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Stories of Impact Blog

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! 
-1 Chronicles 16:8

Xtreme Challenges

Xtreme Challenges

“Judah” is a Christian missionary to youth in a sensitive country in Africa. Judah explains, “We live and minister in a context where Christians are still harassed and persecuted, and we must be careful about what we share publicly.

In the past, when Stories of Impact featured our tour beneficiaries, this little section would include details about the relevant tour. While the specific 2022 bicycling tour and beneficiary in Africa cannot be identified safely, and the names of people and places are changed, we hope that you’ll find this post an encouragement to your faith as a part of our Ends of the Earth Cycling family.

[Redacted Country] is a very conservative society, which is dominated by the culture of honor and shame. In spite of that fact, pornography and sex outside marriage are widespread among youth.

Dear friends and ministry partners at Ends of the Earth Cycling,

There is a ministry called [Redacted Ministry Name] “Men’s Ministry” that started in the Netherlands with the aim of serving men. The “Men’s Ministry” vision is to see a spiritual awakening, servant leadership, and missionary entrepreneurship among men around the world. They facilitate events called Xtreme Challenges (XC). It is present in many countries, including the USA. This ministry operates in [Judah’s Country] within a natural reserve in the [Redacted] region. It is held three times a year during the winter months only, and the average number of participants is 100 people divided into 10 teams. The majority are from [Judah’s Country], but a percentage come from other countries to hike in this adventure.

An XC is three days of challenge and inspiration for men out in the wild that creates a deep spiritual experience. Men work together, confronted with significant physical challenges, and experience deep friendships. For the crew team, it lasts five days, including the preparation and training days that are held weekly. The aim is to meet the men and Christ the Savior through a journey and an adventure in which they learn important biblical life lessons. This adventure and experience are very influential because of the personal nature and the live interaction between nature and people. It shapes one’s personality.

[Redacted Country] was ranked on search engines as number 2 in searching on “sex and pornography sites” and addiction is problematic.

“Men’s Ministry” is a group of ordinary people living extraordinary lives. I am partnering with them because we both want men everywhere to throw all they have into mind, body & soul. These are adventures that will impact them and their world forever. Because of my experience in youth ministry and behavioral addictions, I was invited by “Men’s Ministry” to speak from a biblical perspective on the story of David and Bathsheba during the XC. Through this story, I talked about sexual failures, and because the message was for each of the ten teams separately, there were opportunities for dialogue and discussion. I want to share the story of one of the men who spoke to me after the talk.

Emad

Emad is a young man who recently graduated and has a job now. He fell in love with a girl, and after an engagement that lasted for more than 3 years, he married her and they started their life together. It was, as he put it, the utmost happiness during the first weeks of the marriage. However, when not a month had passed since his marriage, his wife became very ill and had to be hospitalized. Despite attempts to understand what happened, the doctors were unable to explain the cause of her fatigue, but she required intensive treatment, therapy, and tests. After months, it appeared that she needed surgical intervention, and there was a big problem in her intestines. She remained in the hospital for more than two years.

Emad was overcome with great anger and distress. During this period, he started watching pornographic films and became addicted to them. It began to affect him in a way that impacted his work and his home, which he considered to have collapsed due to his wife’s illness. Even after she was discharged from the hospital, he could not give up watching pornographic films. The problem was that his wife knew about it and felt betrayed, and their relationship suffered. The house collapsed again, this time from the inside.

But praise God, there is hope for the weak, despite the disastrous disappointment with which he lived. These words that I was honored to share lit a lamp for him in a very dark place, and he met Christ the Savior. He became a son of the Lord and felt the victory of Jesus Christ within him. He prayed to devote his life and his home to Christ and to separate from watching pornography.

I am grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in his healing, and that through the partnership with Ends Cycling, I had received the training and experience to serve my brother and so many others in [Redacted Country].


To God be the Glory!


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