Ends of the Earth Cycling, a ministry of New International, has reached a milestone of raising $1 million for Christ-centered youth ministries around the world, according to the Christian Standard. Ends of the Earth Cycling unites cyclists together to benefit international youth ministries and pray for the country’s needs where each ministry is located. Justin Hanneken, the executive director of Ends of the Earth Cycling, shared that the ministry is more of a “mission trip” and that the cycling is really a “tool” for accomplishing their mission.
According to the Christian Standard, “Ends of the Earth Cycling has organized 43 cycling tours in 35 states. Each tour has lasted from five to seven days and covered 300 to 500 miles. About 1,300 people have participated, either as riders or as support team members.” According to their website, Ends of the Earth Cycling has cycled for 24 countries with over 900 cyclists peddling more than 243,000 miles. The goal of the cycling tours is to meet the needs of and pray for global youth ministries.
Hanneken shared that he was not a cyclist when Ends of the Earth Cycling initially began, when he was encouraged to plan a bike ride for youth pastors by his boss at New International “as a way to gather them for fellowship.” The first ride he organized was a 300 mile tour from Fort Myers to Key West, Florida which took place in 2012. Twelve riders and one support staff member raised $7,700 of which ten percent went towards maintaining the program and the rest of the funds were sent to a youth ministry in Bulgaria. It was then, according to Hanneken, that Ends of the Earth Cycling “was born.” The following year, the tour had 39 participants and raised $45,000. Before they knew it, Ends of the Earth Cycling had set a goal to raise $1 million, which they have now met.
Les Hardin, a professor of New Testament at Johnson University Florida, who has been involved “in nearly every aspect of Ends of the Earth Cycling,” shared that their success fundraising is “a testimony to what the people of God can accomplish when we’re all focused on a common, kingdom-centric goal.” Hardin explained that while the global youth ministries receive 90 percent of all donations, the cyclists themselves also receive a gift through the discussions they have with fellow cyclists, the restorative health the sport brings, as well as the relationships they grow with each other and with God. In many ways, Ends of the Earth Cycling is changing the lives of cyclists and members of global youth ministries who are finding strength, hope, and faith through the program.