By Stan Friedman
YAKIMA, WA (April 14, 2011) – Preston Wade showed he would travel great distances to help teenagers wanting to escape lives of prostitution.
The member of Wiley Heights Covenant Church recently rode his bicycle 1,000 miles in 11 days and raised $2,300 through pledges and other contributions to benefit New Day for Children. New Day, which provides residential care and education for young girls who have been rescued from human trafficking, was started by Covenanters.
Wade rode from Yakima to Gold Beach, Oregon, and back March 17-27.
A college freshman, he learned about the horrors of human trafficking and girls forced into prostitution when his church youth group attended a concert held to raise awareness of the issue. He said he immediately knew he wanted to raise funds to help an organization, and his youth leader told him about New Day.
Wade received some donations before the trip and was given even more after he showed a video about his trip at church. One person donated a dollar for each of the 1,005 miles.
Although Wade frequently makes long-distance rides, this was his first in which he covered 100 miles a day over a 10-day period. He also generally makes those trips in the summer.
“The experience of riding was great,” Wade says. “There were frustrating times, like the first day when I had strong headwinds for a section. That discouraged me. But each day following that was much better.”
Wade’s trip took him through a diversity of environments. Part of the trip was like riding through a “Brazilian rain forest” – snow was on the ground at higher levels. He wasn’t surprised that he had to bike through a lot of rain.
Along the way, he slept in the homes of pastors and in one church building. “That was a highlight,” Wade says.
In addition to raising money for New Day, Wade hopes his ride will encourage others to do more cycling and develop a richer appreciation for nature.
Click here to see a video he made of the trip. The Evangelical Covenant Church website includes information on human trafficking and other ways people can help fight it. New Day was the recipient of funds from the Covenant’s Department of Women Ministries Break the Chains project.