By DENISE A. RAYMO Press-Republican
---- — MALONE — A dedicated group of motorcycle riders wants more members to serve, inspire and comfort other bikers who may not have, and want, a relationship with God.
The Malone chapter of the Christian Motorcyclists Association is getting off the ground with six members already reaching out to others.
The group needs at least 11 people to be a full-fledged chapter, said Doug Lamondie of Constable, who along with his wife, Carolyn, is spearheading the local effort.
“We serve the biker community, but we are really out to relieve one heart at a time,” he said. “We minister all over and try to get to any biker clubs around.”
Lamondie said he and the Malone members are being mentored and trained by Christian bikers in the association’s chapter in Plattsburgh, Adirondack Forgiven.
Training involves getting “to know how to greet or get involved with the people. We learn the dos and don’ts on how to reach all of the biking community,” he said.
The couple said their willingness to serve and sincere efforts to get to know bike-club members without preaching to them goes a long way to building trust and credibility.
“We just want to be servants,” Carolyn said. “We don’t push the Bible, our beliefs or religion on anyone. They see our service, and long-term, we might get one or two bikers who want us to pray with them.
“They have to trust you so you can spread the light of Jesus into dark places,” she said.
Doug said a 10-minute conversation about his own testimony about coming to Christ is enough to encourage the people he meets to open up.
“I asked Jesus into my heart, and he came,” Lamondie said. “And the feeling you get, you know you’re loved.”
And his approach to help others find that feeling?
“Be honest and available,” he said. “But a lot of times, it’s being silent, and they will ask a question. It might not be that day. It might be a month.”
“It’s a process,” Doug said. “We’re not Bible thumpers. We just love to get out and be available to the biker community.”
The group members participate in bike runs, fundraisers, poker-run rides and other activities where bikers congregate.
The international association was founded in 1975 and thrives in more than 1,000 chapters in the United States alone. There are also chapters in a number of European, South American and Asian countries as well as Australia.
Its ministry partners include the Jesus Film Project, Missionary Ventures and Open Doors, which all work to spread the word of God and teachings of Jesus Christ to the most remote reaches of the world.
But there is also a lot of work to be done here in the North Country with bikers and non-bikers who may have a drinking or drug-abuse problem or may be spiritually empty and suicidal, organizers said.
“We can minister to them just by being a friend,” said Doug, who is a welder by trade.
The association is a nonprofit group with no club dues, but members make contributions. The only fundraiser held is the annual Run for the Son, which collects funds for the ministry programs.
Thirty percent goes to ministries in Third World countries; 20 percent goes to the Jesus Film Project; and 20 percent to Open Doors, which advocates and supports persecuted Christians worldwide.
The Malone group has been meeting at McDonald’s once a month, but they would like to have a more-private place to use for its get-togethers so it will be more comfortable.
“We have time for prayer and a devotional time and play music,” Carolyn said. “God willing, we’ll find a place in the village to meet. We’re praying about it.”
For more information about the effort, call 483-5284.
Email Denise A. Raymo:firstname.lastname@example.org