pictured:'Lethy' Dave Leth
Caring for the motorcycle community
Watch what happened when Dave said ‘yes’…
pictured:'Lethy' Dave Leth
‘Yes’ can be a scary thing to say to God because we have no control other than our ‘yes’. The rest is up to Him! But that’s what Riverlifer Dave Leth (affectionately called ‘Lethy’) did two years ago when he stepped out to start a ministry from his garage.
Dave’s two passions – Jesus and motorcycles – have combined into a beautiful action of Dave going out in the community and loving people who don’t usually step foot inside a church building.
“I have a passion for anything that goes fast, and motorcycles are part of that,” Dave shares. “My father used to race motorcycles so it’s kind of in my blood. I had my first ride when I was two years old, and I bought my first motorcycle in my last year of high school.”
“I’m from a non-church background, so I didn’t have much association with the church, but I had a commitment to God. I gave my life to Christ in my last year of primary school.
God has always come first and then the motorcycles come second,” he says.
Dave is the regional director for Australia and New Zealand for Black Sheep – a ministry that aims to introduce Jesus Christ to the motorcycle and car communities.
“We ride alongside motorcycles drivers, mainly those who ride American V-twin motorcycles (Harley, Indian, Victory, Choppers, etc.) And we just hang out with them, and take God with us, and things just happen,” Dave says.
“Our practical support can be anything from meeting someone for coffee when they’re not doing well, to hospital visits when they fall off, weddings, funerals, memorial services. Or cooking barbeques.”
“Many of the people we talk to will never be seen in church and the church won’t go to them, so we need to go out. And that’s what we do.”
Recently, the Brisbane Harley Owners Group created a position for Dave to become their chaplain. “They’ve never had a chaplain before in 25 years, and after seeing the work I was doing with them, they created a position for me to be the chaplain.”
Two years ago, God invited Dave to take a larger step of faith and start reaching out to men in the community from his home garage.
“I was nudged to start Redemption Garage, which relies totally on God’s provision,” Dave shares.
“Redemption Garage is giving men purpose through projects. That can look many ways, but it’s about finding out what the men need and working with them. We do everything… restoring motorcycles, minor work through to full custom builds. Restoring furniture or just grabbing a coffee, whatever they need. It’s meeting them where they are at,” he says.
Dave has found men seem to open up when they do life shoulder-to-shoulder. “When they’re beside you on the workshop, things just happen. It’s quite organic. They’ll start talking about their needs or will just open up about their family.”
For Dave, it’s as simple as giving our passions over to God and giving Him full permission to use them.
“If you like fishing, join a fishing club. If you like reading, join a reading club. Or start your own and invite people along. There’s a need for community, there’s a need for God ‘out there’, so just be yourself and open up. God will do the rest. You’ve just got to say ‘yes’.”