God’s Country Trail Ride
In 1973, Rosevale Church of Christ, southwest of Brisbane, organised its first annual Trail Ride for local horse-riding enthusiasts before also adding trail bikes to the event.
Today, almost 50 years later, the event continues to be well supported by the local community, providing a fun and Christian fellowship for all attending while raising money for worthwhile charities.
Over the years, the event has taken different formats, including separate horse and bike events and at one stage welcoming 350 horse riders and 500 bike riders. However, for the past six years, the event has catered for bike riders only, with the last event of the 2021 Anzac Day long weekend welcoming 650 riders, with their entry fee allowing them to ride as much or as little as they like.
Rosevale Church of Christ’s Lyndell Christensen said a local church family generously opened their property for the event.
"We had difficulty accessing suitable property to hold the event, with many property owners not keen to allow that many riders through their land. However, one of our church families has a large property with tracks throughout that was just the ticket,” Lyndell said.
The property had a flat grassy area for car parking and a place for food stalls, and a slashed, fenced off area for children and beginners to ride.
“The other tracks are rated on their suitability for the riders’ standard, and they can choose where they ride.”
At the day-long event, attendees can buy food or bring their own, with local friends of the church and members of neighbouring churches and past members volunteering to make the day a success.
Over the years, revenue from the cover charge has raised money for local aged care homes, Queensland Ambulance Service, Special School Projects, and Vanuatu cyclone relief.
"The trail ride is just another form of outreach the church is involved in, and we are thankful to our Lord for providing us with a wonderful district in which to hold these Trail Rides," Lyndell said.
Regional Engagement Partner Justine Cadena attended and witnessed the outreach of Jesus through the event.
“While we are all wrestling with how best to represent Jesus to a society suffering from spiritual apathy, skepticism and past hurt, Rosevale Church of Christ has re-launched a time-tested method of drawing young families and youth to a place of adventure and the opportunity for relationship and spiritual conversation,” Justine said. "In this pocket of mountainous beauty, the challenge for the rider who has to climb mountains, navigate steep descents, cross creeks and minimize harm isn’t unlike our very own life journey. Folk from Rosevale Church of Christ leverage the unique environment in which they are located to gently point the hundreds of trail-bike aficionados to an infallible GPS and everlasting strength and power… Jesus. Journeying with Him is certainly the most exciting ride I’ve ever been on.”