“The third was that we would be there to see it for ourselves.”
God answered those prayers the following summer when Jon’s friends came to the Justs asking how the couple planned to celebrate their son’s life on the anniversary of his accident. When his friends suggested a motorcycle ride, Dave and Cindy were on board, but with one caveat.
“We had to have a purpose,” Cindy said. “We couldn’t just ride and cry.”
The family considered several worthy causes as beneficiaries of a fundraising ride, but none seemed to fit.
Then, one Sunday at church, a friend who had recently returned from Ghana shared the story of a pastor whose only transportation was a motorcycle so broken down it was no longer fit to ride. As the Justs left the church, Cindy turned to David and said, “That’s it. We’re going to buy that pastor a motorbike.”
The couple hosted the first annual “Just Get Er Done Memorial Motorcycle Ride,” named for their son’s favorite catchphrase, in September 2005. In the eighteen years since, the event has raised more than $634,000 and purchased more than 475 motorcycles to “enable Christian leaders in Africa to reach their people with the love and message of Jesus.”
“It was like marrying Jon’s passion for Jesus with his passion for motorcycles,” Cindy said of the event.
Sadly, the couple was never able to locate that pastor in Ghana.Still, with the help of a local Christian motorcycle group, they made a connection with the Florida-based Missionary Ventures International. The Justs donated motorcycles via MVI for the first eight years until, in 2012, MVI’s director contacted them with a
“He asked if we would consider giving the motorcycles to Bible college graduates in Kenya,” Cindy said.
“The college had a lot of graduating pastors from very remote areas. We said it was fine with us.”
That college was Africa Theological Seminary, the formal training arm of ICM, whose mission is to serve the church by providing in-service theological education for discipling and equipping its leaders. The Justs participated in their first ATS graduation in Kenya in 2012. Since then, most funds raised at the annual ride have provided graduating pastors with all-terrain motorcycles.
The couple believes the ATS partnership was an excellent fit from the beginning.
“We love and trust the leadership at ATS and have a great relationship with Honda Kenya and Kitale,” Cindy said of the dealership. “For most of the pastors, the motorcycles are their only mode of transportation for them
and their families. Otherwise, they’d be footing it, as they say.”
The motorcycles enable the pastors to share the gospel, minister to believers, plant churches in remote areas, and be a source of help in medical emergencies or other times of need. It also allows them more time to be fathers and husbands. One pastor whose main church is in the town of Kitale, but ministers to five smaller
congregations miles beyond in mountainous territories, told the Justs he feared his marriage was at a breaking point “until I got my motorbike and could be home more often.”
Another pastor’s daughter simply said, “I got my father back.”
The Justs returned from Africa in April following this year’s ATS graduation in Kenya, where 42 graduates were each gifted a Honda Tuft motorcycle, two helmets, two reflector vests, a jacket, a cable padlock, a tank of gas, and insurance. They say God has blessed the Just Get Er Done ministry “more than they ever could have
imagined” and are now considering expanding their son’s legacy to include one or more of ICM’s other ATS campuses in Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
ICM President Dave Champness said the motorcycle ministry is huge for the graduating pastors who are deeply grateful for the gift of transportation and for the couple who trusted God in the midst of their grief to make it happen. “Dave and Cindy were grieving, and they turned that grief into joy and purpose,” Champness said. “They
wanted to honor Jesus and their son who served him, and this became the perfect vehicle for them to do it.”
To learn more about Jon’s Just Get Er Done Memorial Ride visit jonjust.com.