Almost 16 years ago a young man had a BIG dream. It wasn't a huge dream like leaders, politicians and social rights activists might have, but it was a goal that he was striving for. You see for Billy Moore, stock cars at the local dirt track and various other forms of race car driving was a passion of his. Due to a series of events and choices, life didn't go as planned and Billy found himself parked on "pit road". Yet, when God gets a hold of a life, things change. With God's help and the encouragement of pastors and fellow Christians, Billy was able to get "back onto the race track" so to speak and make a difference. Billy felt that his involvement in a local church made a huge difference in his life, so much so that he wanted to help others too.
While attending Calvary Assembly in Cambridge, ON, Billy had a chance to share this dream about race cars ... or should we say soap box derby "race cars". He cast a vision about how it would be a great opportunity to gather kids from the neighbourhood once a year and take turns going up and down the driveway which was a perfect "hill" for such an endeavour. As often the case, resources were limited, but the possibility of this kind of unique church outreach was intriguing and so the decision was made to go ahead.
To purchase cars would be very costly. However, for the church to make their own cars would save a lot of money. Billy gathered some of the kids together from the youth ministry. Young and impressionable and some even on the verge of mischief just like he was at one point, learned alongside Billy as he and other men from the church built a simple car from plywood, wheels, metal and paint that was donated from local businesses. A couple of large "launching" ramps were created to give a little more "umph" as the cars would go down the hill.
These original simple plywood cars have made thousands of trips up and down the Calvary "hill" and 16 years later, they are still "rolling" strong. Literally thousands of racers ages 5 to 11 have experienced thrills, giggles, a few bumps and bruises due to detours into the hay bales which line the course, and prizes. The church has served an abundance of free hotdogs, chips, freezies and cupcakes at these events which may fill a belly, but most importantly, the love and message of Jesus Christ expressed by volunteers and a spoken message has filled hearts.
With the longevity of this dream still going strong, 2017 saw a new large trailer designed and built. This 18-foot trailer was implemented with loading doors and ramps that fold down to "launch" the cars and ample space to store cars and even transport the soapbox event to other locations.
Billy never imagined that this ministry of Calvary would have lasted this long or reached so many people. Today, it continues to touch and change lives, especially his own. This is the beautiful thing about faith. We take the first step and God brings the other details at the right time, unseen by us. After all, God promises, " that He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it" (Philippians 1:6).
And if you are wondering what to do with a Soap Box Derby Trailer in the winter months, it makes an incredible float in your community's Santa Claus Parade! It keeps you dry, lights up the parade beautifully and even promotes your outreach event for the following summer!
Story as told by Corinne Storms, Calvary Assembly church board member and one who came alongside Billy Moore to see his dream become reality. Corinne and her husband, Rebel, now help to take this same soap box derby outreach to other churches in Ontario.[Photo courtesy of Calvary Assembly and iStock photo]