[Interview : Eunice Parodi]
Ten years ago two BEM missionaries launched Moto-conneXion, an alternative community that combines a passion for motor bikes and an interest in spiritual journeying. In practical terms, this means a monthly bike trip that includes time for discussion and sharing about the Gospel, having a meal together, laughing a lot and prayer. Believers (from different backgrounds) and non-believers alike meet up and share their experiences and their discoveries in a way that enriches one and all. RALPH met up with Patrick and Christine who’ve participated from the very beginning.
We have three children and two grand-children. Patrick is a truck driver and Christine a civil servant.
So you’re passionate about motorbikes?
P. I’ve always loved motorbikes and I’ve almost always had one. In fact, even when I’m not out on the bike, the simple fact of having one at home makes me feel happy.
C. I love motorbikes too, but I preferred to wait ‘til our children had grown up before going out on the bike. As soon as our youngest was 16, I began to accompany Patrick.
What do you like about Moto-conneXion?
P. I like Moto-conneXion for its diversity. We come from different places and churches, from different communities. I like the way it’s run and the way we approach the Word of God.
C. I like Moto-conneXion for its community aspect. We all feel at ease with each other and we get on well. Not all of us are committed Christians, but we respect one another.
How would do you define ‘community’?
C. As far as church is concerned, I think of it as a place where everyone can participate actively in the life of the community, even during worship. It’s possible to do church in a different way – its less formal, and more personal.
C. In a sense, yes. All these elements are there, with in addition, very strong friendships, because there are fewer of us.
This ‘community’ – is it something you find essential for your daily life and your spiritual journey with God?
C. I need to be in fellowship with Christians to feel good and to grow in the Lord. In addition to life in my local church, our bike trips help me to get away and to admire God’s creation. We’ve so much beautiful countryside in Belgium, you have to get out and admire it!
P. I don’t attend church. But with Moto-conneXion, I’ve found a way I can follow God.