I biked more than 650 miles this summer over a 6-day period! If you’re even a little curious why, I would love for you to keep reading!
This summer, I participated in an important mission called Biking for Babies. The mission of Biking for Babies is to renew the Culture of Life, one pedal stroke and one pregnancy resource center (PRC) at a time, by increasing PRC awareness, raising financial and spiritual support, and forming young adults, like myself, into pro-birth missionaries.
In a typical year, there would be four routes across America (north/south/east/west) that bike approximately 2700 miles over a six day period (over 600 miles per route!), covering the nation in prayer, and forming a cross with a central meeting point and a Celebration of Life in St. Louis. I was scheduled to be part of the northern route, biking from Green Bay to St. Louis (doesn’t that seem REALLY far? I thought so too). Due to COVID restrictions, we did not ride to St. Louis but instead biked over 650 miles throughout Wisconsin, with our home base being our very own Camp Tekakwitha. While this could have been a discouraging change, it was truly amazing! In a typical year, we would only see riders from the other routes at the Celebration of Life– but this year, we were all in one place. This allowed us to form new relationships that otherwise may not have happened, and it also allowed us to spend time in retreat each evening.
This National Ride serves to bring awareness to pregnancy resource centers across the country that help women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. A part of our formation includes fundraising for life-affirming pregnancy resource centers to decrease the cost of services to families in crisis pregnancy situations. If you’ve been to a pregnancy resource center before (St. Gianna Clinic in Green Bay is our local PRC), you may have an idea of what material, spiritual, and emotional support is available to the women and families, but if not, here is a list of some of the primary services they offer.
- Pregnancy testing
- Prenatal care, such as vitamins, doctor referrals
- STD testing
- Infant care materials, like formula, cribs, clothes, diapers, etc.
- Educational classes for nutrition and health, childbirth, parenting skills, relationship skills, etc. This goes on well after birth (up to 4 years old at some PRCs).
- Post-abortive counseling
Joining this mission had been on my heart for over two years. I have experienced loss in pregnancy, as my son MJ (Matthew James) was originally a twin, and the grief associated with the loss of a child is real and powerfully heartbreaking – and mine was not a crisis pregnancy! The choices that these mothers and families are facing are immeasurably difficult, and I want them to know there is a safe place for them that will provide the support that they need. In my mind, it is one thing to stand for pro-birth, but another to truly give tangible and unconditional support to those who need it. The training and actual ride, while mentally, spiritually and physically challenging, was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever done. Each day, I would be so physically exhausted that I thought there was “no way,” I was going to be able to do it again tomorrow. And each day after that, I got on my bike and offered up those miles for women and families that are experiencing the fear of the unknown in their own lives, asking God to be in their hearts and guide their “Yes” to life. I also relinquished control and really let God in. Without this, I don’t know that I would have made it through the week. There were many small things like this that happened throughout the week.
If you are called to be a part of this important mission, I would encourage you to visit the site below. www.bikingforbabies.com/give
Some GO by giving. Some GIVE by going. Thank you for supporting God’s work. Thank you for being part of my faith Community. We are looking for next year’s missionaries – this includes both cyclists and support crew! Please reach out to me if you are interested!
Angela Prill, parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish
Angela.firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-540-5658