From West Virginia to Texas, Troy Guild traveled halfway across the United States with nothing but a bike, camping gear, a little extra food and water, and $120 in hand.
Even more importantly, he also traveled with an abundance of faith.
On June 4, Guild left Middlebourne, West Virginia with a mission to bike 1,200 miles in 24 days, solely relying on God to provide food and housing along the way. After biking 1,311 miles in 30 days, he arrived at the First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie exhausted, yet refreshed in faith.
Guild and his family now plan to move to Colima, Mexico to start a food kitchen for kids, along with an English-speaking church. They will work with their non-profit, Mission to the Children.
Guild originally chose to go on this trip after a very specific calling from God to return to Colima, Mexico as a missionary, take a 1,200-mile bike ride depending on His provisions and write a book, titled “1,200 Miles with God: A Journey of Faith.”
“I felt kind of convicted that it was God, and I’ve never had that happen before,” Guild said. “I’ve never received that much information — I mean, even to the name of the book and how far that I needed to go.”
At first, he was unsure if it was actually a message from God but was soon convinced as signs appeared. He was uncertain of where to find a 1,200-mile route, but it became clear once he researched the bike route to Waxahachie — where he and his family once live. It totaled 1,274 miles.
“I don’t believe in those kinds of coincidences,” Guild stated.
Waxahachie became an even more appealing destination as Guild is friends with Dave and Peggy Linguist who attend FUMC and became close friends to the family.
“They visited us while we were on the mission field in Colima for some time,” Guild said.
At another point, a man popped the idea of Guild leaving the church he was a pastor at because it had grown so much over the past years. He prompted him to move on and try other things, which served as another confirmation.
Afterward, as Guild scrolled through the Facebook market page, he came across six used road bikes.
“I hardly ever even see a bike, and there were six of them that day,” he explained.
Once he realized how clear God’s message was, he began to search for bikes. After being told he couldn’t fix his mountain bike for an appropriate price, he informed the seller he did not have enough money to buy their used bike. Luckily, someone called Guild at that exact moment to tell him they were donating money to his journey. He bought it and began to ride, later trying to buy a newer bike more appropriate for his future trip.
Again, he realized he didn’t have enough money for the bike but was miraculously given an early discount price by the distributor.
With two bikes, he thought the miracles would stop. Again, he was wrong. One day while riding his bike, a lady came up and explained how God put it on her heart to buy his used bike.
“To get the used bike was awesome. Then, I get the new bike at a great discount. And then, someone steps up and buys the bike and I’m like, ‘God, you’re awesome,’” Guild said. “It’s just too many coincidences for this not to be God providing for it.”
The blessings didn’t stop there, either.
During his trip, Guild chose to refuse money if anyone offered and didn’t call any churches to line up sleeping arrangements, solely because he wanted to entirely depend on God. He allowed himself to receive $10 for one meal, only if he spent the $10 before receiving another payment.
He only had to camp a couple nights, as people discovered his mission and generously lent a hand.
“Next thing I know is there’s people from other states calling into our Facebook wanting to donate to pay for my hotel rooms,” Guild explained.
People would even go as far as to stop their cars to walk across the street and offer him a water and protein bars. Some would turn their cars around on the median to extend help.
Guild remembers explicitly one day he lost his way due to GPS malfunctions and a man walked over from his house to offer Guild frozen blueberries. He had claimed that he felt compelled to bring them out to someone.
“That was just really, really impressive that some guy from his house in the middle of nowhere — this wasn’t in town where people go — walks down his driveway and just felt like he needed to give someone frozen blueberries,” Guild recalled.
Along the way, Guild soon came to realize the people he met did more than help along the journey. They became his friends.
“I met just the best of the best of people coming down,” he expressed. “[...] That was fortunate that God provided me with people who were very mission-oriented, really loved the Lord and [were] outside-the-box of the traditional church.”
Guild also met many who were not Christians and was even able to share his faith with them.
“There were several people on the road who didn’t understand why I would do it, so I was able to share Christ with them,” he explained. “I had several people ask to receive Christ after I explained what I’m doing.”
Many churches also asked Guild to come to speak at their services along the way.
“[It was] really weird because I only brought sweatpants and shirts like this,” he laughed while sporting an athletic shirt.
Every day, Guild aimed to bike 50 miles as he traveled through multiple states, including Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. He also kept mementos, such as videos and pictures, for when he writes his book. He predicts the book will be out in several months and is unsure of its format.
Just as he claims writing is not his strong suit, Guild explains that biking was not something he often done either.
“This wasn’t something that aligned itself to something I was already doing,” he said. “I don’t even text really well, so writing a book is really beyond anything that I would ever think of, and riding a bike a long distance is nothing I’d ever done before nor wanted to do.”
Guild believes it is a blessing that neither of these activities were already regularly a part of his life.
“It wasn’t something that clicked inside of me but it was actually a step of obedience to feeling that was God’s call on my life,” he admitted. “[...] The difficult times where we become less self-reliant and realize our own limitations, we become more dependent on God. And I think that was the sum of the thing that God provided.”
As Guild looked back on his trip, he reflected on how it impacted his life and faith.
“It’s added a whole different dimension,” he relayed. “I found out that in the simplicity and the boredom of riding a bike, it kind of freed me up more spiritually to pray more and seek God more.”
After quitting their jobs and selling everything, it leaves Guild and his family in a transition between homes. Ironically, someone along the way asked Guild where he lives.
“You can’t say you live somewhere that you’ve never lived in and you can’t say you live somewhere that you no longer live in, and so I’m like, ‘Right now, my bike is my house,’” he laughed.
Guild and his family, with their life packed in two cars, have no set time for how long they will live in Colima. Guild aims to follow God’s will, living on the faith and hope that He will open doors for them.
“I guess the journey of faith has turned into the life of faith,” he chuckled.