The 2019 tour was by no means an easy one. The tour’s track record in terms of serious incidents and accidents had been unblemished up to a week ago. This year, the tour saw four of our team members needing medical treatment in hospital.
One of them was Gerard Genis, who cut his leg open on Wednesday evening and rejoined the group this afternoon.
“Every year, I look forward to the tour. It was my deal with the Lord when I was so sick. I told him I would spend a week every year serving him using my own time and money, if he would just heal me. That is how I ended up with the Word Riders.
“So when I was lying there in hospital I asked the Lord, ‘Why me?’ But after I while I started asking myself, why not me because I met the most amazing people while I was in the hospital.
“I was really excited to sleep over at that farm on Wednesday night, but the Lord took that away from me because he had other plans. We must remember what this tour is about – to place Bibles in the hands of children.
Dawie Oosthuizen took stock of the influence that the Word Riders has had since it started in 2011.
“I have the privilege of looking back on eight years of the tour. If you include the Bibles that we’ve distributed on this tour it adds up to 27 000. That is quite a number. It reminds me of the scripture in Revelation about how our good works will follow us into heaven. I am constantly thinking about the impact this project has had in the lives of children and other people.
“The hope that we have sown in the hearts of young children and many other people along the way will only be revealed in the hereafter. But it is something that continues to draw you back to be part of this tour,” he said
This morning, the Word Riders visited the final 10 schools in and around Graaff-Reinet. One of them was Lingcom Primary.
The visitors were humbled by the tenacity, hope and faith of the school’s headmaster, Edmond Carelse
Despite the dilapidated state of the school which was built in 1968, recent acts of vandalism targeting the school building and a lack of any running water, the school and its staff hold firm to the hope that God will see them through.
“This is an opportunity where you learners can realise how important the Bible is. It is the truth, the Word of God showing you how you should live. With everything going on around us, we are still a privileged country. Our children can still go to school. If you look around the world, there are children who haven’t gone to school in years because of murder, death and war.
The Bibles that this school received were funded by the #BibleBubbies project where one school raises funds to buy Bible for a less privileged school.
So another Word Riders tour comes to an end with some 3 700 children receiving Bibles of their own.