R.A.M.’s mission is to evangelize and revitalize the rural communities of America by sharing the truth and grace of Jesus Christ through His word and compassionate action.
For physical and spiritual protection while cycling the 550 miles it will take to complete our trip.
For the physical strength to complete our trip!
For our words and actions to bring glory to God and redemption and hope to those we meet along the way.
For our fund-raising goal of $25,000.00 to be reached.
For great turn-outs at our scheduled prayer events in Boise City, Guymon, Woodward, Watonga, OKC, Ada, Antlers & Broken Bow and that these prayer events will be a catalyst for greater unity and future efforts for unity among all who claim to follow Christ.
For no break-downs on the road with our bikes or our support vehicle.
For cooler temperatures and NO WIND during our ride.
For the grace and truth of Jesus to spread throughout the rural communities of Oklahoma and into all of rural America.
For all the logistics and details related to the organization of this ride to come together as planned and needed.
For relationships to be established with civic and religious community leaders that will open doors for greater ministry and service in the rural communities we cycle through.
For a successful social media campaign during our ride, tripling RAM’s followers on FB and effectively sharing our journey during the ride.
God often works in ways you least expect. As a part of RAM, we had bible studies every morning and before we’d start our discussion we’d all go around and say where we saw God the day before. Through this, we’d always be searching for an opportunity where we saw God working. A majority of the time it was through interaction with the community, and often where we least expected it. As my friend Wesley stated in his blog post titled, “The Right Thing to Do,” he got to pray with a man whom he met through door knocking for VBS, who lost his wife very recently. God was also working through us in door knocking by blessing older folks with someone to talk with, leading us to people who had stopped attending church, meeting people who were in search of a congregation; among many more experiences.
God also does not work on our watch. Often I get so busy and caught up with my own schedule, I forget I should be still and listen for God to direct me. During my time in Cordell, I was picking up and dropping off a girl for VBS. A few times during the week we’d go to Sonic and order a drink. The first day we went to Sonic they were taking FOREVER to bring out our order. I was getting a bit frustrated inside because I thought I needed to hurry and get back to the church building, but God had something different in mind. The girl was enjoying her time hanging out in my car and noticed a bible story book in the backseat of my car. I started reading it to her and then I realized this was far more important than my plans. Even after our Sonic order was delivered, I finished the chapter of the story and then went on our way. In this moment God taught me to be still and be mindful of situations He has put before me.
Finally, a third lesson He taught me was that forming relationships is more than just asking someone how they are doing. I’m sure I can say this for all of the RAM students; we were very blessed to have such hospitable and kind host families!
There is much I love about each one of them, but most of all they taught me about building relationships. I have a hard time knowing what to say to new acquaintances, but they made it seem so easy each time we met a new host family. Towards the end of RAM I figured it out! It’s about investing time with people, which reminds me of another door knocking story. I was walking up to a house I didn’t really want to go to. It was an older house. There were heat-stricken kittens laying on the porch, and lots of flies buzzing around. With hesitation I knocked and a lady answered. I told her about VBS and wondered if she had any grandchildren in the area or knew any kids. At first she was closed up and said no. Somehow we started talking about her kittens and ideas of how to prevent the flies from coming around, and she asked again what I was advertising, with interest now. I told her again about VBS, she accepted a flyer and kindly stated she did have some grandchildren fairly close by that she could relay the message too. This was another way God showed me He was working and how taking your time with someone can change how they hear your message.
I have been so blessed by working with the people of rural America, and my journey in faith has been corrected to walking by God’s side, not on my own. I plan to stay connected with these communities and bring others to recognize the need for workers in God’s kingdom of rural America.
This summer God blessed me with the opportunity to participate in Rural America Ministries. Namely, I got to spend a month out in southwestern Oklahoma (mostly Cordell, Mangum and Granite) along with three other college students who I can now call my dear friends, Jacob Bos, Kaylee Cowan, and Savanna Harris.
God was constantly at work throughout my time at RAM. At least from my perspective, I would say that He was even working before RAM had officially started this year. I had never spent a summer like this before and I had never been to any of these communities. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive, and I came close to telling Jim that I didn’t want to do it. However, a voice (which I am convinced was the Holy Spirit) kept telling me that this was the right thing to do, and that this was where God wanted me to be. Had God not been working on my heart before RAM this summer, it would have probably been much different.
I saw God at work through our time canvassing in both Washita and Greer Counties. In Cordell, I knocked on a door of an elderly man who had recently lost his wife. We sat down and talked about it, and I prayed for him. He said he was very appreciative of me coming and seeing him. Although this got me behind on my door knocking for that day, that was an experience which I’ll never forget. He was lonely. He just wanted somebody to come and talk to him. When I answered the door he honestly looked miserable, but by the end we were laughing. It ended by him saying that he would tell his grandchildren about our Summer Encounter program. It felt so good that, if for at least for a little while, I could be a light for someone whose heart was completely broken.
I saw God through the children at both Summer Encounter in Cordell, and VBS in Mangum. I saw how innocent and full of life they were. How trusting they were. I had been struggling with personal issues over the last few months, and sometimes I felt as though that God hadn’t been answering my prayers. In Mangum, however, I overheard a little girl say emphatically that “God listens to your prayers! You just got to shut up and listen!” How simple is that? Adults always to try to make trusting in God more complicated than it really is. It reminded me not to be anxious, but pray and trust God through whatever situation I am in.
I am so extraordinarily thankful that RAM became a part of my summer this year. I am considering going once again. It’s amazing how the church can have such a huge impact in such remote places. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that our impact this summer was positive. God made this journey possible for us.