A Small Group with a Powerful Message

A small group of Christian Reformed people with a powerful message is traveling around southern Ontario and across Michigan to raise awareness of the effects of pornography on lives and communities, and to encourage discussion about it.

The Shore2Shore with a Roar motorcycle tour is taking riders 2,369 kilometers (1,480 miles), with stops at 14 churches in two weeks, to break the silence about this issue and its devastating effects. Brought together by a common desire to bring healing through discussion, bikers came from as far as Prince Edward Island to join the tour, which runs from June 29 to July 12.

Riders are responsible for their own costs. Along the route they are fed and billeted by the churches they visit. The core group of seven riders is joined by “day-trippers” riding along for part of the tour in support of the effort. The ride, according to the website, is open to all who want to support the idea of “taking every thought captive” (1 Cor. 10:5) for our Lord and who agree that pornography doesn’t belong in the Christian community.

Originally envisioned as a longer tour with a larger group, the ride was shortened when initial response was less than organizers had hoped. “We’re seeing it as more of a pilot or seed project [this year],” said Janette VanderZaag.

In presentations, riders share personal stories of the damage that pornography can bring to marriages and families, discuss the ease with which pornography can be found—even stumbled upon—and urge people to deal with the problem through accountability, computer filters, and knowledge. At each stop, the group gives away copies of Just One Click: Christians, Porn, and the Lure of Cybersex(Faith Alive), and a “Shhhh . . .” brochure from the Safe Church Ministry of the CRC.

At one rally, Pastor Chad Vandervalk of Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) CRC told people, “Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”

Vandervalk is the pastor of Jim Terpstra, who “came up with the idea and is the driving force behind it,” according to Pastor Carel Geleynse, pastor of Community CRC in Kitchener, Ontario, where the tour began.

One rider, Janny, said she was drawn to the tour “first of all [for] bike riding.” She grew more serious as she continued, “Second, my marriage was broken because of this. And third, a lady in my church—her husband has been [using] porn.”

Henk tenOever joined the ride because he saw the value of the cause and decided, “I’ve got the time, I’ve got the bike—do it. So far, it’s been a really great experience.”

Jake Snieder, who attended the presentation at Grace CRC in Chatham, Ontario, said, “As a man and as a youth pastor, [I realized] this is something we do need to talk about more openly—to take away the power of shame that porn has on people’s lives, just by talking about it. . . . This is a real issue that affects real lives.”

Additional resources:
How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church? (Crosswalk.com)
CovenantEyes: Internet Accountability and Filtering
XXXChurch.com

One Shore2Shore stop was Grace CRC, Chatham, Ontario.

About the Author

Anita Brinkman is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Chatham and Huron.

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