece of this effort is a campaign to raffle off Sam’s own personal bike – a Harley-Davidson Street Glide that he had customized in his Pennsylvania shop. It’s one of the original MACHINE GUN PREACHER motorcycles and really a cool bike with a unique look and history.
We are now helping to collect donations which give you the chance to win this motorcycle – while helping to both support the work of SAM and his organization AND local charities right here in Ohio.
Over the next several months we are going to share more and more about both Sam Childers and his work – as well as local individuals and organizations that are working in our own communities. Through the Bike Raffle and other initiatives you can help support these efforts and be a part of the change we need.
We can NO LONGER simply wait for others to fix our communities and consequently our NATION as a whole. We need to step up ourselves.
You can find out more and get your tickets online at ThunderRoadsOhio.com.
Thanks to David Eggert, NEO Pro Imaging, for photos.