A bicycle journey that Johannes Myors says has covered more than 230,000 miles since 1993 began with a dream.
The evangelist said it was in February of that year that he had the same dream on four consecutive nights. In the dream, he was riding on a bicycle. For three nights, no words were spoken. There was no sound. But on the fourth night, he heard the word "go."
"I awoke," Myors recalled. "I knew it was a message from an angel. I was being called."
Myors, 57, has traveled the country on a bicycle for 21 years, making a special effort to visit and help at areas where disaster relief is needed. So far, he has not heard the word "stop."
Currently, on what he said is his 43rd mission trip, Myors arrived in Columbus on March 13 where he was given lodging by the Rev. Chuck Hasty of First Presbyterian Church.
"He is a wee bit eccentric, but he believes God has called him to share the love of Jesus," Hasty said. "He is a good soul. God bless him."
Known by many as the "Rev. Hans," or by his nickname, "The Cycling Rev," Myors occasionally speaks at churches along his route, but his message is usually delivered at what he calls "roadside counseling."
When he isn't offered lodging, he sets up a tent or uses a sleeping bag.
He is now wearing out his seventh bicycle, which he calls "Alice."
"Everything I have on Earth is packed on the back," he said.
That includes, clothes, a computer, food and Bibles.
"If I come across someone who is hungry, I give them something to eat," Myors said.
He calls his work the Pedal Prayers Cycling Ministry and said pedal is an acronym for "Pray Every Day and Listen."
Myors said that with every wheel revolution, a "prayer goes up to Heaven "
He said he never asks for donations but does receive them from people he meets as well as visitors to a website he has established for his ministry, www.pedalprayers.org.
"Once, I had an atheist give me some money," Myors said. "The man said he didn't believe in what I was saying but he thought I was doing a good thing."
Myors believes people should put their faith into action. And that is what he is doing.
"As a Christian, don't be a talker, be a doer," he said.
But Myors doesn't call himself a Christian.
Most would call him a messianic Jew. He calls himself a "completed Jew."
He said he was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family in his homeland of Germany. His parents wanted him to be a rabbi. It was as a teen that he became interested in the New Testament. When he told his family that he had accepted Jesus as the messiah, they disowned him.
"To have a personal relationship with the Lord, you have to let the messiah into your heart," Myors said.
He first came to the United States as an exchange student in 1974. He immigrated here in 1979 and became a citizen in 1984. He has done social work in several cities. He was in Portland, Ore., working as a case worker with Catholic social services when he began his bicycle journey. He said one of the places he has lived is Americus, Ga., where he was involved with Habitat for Humanity.
Myors, who said he is more spiritual than religious, believes that a person can't find true happiness unless they seek happiness for others.
He quotes Luke 3:11. "He that hath two coats, let him impart
to him that hath none and he that hath meat, let him do likewise."
Myors believes many church buildings aren't put to their best use, and those that are used for only a few hours a week should open their doors as refuge and clinics for the needy.
Traveling the country has not been easy for him. Myors has experienced more than his share of flat tires and broken tire chains that have, on occasion, led to crashes. He has been robbed, shot at and struck by vehicles. But he has never had a serious injury.
"I keep on going because I am internally motivated in what I do, knowing that I am doing my travels for a higher cause," he said. "My trips are not for pleasure. This is my profession. This is how I share God's love."