As we sing hallelujah and indulge in a chocolate coma, or perhaps splurge on that favorite thing we gave up for Lent, let us continue to celebrate the Easter message. We now have the chance to refresh our commitment to our faith by sharing the message of love.
My colleague, Richie Wolfe, 23, is spreading the message of Easter across the United States. He has moved out of his comfort zone to fight for the marginalized and oppressed victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. He has embarked on a five-month bicycle ride called the Journey Towards Hope, a fundraiser for Restoration House in Greenwood, Mo. Restoration House provides a residential recovery program for victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Richie Wolfe will crisscross America on his bicycle to tell this story. His 7,000-mile journey began April 1 and will end in September. Richie hopes to raise $10,000.
When Richie first shared with me he would ride his bike alone across the United States to visit 30 states and spend his nights camping, or staying on the couches of friends and strangers, I thought, what a free spirit…oh, to be young and adventurous! As we talked, I learned more about Richie and his commitment to sacrifice his needs to care for others. Richie has made an individual commitment to make a difference and address an issue of injustice. He is willing to take the risk, put his life on hold and trek 7,000 miles to share a message of oppression. His example has challenged me to refresh my commitment as to how I seek God, create community and practice justice. It takes my voice, too, to share the Easter message of love.
I pray, as we continue our post-Easter journey, that we will continue as Jesus’ followers by celebrating His resurrection, engaging in hope, taking a stand on issues of injustice and challenging the status quo. I also pray we find it in our hearts to continue to share our gift of privilege with those who need a voice and aid. In addition, I pray that all those who meet Richie embrace his journey and join in the fight for the rights of victims impacted by sex trafficking and exploitation. Finally, I pray for the strength to find my voice. Amen.
Kathy Marian is a founding member of Saint Andrew. She currently serves on the leadership circle in the role of past moderator. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about Richie’s Journey Towards Hope HERE.