12 February 2012

My Sweat, Your Money, Their Life, Go Bible!

by Graeme McNae

This blog-piece is written by Graeme McNae, Tongan Programme Coordinator, School of Theology, Mission and Ministry. Graeme is an avid mountain biker and is combining his love of cycling and the Bible, here is why…

“Why on earth would a 63 year old want to ride a mountain bike 106km over the highest 4 wheel drive track in New Zealand?” That’s the line one of my colleagues threw at me at lunch the other day.

Well some people experience a weird exhilaration with the physical pain of outdoor challenges. I’m one of those strange people. But when it is wed with the possibility of raising funds for the production of the Scriptures and their distribution into the hard-to-reach parts of our world, I’m dead keen!

A number of years ago, the Bible Society commissioned and funded a New Testament with a contemporary Tongan translation placed alongside the English NRSV. Such a New Testament with two languages side by side is called a diglot. Amazingly, when they were produced two years ago, three thousand copies went in a flash.

As someone who has been engaged in mission for close to forty years in Tonga and among Tongans scattered around the world, I’m particularly passionate about getting one of these Tongan-English NTs into the hands of as many people as possible. My motivation in doing this ride is to raise funds to see another 5,000 copies printed and distributed. While the funds raised on the Rainbow ride are not directly targeted to this project, they will certainly enable Bible Society of New Zealand to do their work.

Aside from this ride enabling God’s Word to be in the hands of more people, who would not want to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the northern tip of Southern Alps? I am also looking forward to the company of other bike and Bible enthusiasts. I’m picking we are in for a great day especially when we drop our tired bodies into the hot pools at Hamner after 8 hours of grind. So while some might think I am 'over the hill', I’m not stupid enough to pass up a challenge that merges my passion for mountain biking and my vision for renewing hearts by their reading the Word of God.

If you want to contribute to the cause you could do an online transfer to Rainbow Bible (A/c 15 3959 0089184 (TSB)) or post a cheque to Graeme McNae, Private Bag 93104, Henderson, Auckland 0650 or drop off your donation at the Laidlaw College front desk, 80 Central Park Drive, Henderson. If you are keen to contribute, I would love to hear from you so drop me a line (gmcnae/laidlaw.ac.nz). We are on the road this Saturday 18th February from about 7am.

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