In a creek bed south of Quanah, Texas in the middle of the night in 2015, Rick Presser prayed. He was alone and about 500 miles into a 1000 mile bike race and he was struggling. He was riding through the night because of the scorching heat during the day. The little voice in his head was pushing him to quit, so he stopped and prayed for strength to keep going. The Lord answered his prayer and he finished the race.
Fast forward a year later and Rick was riding the same route - this time with a friend. Rick had told his friend about his experience, so they stopped and prayed together. Rick realized that, after a few hundred miles, when fatigue sets in and all the pretense and pride and other nonsense that clings during daily life is stripped away, his mind gets quiet and he listens to God. He credits this time with helping him separate the unimportant from the important matters in life.
As the day wore on, Rick felt that the Lord was calling him to do something with cycling; something to give it all more meaning. When he got home, he reached out to a few charities hoping that the Lord would point him in the right direction. Rick lives near a Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services (PCHAS) campus, and our mission was a perfect match for his passion. His grandmother was orphaned and later abandoned during World War I, and he wanted to help children facing challenges, much like she did.
Rick's hope is that by riding for PCHAS in the Race Across Texas he can have a positive impact on children in foster care in some way. "I don't want him to give me a gift and all I do is bury it somewhere until he returns," said Rick, in reference to Jesus' Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Rick hopes his ride raises awareness for the work that PCHAS does and encourages people to support our mission of providing Christ-centered care and support to children and families in need.
Rick starts the Race Across Texas, a 1,000 mile race that spans from Texarkana, Texas to Tucumcari, New Mexico and features 90% dirt/gravel roads and approximately 25,000 feet of climbing, on Saturday, September 9th. You can track his ride at www.tinyurl.com/RickPresserTracker. If you would like to sponsor Rick, visit https://giving.pchas.org/Bike1KforPCHAS.