Two bicyclists pedaling their way through Oklahoma last week battled July sun and fatigue for a cause — to provide lifesaving information for people in Third World countries who don’t read.
The cross-country journey continues for Ed Weaver and Christian Toews, who are expected to end their ride in Washington, D.C., on July 25.
They are with T4 Global, a small Dallas-based ministry that helps people primarily in Africa and South Asia.
According to T4 Global, millions of people are not getting proper information because they don’t use the written word.
“At T4 Global, we’re passionate about oral learners because the need is so great,” Weaver said. “About nine years ago, I found out that two-thirds of the world either can’t, don’t or won’t read.”
Weaver is CEO of T4 Global and is on his first coast-to-coast ride at age 53.
“I want to bring awareness of this issue and what T4 Global can do to change the lives in rural areas of the Third World for the better,” he said.
T4 Global’s webpage indicates the goal of the ride is to raise $100,000.
Weaver started biking two years ago. Toews is 26, and a triathlete, Weaver said.
Along the way, Weaver and Toews have found allies to their cause.
One is Matthew Moore, of Edmond.
“I doubt too many people understand the numbers of people in the world who don’t read or write,” Moore said.
The key is to get information to people, not only about the Scriptures, but basic issues, Moore said. Some of that knowledge includes communication about sanitation, clean water, hygiene and life-and-death issues such as the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
The challenge and goal for T4 Global is to find translators and then put various messages on MP3 players to target the world’s 2 billion people they say are malnourished or suffering from preventable diseases, or have not heard the message of Christianity.
“This is something people in Oklahoma should at least be aware of as we go along our daily lives,” Moore said.
New view of state
And the experience of riding a bike in Oklahoma? Weaver said he lived in Tulsa for two years but never experienced the state like this.
“Seeing Oklahoma on a bike is much different,” he said. “You feel every aspect of the road, hear all the sounds, see all the sights at a slower speed.”
On the day he was interviewed, he traveled through southern Oklahoma and experienced the Arbuckle Mountains.
“I’ve been in awe of them,” he said. “I’ve seen them up close and personal.”