Doc.: I started making it a focus almost six years ago and then founded BAT four years ago with Diena.
Doc.: I am passionate about Jesus. I have experienced such grace that I am in awe of His love. Second, I am passionate about my family. I am passionate about making a difference in the fight between heaven and hell.
W.O.G. How many members does B.A.T. have?
Doc.: We don’t actually do membership. We do connections. We have a lot of people involved in various ways and levels. I would probably say around 100 people spread out around the United States. We don’t do chapters. We do groups and/or affiliations. We have groups in Canada, Wisconsin and Kentucky with affiliations with groups in California, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Texas, Nebraska, the Ukraine and the Netherlands. We also work a lot with various other biker ministries and some of them wear a small support patch on the front of their vests, similar in design to the WOG patch. We also have a lot of interest in other places but to be honest with you it is getting hard to keep up and we keep asking God what He wants us to do. One group that we work with a lot is CMA and especially the Chariots of Hope Chapter in Deltona, Florida. Their President, Wayne Duprey is an incredible man of God who understands that Christ has called us to be the hands and feet of God.
W.O.G. What does it take to become a member?
Doc.: On our website under the link, “chapters/groups” there is information on starting an official group or just becoming affiliated. We also help any group get more involved in the fight in any way that we can.
W.O.G. Can someone be a member of B.A.T. and belong to another Motorcycle Ministry or riding group at the same time?
Doc.: Certainly, we partner with everyone and that is why we made the decision to never become a chapter-based club. We want to come alongside and collaborate with all groups and bikers ministries, churches, etc. We will help anyone and are open to them helping us. If they want to be part of a group and wear the back patch they have to fill out an application, go through an FBI background check and be involved with us directly.
W.O.G. What is B.A.T. in need of the most?
Doc.: God’s wisdom and more people. The job is never done. We are praying about what God has been trying to tell us. I really believe that God made it clear to my heart that the only reason He has not returned is because there are people that still need to know about Jesus. So in essence, human sex trafficking continues because “us” Christians are not doing His great commission and telling the world about Jesus. I believe that God is telling us to partner with each Christian church and mission, each biker church and community and to go out and make a difference while we fight this fight. We are edgy oriented missionaries who are the feet and hands of Jesus showing love and compassion to a world that is in darkness and full of evil.
W.O.G. Let’s touch a little on horsepower and chrome.What was the first bike you owned?
Doc.: A Suzuki 50 baby. Eight years old, and a clone of Evel Knievel.
W.O.G. What was the worse bike you owned? And why?
Doc.: My Honda 175. It was held together with duct tape and bailing wire and was bent in every direction. I don’t think the handle bars every actually pointed straight ahead.
W.O.G. How long have you been riding?
Doc.: My own bikes since the age of 8. My first bike accident happened at the age of 6 while on the back of my cousins motorcycle who was trying to climb up the side of a giant hill (probably the size of Mt. Everest but in Missouri) and part way up she lost control and over we went.
W.O.G. Being the founder of B.A.T. what would you say was or still is the hardest thing to face?
Doc.: The job that is before us. Human Trafficking if a worldwide 150,000,000,000 (billion) dollar industry. That is 150 thousand million. There are over 27 million people being held as slaves and in the United States alone there are over 1.5 million people being used as sex slaves right this very moment. The challenge is overwhelming and there are so few willing to get their hands dirty and most are too busy to do much of anything.
W.O.G. Can you share with us about a time that life was difficult for you aside from B.A.T.? Perhaps a personal experience you are willing to share with our readers?
Doc.: My life sucked. It was one tragedy after another and there were many times I tried to chuck it all and end it. However, God always intervened. I have been shot at multiple times, had knives thrown at me, been in wrecks, had a terrible divorce, been subject to childhood sexual abuse/trauma and molestation, been beaten, had my face broken in fights and the list could go on and on. But God, often times against my will, sustained me and continued to show me his love until I collapsed into his arms. I am forever grateful.
W.O.G. And how did you get through it?
Doc.: I thought it was because of my stubborn rottenness but now I know it was God.
W.O.G. David Platt in his book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the
American Dream” wrote:“My biggest
fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus’ words and walk away, content to
settle for less than radical obedience to Him. ” I would say that you Doc. have a made a
radical decision doing what you do. Do you feel radical doing what you do?
Doc.: I feel on the edge. I had the leader of the Seminole County Human Trafficking Task Force call me up a few months ago and tell me that everywhere he went, he is a sheriff deputy on the FBI joint taskforce for trafficking, people came up to him and asked if he knew about us. Somehow the word about us is getting out and people are saying that we are a group that does not do politics but that gets things done. I would say that is because we are driven with our God given purpose to get our hands dirty at all times, in all ways.
W.O.G. Do you see B.A.T. expanding beyond the U.S.? Like in Canada or in Europe?
Doc.: Yep, we are already working with groups in three countries.
W.O.G. How is one Sex Trafficked? Can you give us a scenario that is prevalent today?
