by Percy Valiente
I live in Peru, where I started the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). I wanted to visit the CMA in Argentina and in Paraguay. Henry, a member of one of the clubs I visit in Lima, wanted to travel to Rio de Janeiro, so we decided to journey together on our “iron horses.”
AS I LOOKED IN MY REAR VIEW MIRROR I saw Henry go off the road as he was going sixty-five miles per hour on his motorcycle. He could have been badly hurt or even killed.
The next day, his battery was dead and we could not start his bike by pushing it, so he had to be pulled by a car. The rope became tangled in his front tire, and he fell and was dragged several feet. Another time, he added oil to his motor and after two hours of riding, he stopped and his bike became covered with smoke. We both thought his bike was on fire. He forgot to put the oil cap on and the oil dripped onto the muffler, causing the smoke.
After these events happened in just the first couple of days of our trip, I said to him: “Evidently, Henry, you cannot take care of yourself, and I don’t think I can take care of you either. The only one who can take care of you is the Lord. So how about if you pray with me for God’s protection?” We did so and Henry was grateful. From then on, during the entire thirty-four days trip, he would not ride his bike until we first prayed and read the Bible.
I live in Peru, where I started the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). I wanted to visit the CMA in Argentina and in Paraguay.
Henry, a member of one of the clubs I visit in Lima, wanted to travel to Rio de Janeiro, so we decided to journey together on our “iron horses.”
Henrys’ friends know that I am a Christian, so some of them jokingly questioned, “Who will change who on this trip? Either Percy will convert him to the Lord, or Henry will convert him to the world.” To God’s glory, Henry has shown a definite interest in the gospel and in knowing Jesus.
During this trip, we not only crossed the width of a continent, but also visited the most important cities in six countries. We travelled half the length of Peru and Chile, the width and length of Uruguay, and the width of Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Brazil.
From Lima, we crossed the deserts in the south of Peru and Chile until we reached Santiago. From Santiago, we ascended the Andes Mountains in order to reach Argentina, which lies on the other side. The border between the two countries is located in the middle of a two-mile long tunnel that sits almost at the summit of the Andes.
Once in Argentina, we traveled more desert plains to reach Buenos Aires, where we were warmly received by CMA-Argentina. From Buenos Aires, we crossed Rio de Plata by Ferry and traveled by the Atlantic coast of Uruguay and southern Brazil until we reached Rio de Janeiro.
When we reached Rio de Janeiro, we visited one of the wonders of the world, “Christ the Redeemer.” There, I re-explained to Henry who Jesus Christ is and what he has done for us. I told Henry that to reach the living Christ, we don’t need to cross a continent, but rather we need only to call upon his name. Henry listened attentively as I told him that “the Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”
From Rio, we crossed the width of southern Brazil, and before reaching Paraguay, we visited another wonder of the world—the Iguazu Falls, which vividly illustrates God’s creation and handiwork. At this point, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil border one another.
Upon crossing the border into Paraguay, we were greeted by the President of CMA-Paraguay, who escorted us some three hundred miles across the country all the way to Asuncion, Paraguay.
After Paraguay, we had to return to Peru. In order to do so, we had to reenter Argentina in the desolate northern part of the country. Henry rode way below the speed limit. However, when I saw the Andes mountains hundreds of miles ahead of us, I became excited and took off and left him far behind. When I disappeared in the horizon, he decided to catch up with me, but was unable to do so even though he tried for a long time. Finding himself alone on a desolate road, the Lord made him think that perhaps I went to heaven and he was left behind and that he would have to return to Peru alone. I laughed when he told me all this.
We finally reached the border of Chile, where we had to again cross the Andean Mountains. Since the border was closed due to bad weather, we had to stay overnight at over 13,000 feet above sea level. That night, I was able to read about Paul’s testimony of salvation. It was the first time Henry heard about it, and it made him think. The next day we crossed over the freezing Andes. We were so happy to see the valley on the other side after being so cold for six hours in the Andes. Even three sets of gloves didn’t keep my hands warm.
When we finally returned to Peru after having ridden some ten thousand miles, we were greeted by a large group of bikers welcoming us back home. In the presence of these mostly non-Christian bikers, I thanked and praised the Lord and gave him all the honor and glory for Hhis mercy and protection on Henry and me during our entire trip.
Both CMA-Argentina and CMA-Paraguay treated us like kings. The president of CMA-Asuncion even filled up our gas tanks. These demonstrations of Christian love impacted Henry.
Henry is now attending CMA meetings in Lima, and in God’s perfect timing we expect him to confess Jesus as his Lord and Savior and become part of the CMA team here.
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Percy Valiente is an ordained pastor who has been serving in Peru with SIM since 1987. He is president and founder of CMA-Peru (Christian Motorcycle Association) and his primary topics of expertise include open air evangelism, marriage encounters, church planting, and teaching on biblical manhood.
EMQ, Vol. 52, No. 1. Copyright © 2016 Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMQ editors.