A former Marine is riding a bicycle across the United States to raise money to buy 1,000 solar-powered audio Bibles for illiterate people in remote areas of the world.
Troy Love, 47, is on day seven of his journey that began by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Aug. 1. He will ride about 3,785 miles during his 52-day trip and end in Yorktown, Va.
"I have to say that this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life," said Love to The Christian Post on Thursday. "This takes the cake."
For the past few days, Love has been riding across the Nevada desert where the next service station – and where he can buy water – is unpredictable. The heat is intense – on Wednesday it was 101 degrees – and the bicycle maps take him on back roads.
Love, unlike other bikers, is carrying about 25 pounds of gear and depends on where the next service area is to buy water. He said on Thursday's trip the map said it would be 35 miles until the next service station but it turned out to be 55 miles.
His parent-in-law recently caught up with him by car because they were worried how he would fare without anyone monitoring him and with sporadic cell phone coverage. His wife is staying home so she could speak at churches about his trip and collect donations for the audio Bible called Proclaimer.
Love first saw a Proclaimer, made by the non-profit ministry Faith Comes By Hearing, at church when his pastor presented it.
Afterwards, Love said he just had a "burning desire" in his heart to help support the mission of Proclaimer.
The solar powered-audio player is designed to be used in the world's most remote and rugged locations. The player has an embedded microchip and is pre-loaded with an audio recording of the New Testament. Proclaimers are available in over 400 foreign languages.
Indigenous pastors, priests and community leaders use these audio players to start Bible listening groups in their villages. Just one group can have up to 300 people listening and then discussing what they heard.
"Each of these Proclaimers reach 90 to 300 listening groups and people walk miles and miles to listen to one of these," Love explained. "There are so many people who can't read and these things are recorded in their heart language."
Love's goal is to raise $157,000 to provide 1,000 Proclaimers for poor and illiterate people around the world.
"If we can achieve this goal, we will reach about 500,000 people. So those that are poor and illiterate or without pastors can hear the Bible," Love said.
He added, "We need to get over being spoiled and get into God's word. We are only here for a blink of an eye to make a difference."
Love's cross-country bicycle journey will take him through nine states. He will cross the Nevada desert, Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, the Mississippi River, the Appalachian Mountains, and end at the Atlantic Ocean. He will camp out and sleep at host church members' homes during the trip.
"As my wife says, 'This trip will rock heaven and hell,'" Love remarked. "We are taking people out of hell and heaven will be rejoicing. I have to keep thinking that way with every pedal that I think 'man, I can't do this anymore.'"
He ended the interview by sharing his philosophy: "Don't expect someone else to do it. If you got a vision and a body to do it, get out and do it. Make a difference while you are here [on Earth]."
On the Web: Pedaling for Proclaimers