Key to early Methodist success on the American frontier was a dedicated contingent of Circuit Riders. Their itinerant ministry provided preaching, the sacraments, and church structure to communities that would not otherwise have been able to attract or afford a minister. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, their zeal for God resulted in a movement later described as the First Great Awakening.
A Circuit Rider's horse was a key component of the itinerant ministry. Because many could not afford one, often it was provided. Today in Vietnam, motorbikes are the primary mode of transportation. Of the 18,000 United Methodist Christians in country, not one owns a car. Just as the horse was essential to the early Methodist Circuit Rider, the motorbike is the means of bringing the gospel to the masses.
This week the Foothills-Shawnee Valley Mission Team is delivering 10 new motorbikes to United Methodist Vietnamese pastors. These small, economical, easy to repair, motorbikes enable pastors to itinerate from village to village as modern-day circuit riders! For ultimately, this mission is not about the modern-day "horses". It is about seeing God’s glory shine in Southeast Asia and supporting these circuit-rider itinerate preachers as they offer the Light of Christ to the World. To God be the glory!