- By Courtney Sharp
- Published: August 28th, 2013
A group of seven students from Liberty University went on the Roadtrip of a Lifetime (ROALT) this summer in a Liberty van for one month. During this time they documented the beauty of God’s creation while spreading the gospel through music.
“For the past four years I have just been finding pictures online of beautiful places that I wanted to go to, and I put them all in a folder, keep(ing) them in the back of my mind,” Timothy Riordan, Liberty Campus Praise Band member, said. “May of last year I was in the car with Colin and said, ‘Man, we should go on a roadtrip next summer.’”
According to Timothy Riordan, the pictures in the folder are how the roadtrip idea began to take form. They called friends that they thought would be interested and, before they knew it, they had a group of guys together. Jonathan Riordan, Justin Smith, Philip Godley, Keller Hopkins and Tom Madison agreed to join Timothy Riordan and Colin Murik on this journey.
“Justin Smith and I scheduled a meeting with Johnnie Moore sometime in March… (and) he passed it on to marketing,” Timothy Riordan said. “Five days before leaving, Justin Smith Facebook messaged Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. explaining the trip.
We got a phone call from his secretary and had a meeting.”
However, according to Timothy Riordan, Liberty was not the sole sponsor of this trip.
“We also got a sponsorship
(of) $4,000 from a camera company to document the entire trip,” Timothy Riordan said.
According to Timothy Riordan, the group drove the Liberty van equipped with QR codes linked back to Liberty’s Web page for a total of 8,222 miles traveling through 25 states. They visited seven national parks, hiked over 100 miles and performed at three churches throughout the trip.
“We camped out 90 percent of the trip,” Timothy Riordan said. “I researched everything down to the hour that we had. That was the only way we could accomplish everything in one month.”
However, the purpose of the ROALT was more than just driving around the country taking pictures.
“Explore the … untamed side of America while sharing the gospel of Jesus,” was the purpose of this road trip, Riordan said. “We want to bring glory to God by seeing His creation and serving anyone we meet along the way.”
According to Timothy Riordan, the trip had was life changing to everyone involved.
“Jean Michelle and Isabelle are a couple from Quebec that we met along the way,” Timothy Riordan said. “(They had) no concept of Christianity at all; they don’t understand it … By the end of the night we had separated into small groups and were all talking and sharing our faith … We invited them to travel with us to this church we were leading worship at the next day.”
Timothy Riordan said everyone in the group was happy to share their faith with this couple. When they had to part ways, the group decided to give the couple money in order to help them fix the brakes on their car.
“We got one of our Bibles that we had and put the money inside and gave it to them,” Timothy Riordan said. “We are still praying for them and keeping in contact with them.”
Timothy Riordan explained that he gained knowledge through this short journey.
“As a group, we learned to always be living intentionally and being proactive and seeking any opportunity to share the love of Christ,” Timothy Riordan said. “And to be seeking His creation and worship Him through that.”
For anyone interested in learning more about this road trip, the documentary is expected to premier winter 2013, and students are encouraged to check out the trip on Instagram #ROALT2013.