What started as an idea to climb the Stelvio Pass in Italy by bike, soon turned into serious plans to not only climb the Pass, but to bike all the way from Belgium to Italy, connecting the tour to intercession in key places in Europe, as well as raising money for female victims of human trafficking in our continent. Right now Ole Johan from Norway and Danny from England, both living in Brussels, are in the midst of their 10-day biking trip all the way from Brussels to Stelvio. It is a trip of 700 km through 6 European countries. Wednesday they hope to reach the Stelvio Pass, which is known to be one of the most difficult climbs in the world.
It was only last year that Danny and Ole Johan discussed the idea of climbing the Stelvio Pass by bike while they were hanging out in a park in Brussels. When they decided to pray into it, soon the idea of biking from Belgium to Italy and praying at specific places, emerged, and they decided to name the initiative ‘BeyondBorders‘. It would be a sports ministries under the umbrella of YWAM Brussels. The guys decided to first do a try out in Belgium.
“We decided to do a try out in Belgium last April, so we did a bike trail along the language border and started at the Menin Gate in Ypres”, Ole Johan says. “We biked along key places in Belgium like Waterloo and Eupen where we prayed and had a time of worship with local believers.”
“We also went to the three country point of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium where one person from each country joined us in prayer”, Danny adds. “There we prayed for unity and for a connection between the three nations to happen. It was a very special time.”
“Our prayer focus and theme for this trip is ‘European headquarters’”, Ole Johan says. “We look at the history of Europe, the current situation and what’s coming in the future. From that perspective we pray, prophesy and stand in the gap for our continent. We look at what is historically, culturally and spiritually important. We believe it is vital and key to physically be in places and at borders when praying. When you pray for a place while you are there, it adds another dimension to understanding the (spiritual battle)ground and you can sense a change taking place.”
Some key places Danny and Ole Johan already passed through, are Strasbourg, France, where the official seat of the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights can be found, and the Luxembourgish village of Schengen, where the Schengen Agreement and the Schengen Implementation Convention were signed.
While praying together with others in different places during our trip, we get things on our hearts and receive strategies from the Lord.”
They also stopped at the European Centre in Kirchberg, Luxembourg, where they met with a former official who worked in European Institutions for about 30 to 40 years. “He had a lot of insight in the spiritual battles in the European Institutions and shared that with us”, Danny says. “After our conversation, we prayed together.”
“While praying together with others in different places during our trip, we get things on our hearts and receive strategies from the Lord”, he continues. Another place where Danny and Ole Johan plan to stop and pray, is Davos, Switzerland, where the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum take place.
The trip is open for anyone who likes to bike along for a day or longer. So far each day has been different. “One day it was just the two of us, another day three more people joined us”, Ole Johan says. “We want the trip to be open for anyone to join”, Danny adds. “Cycling is a great way to make connection and it gives you a shared experience.”
Apart from praying during their trip, they are also raising money for Cherut, a Christian Belgian organization that helps female victims of human trafficking in Europe. “After we decided to raise money for Cherut, we discovered that the main route of human trafficking in Europe basically is the very route we are biking right now”, Danny says. “So while we are biking, we want to be aware that, unlike the victims of human trafficking, we are able to freely cross these borders. We are praying for human trafficking to end while cycling this route, which even adds another dimension to our trip. Only God could have brought things together like this”, he concludes.
Watch this video to get to know more about the work of Cherut:
Biking route Danny and Ole Johan:
05/09 – Brussels – Dinant (Belgium)
06/09 – Dinant – Fauvillers (Belgium)
07/09 – Arlon (Belgium) – Schengen (Luxembourg)
08/09 – Strasbourg (France) – Fessenheim (France)
09/09 – Neuf-Brisach – Ballon d’Alsace (France)
11/09 – Andermatt (Switzerland) – Chur (via Oberalppass)
12/09 – Chur – Davos (Switzerland)
13/09 – Zerne (Switzerland) – Livigno (via Berninapass and Forcola) (Italy)
14/09 – Bormio – Passo dello Stelvio/Stilfserjoch (Italy)