Doc.: Unfortunately, there is a lot of money that can be made by selling someone for sex. Unlike other things a person can be sold for sex multiple times and there is not a lot that the law does at present for the majority of people who get caught doing it. Primarily because the victims often are so traumatized that they cannot testify against them. People in authority can guilt people into doing it, a lot of times someone is tricked by sending an indecent picture and then they are blackmailed. Some are drugged and then forced into it. Others are kidnapped. Statistics say that more than half of all people trafficked are being trafficked by parents or by someone the parent knows. We work with quite a few people that their parents decided to sell them for money or drugs. When they tried to resist they were drugged, beaten or abused in additional ways where the victim had no real choice or will to resist. This is common and unfortunately, when the perpetrator is caught many don’t receive any punishment whatsoever. I had another high school student that was picked up at the mall when a nice looking lady complimented him and said he should be a model. It was the guise of being a model that drew him in where he became vulnerable.
W.O.G. What can you tell the parent, the grandparent or the pastor reading this interview to watch for? What are some of the signs to watch for in order to avoid this from happening to their own family members?
Doc.: A change in behavior, poor eye contact. Secrets, bruises, tattoos that they cannot explain. A lot of times their dress style will reveal something because they start dressing more sexual. Their conversation will be more sexual. They might have an increase in finances, new clothes. An older boyfriend or girlfriend. Poor attendance at school. Drug or alcohol use can sometimes be a sign. Now days there is a lot of things being done on the Internet so you should definitely know what your child is doing on the web. Make sure they are aware of the dangers, be aware of their activities and show a concern for them. If you suspect anything take them to a counselor. Never hesitate to do the right thing.
W.O.G. We have met with you and Diena several times. We have heard stories that we could not believe and cannot print in Wheels Of Grace. Can you tell the parent, or the grandparent reading this interview what are some ways to prevent it from happening?
Doc.: Being aware, being loving and establishing healthy boundaries is really important. Having an active relationship with your kids or grandkids is important and being involved in their lives. That is one of the greatest things you can do. I am a firm believer that kids need a caring, trusting adult that is not their parent to develop a relationship with to help process life. For many it can be a pastor, especially a youth pastor. If that is not available, try to find a healthy mentor but be aware of behaviors that seem fishy. And remember it can happen to anyone at anytime.
W.O.G. If you can tell something to someone that does not believe in God and is reading this interview, what would you tell him or her?
Doc.: I would tell them that there was a time in my life that I did not believe in God and then there was another time where I hated God because I thought he was this tyrant who played chess with people’s lives. However, that all changed when I started to understand that Jesus loved me just as I was. That Jesus was crazy about me…no strings attached. It was hard to understand that He did not want to use or manipulate me but as I got to know Jesus suddenly I started to see that I had value simply because He loved me and He died for me. I did not deserve anything good then or anything good now but that is the point of His grace. It is not what I deserved. It is simply something that He gives to me…in spite of me. I could have never survived all I went through without Him even though I didn’t understand what all was going on. All I know is that I cannot survive anything now without Him in my life. He has brought me peace, passion and purpose and has shown me how to use all the things that happened in my life to help others. I now believe in HOPE. No matter what I have done, no matter what I may be doing or struggling with now. As long as He is with me…there is hope. And for me, as long as I have value and hope, I can get through all things, with His strength. He changed my life and I believe that without Him in your life it is going to be impossible to really change yours. Why not give him a try? I promise you, your life will never be the same.
Psalm 147:3 states that God heals the brokenhearted… He did that for me and He can do that for you.
W.O.G. Can you share with us a positive story in the history of B.A.T. that really stuck with you?
Luke 14:23, “Go out to the highway and hedges and compel people to come in…”
Doc.: A while back we visited with a survivor who was a young adult who had been traumatized over a period of years. She missed a lot of her childhood and had fallen into a bad way with bad behavior. When we came across her she was having issues in every aspect of her life. Things were not going well and there did not seem to be any hope. Things reached a climax when she got into a drunken state and ended up in the behavioral hospital locked up. We visited with her and over a process of months she has turned her life around. She is finishing up her high school experience, getting ready to start college and has a great job. She has a spark in her eyes, hope in her soul and a renewed sense of identity and purpose. It has been amazing to see the smile return to her beautiful face. She now inspires others and I am so very proud of her.
W.O.G. Do you ever have doubts?
Doc.: In the beginning the task seemed so overwhelming. We started with no connections and no idea as to what God had in mind. Now I have no doubts that we are doing the work God has led us to do. The only doubts I have now are where the money is going to come from? We operate on a shoestring budget and are trying to raise enough funds to build six houses in Seminole County, Florida for human sex trafficking survivors to receive clinical trauma care and healing. There is such a need for housing and no one wants to take a survivor or at least there are very few places that want to provide help.
