Member of the Skiatook First Assembly youth group set off on a challenging journey to raise money for missionaries.

Eleven members of the youth group trained every day for three months to learn to ride a horse, and ride well. Most of the riders had never been on a horse before.

On the morning of May 7, the riders, accompanied by youth pastor Kyle Self and children’s pastor Tom Lemke, set out before the sun rose on a six day, 200 mile ride that would end in Antlers, OK.

The group rode for 10 to 14 hours each day and camped each night on their journey.

“All of the riders completed the journey, which I wasn’t expecting,” said Self. “I am really proud of all the kids. They did a really fantastic job.”

The goal was to raise $5,000 for Speed the Light.

According to their website, “Speed the Light is the student-initiated, volunteer, charitable program that provides much-needed equipment to missionaries across the nation and in over 180 countries around the world. It began in 1944 after Ralph Harris, then head of the National Youth Ministries department, prayed for a way to give Assemblies of God students the opportunity to help missionaries in their work.”

The organization provides essential transportation and creative communication equipment for missionary evangelism and has been doing so for 75 years.

“We set a goal, but said we are going to raise what we can,” Self said. “Even if we don’t reach our goal, this was an amazing experience.”

The group raised about $3,000 with donations still coming in. If you would like to contribute you can donate at or at Skiatook First Assembly, 1500 S. Osage Ave.

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Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.