‘WordSpace on Wheels’ bike safari begins on June 16
Two young adventurers are undertaking a 10 000km bundu-bashing motorcycle ride to raise funds for a project that aims to broadcast short daily devotional messages to teens and young adults across seven free social media platforms.
Cape Town youth worker Andrew Vaughan, and IT specialist, Dewald Schlebusch, will set out on June 16 on their ‘WordSpace on Wheels’ motorcycle safari across Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
Their mission is to introduce youth and youth leaders to an innovative Bible-reading and devotional tool called the WordSpace, which is a joint project between the Youth Hub and Scripture Union South Africa.
The WordSpace harnesses the power of social networks on cell phones and is currently reaching over 2500 young people each day.
“The responses we’ve been getting from teens, leaders and parents have shown us that what we are sending out is having a positive impact on the lives and faith of young (and not so young) people,” said Vaughan.
The aim of the WordSpace is to deliver devotional messages that can be read in as little as 30 seconds by teenagers wherever they are, that are relevant and helpful to their daily lives.
The WordSpace messages are broadcast at the click of a button across BBM, Mxit, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, a mobi site and email.
“I think the value of this project is in the ability it gives us to encourage young people with short relevant messages that help them navigate the issues they face each day,” says Vaughan.
Connecting with people
The riders are planning to raise financial support to sustain and grow the WordSpace project and the aim of the bike tour is to allow for a connection with readers and youth leaders around the country and to hear from them the kinds of things they need from the resources being writing.
“We’re also looking forward to meeting some of the people we’ve already connected with in the virtual space of the WordSpace. A further goal is to raise financial support to help keep the project going,” says Vaughan.
The daily messages are broadcast free of charge which means the project must be supported entirely by donations. The aim is to raise R80 000 (R8 for each kilometre covered) and an additional R25 000 to cover the cost of keeping the bikes running.
The trip itself will be challenging, particularly the Angolan leg as the riders will have to navigate their way well off the beaten tourist path across Eastern Angola and into Western Zambia. Vaughan has previously completed a 30 000 km motorcycle ride from eastern Siberia to Cape Town across Asia, the Middle East and Africa and will be leaning heavily on this experience to successfully navigate this new adventure.
The funds are raised, the bike tour is over and all is said and done, what then? Andrew replied: “The long term goal of the WordSpace is to build up a substantial group of subscribers that are being encouraged by our posts and to develop relationships with youth leaders who are using the material and contributing to it too.
Online resource for youth
“We hope to build an interactive network of youth and youth leaders around southern Africa in this way. We also aim to build up a substantial body of material that people are able to search and use as a starting point for good Biblical input on a whole range of issues.”
Despite the many online resources there already are for young people at the click of a button, Andrew is in no way discouraged and is keeping the momentum going because he strongly believes that the WordSpace offers something unique enough to find its place among all the others.
“Probably most importantly, the Wordspace isn’t shy about venturing into the gray areas and tough issues that teens face. We want to give them relevant, honest and soundly Biblical ways to figure out how to live as a young person trying to follow Jesus – even when the answers aren’t obvious.” Andrew positively adds.
More information about the trip, the WordSpace, and how to support the riders can be found on the trip website: www.wordspaceonwheels.org The website for the WordSpace project can be found here: www.thewordspace.mobi
To start receiving the Wordspace messages you can subscribe (and unsubscribe) to the free WordSpace devotional platform; its free and easy:
- BBM: add 2A3E62A2
- Whatsapp: add 084 891 6789 then message ‘subscribe’
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/theWordSpace
- Mxit: add thewordspace
- Twitter: follow @wordspacedevos
- Email: email with ‘subscribe’ as subject to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: Use our subscribe form at www.thewordspace.mobi/subscribe