We want to make a difference, to give each survivor a home. A place to live for as long as they choose. A place to heal, recover and grow. Many survivors came from homes where some aspect of faith was in their life and then when they were sold they screamed out to God for deliverance and healing. It never came and so they developed an anger towards God. I find myself asking God from time to time, “Why?” But I also know that I may never get that answer on this earth but I will do everything I can to help people heal and recover a loving faith and relationship with Jesus. There is always hope…it drives me.
W.O.G. What’s your most embarrassing moment you ever had? If you like to share with our readers of course.
Doc.: Believe it or not, I have only dropped my bike one time. It was early on in my relationship with Diena. We had taken a ride out into the country and had come up to this stop sign. I came to a stop at the same moment she reached out and touched my back where my shirt had flown up. It sent a jolt of electricity through me and shocked me to such an extent that I dropped the bike and over it went. I could not believe it. We both jumped off but I have never forgotten it and am pretty sure no one knows about it until just now. Thanks for that Peter.
W.O.G. That is an answer I did not expect! If you were to give one last sermon or speech, what would it be on?
Doc.: The incredible love that Jesus has for YOU.
W.O.G. Why that sermon? Why is that so important to you?
Doc.: It is the source of all that is good.
W.O.G. What’s your favorite or one of your favorites quote(s)?
Doc.: My life is continuously in his hands. My homecoming will be at his election—not a second before, and not a moment after. I die to self. Each moment I live is a breath of life given to me to live for His purpose.
W.O.G. What’s your favorite or one of your favorite Bible verse?
Doc.: Luke 14:23, “Go out to the highway and hedges and compel people to come in…”
W.O.G. In summation, B.A.T. is what?
Doc.: A group of people who are actively trying to eliminate human sex trafficking by being the hands and feet of God and bringing light, hope, renewal and healing to those who desperately need it.
W.O.G. Where would you like to see B.A.T., in the next ten years?
Doc.: I would like to see it be a light around the world that helps bring people healing, hope and renewal while at the same time shining the incredible light of Jesus into the lives of those who have been in darkness.
W.O.G. Talk about John 8:12…Now lets get into some of the more fun questions. What’s Doc’s favorite hobby?
Doc.: Riding my bike and reading.
W.O.G. What about some of your favorite TV shows or movies?
Doc.: It’s a mad, mad, mad world and The Rockford Files.
W.O.G. What magazines do you read?
Doc.: WOG of course, the CMA’s Heartbeat, magazines that are sent to us about healing from trauma and other therapy things, I subscribe to Cowboys and Indians and also get the monthly NRA magazine.
W.O.G. Back to chrome and horsepower… What is your dream bike?
Doc.: I think I am riding it, my Street Glide. I am a simple guy without a lot of bells and whistles. I like that flat black look and just enjoy being on the open road with the wind in my face.
W.O.G: What is your dream car or truck?
Doc.: Yes, it is a corvette but I drive a four-wheel drive truck.1
W.O.G. What’s your favorite color?
Doc.: Probably black. Me, and Johnny Cash.
W.O.G. What’s your favorite kind of food?
Doc.: I always seem to have a hankerin’ for Mexican food. But I do love me some good corn bread and greens.
W.O.G. What’s your favorite animal?
Doc.: We have two dogs, two snakes and two bearded dragons. My favorite animal is probably a horse. I do love to ride but they are expensive.
W.O.G. Who are your heroes?
Doc.: My granny Nina, Billy Graham, George Mueller and Brennan Manning. I would also add Diena for her stubborn determination and dedication and my biker Savior, Jesus.
W.O.G. Aside from the Bible, what is your favorite book?
Doc.: “Messy Spirituality” by Michael Yaconelli and “The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen.
W.O.G. I believe you have written at least one book titled: “Never Give Up”. What prompted you to write it?
Doc.: I have written a couple of books and a few years ago a publisher approached me about writing part of the story of my life. It took me eight years to write it but it was very therapeutic. I am working on the next book, which is the full story, and it should be published this year. It will be called, “SimpleHobo.”
W.O.G. Where are your books available?
Doc.: Amazon and other such places. I have a book on Prayer titled, “Simply Prayer.” And a book in German that just went on sale and “Never Give Up.”
W.O.G: How do you want to be remembered?
Doc.: As someone who was not afraid to live for Jesus, in ALL that I did and do.
W.O.G. As we close this interview, anything you would like to leave us with? A final thought?
Doc.: Many of us know about Jesus, attend church, may be part of a biker ministry or some other ministry but here is the problem: We are not raising up people who are not afraid to live for Jesus with 100% of all they are. Too many are 1% of faith. We give just a little bit to God because we don’t want to be disturbed. But please remember this. Jesus is waiting to end the suffering and evil of this world UNTIL we reach every person with the Good News of Jesus. Please get off your butt and start making an active, vibrant difference. The world needs to see believers who are sold out for Jesus. Not in what they say, not in the cool churches that we attend, not in all the cool stats and things we know… but rather in the simple way of DOING as Jesus did. The world is waiting for you. For me to start living as Jesus did, with a firm determination to tell everyone about him!