Five Minutes To Midnight

It’s five minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve and normally we’d be out on the streets delivering presents to homeless children, but for the second year we can’t. It’s because, for the second year, at five minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve there are Bike Scouts deployed in the field where people are in great need of our presence. Just over a week ago, yet another category-5 typhoon came ashore from the Pacific Ocean and created devastation on a scale that we haven’t seen since Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. And at the moment that the storm touched land Bike Scouts have been there providing information, communication, and help.

Right now, as I sit here writing this, as the minutes count down to midnight, there are Bike Scouts riding in places where there has been no electrical power, no water supply, and dwindling food supplies. They have been serving in these places for the past seven days, non-stop with everything that they have and all the energy that they can muster in spite of the fact that they themselves and their families are also victims of the storm.

Imagine the kind of heroism and sense of service to others that it takes to serve others when you yourself are tired, hungry, thirsty, and at the cusp of losing hope. Imagine the kind of perseverance that it takes to keep going day after day when there is no promise of support to come, and what you can imagine is just one percent of what it actually takes to be there and ride. For them, there is no schedule for when the job starts and ends. For as long as there is someone that needs help or needs to be found, Bike Scouts are always deployed.

I’m sitting here alone in front of my computer reading every message that comes in from our fellow Bike Scouts in the field, I look at every photograph, every video. I see when they find the missing, when they give away their last bottle of water to those that need it more, and when they come home to a dark house late at night on Christmas Eve where there’s no celebration or laughter, just silence and total exhaustion of the body and mind.

Most of us are hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away from our fellow Bike Scouts who are serving right now in the typhoon-devastated places, and while we can’t all be with our fellow Bike Scouts in the field the words of encouragement and support that you share online and on the Bike Scouts app adds to the strength they need to keep riding in the darkest places where they must serve.

It is never anyone’s responsibility to keep the light burning in the darkest days of life but we choose to when nobody else can, and in this way we get to know what personal heroism is and what small acts of good can do in the world. And in every storm and disaster that we will know in our lifetime, and there will be many, may there always be a Bike Scout that rides for those who no longer expects the hope that they need. As Bike Scouts, there will never be songs and stories about the heroism that you practice against all odds, and there will be no need for them because your actions already speak louder than words. For all of you who are deployed and everyone who will follow in your footsteps, may you all have strength and hope. You may find yourself riding on your own but you will never be alone. #wearebikescouts

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