(The following blog post was written by Man Up and Go Board Chairman Mitch Hauschidlt, who led our 2017 RAGBRAI team.)
The past Saturday was the final day of riding for the 2017 team and I have to say that I am personally more encouraged than ever about the impact that Man Up and Go is having in this unique and oftentimes party atmosphere that is RAGBRAI.
- More meaningful conversations about Man Up and Go and biblical manhood with other riders occurred this year than any previous year.
- The Lord blessed us with unbelievably strong Christian hosts in almost every town who are each making a large impact in their local communities. These hosts are helping us to build a strong network of future partners in Iowa for our domestic programs.
- Four of our 7 hosts shared with me prior to RAGBRAI that their city leaders were experiencing a lot of pushback from community members who were strongly opposed to centering each night’s events around alcohol. We have never heard this from any of our hosts previously, so it is encouraging to hear that a majority of the towns were looking at trying to do RAGBRAI differently than in the past.
- We had several members of other teams ride with us and/or participate in our morning devotionals because they like who we are, what we stand for, and are looking for something different with their RAGBRAI experience.
- Man Up and Go has been asked to speak to a Christian high school in Kansas in September about biblical manhood based on a conversation that took place along the riding route.
- With the support of prayers from our team prior to arriving in Clear Lake, Iowa, the gentleman who allowed us to park our RV in his yard committed his life to Christ for the first time the morning that we arrived and we were able to spend the rest of the day with him, pouring into him and encouraging him as he works through marital issues.
- The team helped a local church plant clean out the facility that they rent in order to allow them to grow their presence in Spencer, Iowa, while simultaneously witnessing and modeling servant leadership to a long time teacher in the community who is a non believer who was greatly encouraged by our group and allowed us to pray with him before leaving.
- There was more intentional discipleship within our team than I have ever witnessed in years past.
- We were featured in 2 different newspapers through the week, highlighting the ministry and our approach to RAGBRAI.
- And, the impact goes on…