Deciding on “props” for a photo shoot I was doing for Shoppe 561, the first thing that came to mind was my bike. Sunshine, freedom, joy, peace, ocean breeze (head winds most days) are just a few words that come to mind when I think of riding my bike.
© Shea Christine Photography 2013Opportunity, future, dreams becoming reality, water hauler, banana transporter, family vehicle and town ambulance are just a few things a bike means to a Rwandan. Struck by the fact that $150 would transform a family and give them hope, I committed to putting aside money to buy 10 bikes in 2012. For more back story on the 10 bikes, read the original post:
Partnering with WorldHelp and Cyrus Mad-Bondo the director for Africa provides an added level of accountability for the bikes as he takes pictures when they are given. Being able to see the faces of hope gets me excited! I am overwhelmed with joy to know that a life and/or family have been changed by such a small sacrifice.
Below you will see 6 recipients of bikes from the January trip along with Pastor Rukimbira far right and Cyrus next to him. Pastor Rukimbira determined the recipients based on those he believed were most in need and/or at risk based on current situation and lack of education to be able to provide a living for their family. The bike will allow them to easily get to the odd jobs and plant the seed of hope.
When Pastor Rukimbira was deciding who would receive the bikes, he realized Pastor Eric who is assigned the community of Ntarama in Bugesera did not have a bike. (This district suffered the highest death per capita during the genocide of 1994.) When they presented him with a bike, he was dancing. Understand a Pastor in Rwanda does much more than our pastors in the United States. Most churches have pastors focused on pastoral care and outreach while in Rwanda it is just one man serving the many emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the community. These men truly are caring for the least of these, regardless of their religious views. Caring for widows and orphans and love them is part of what they do every day.
The Anglican Church in Kigali shared with Cyrus they have 39 pastors just like Pastor Eric. Pastores who would be filled with joy and be able love on those in their community if they had a bike. So that got me thinking, and then I got excited knowing together we could do something amazing that would ooze HOPE!
One of the things I have always loved about Gap, Inc is their generous match program. Even though World Help is a 501C3, they have a humanitarian arm, which allows Gap to match their funds. I am sure other companies who match have the same criteria.
Just think for those with a company match program, your $20 becomes $40 with a match, your $75 with a match becomes a bike. Wouldn’t it be amazing this Easter when we celebrate birth and new life, to know 39 pastors are being filled with new hope? Knowing every day when they get on their bike they have a constant reminder that someone cares and is cheering them on, as they love the least of these? Even if you don't have a company match program, every dollar adds up and together what a beautiful picture of HOPE we could paint. How I delight in sharing those faces of hope on this blog over the next few months!
If you are interested in providing hope you even get a bonus of your gift being tax deductible.
Make out your check as follows:
To: World Help, In the memo line: Rwanda Bikes
Mail to: World Help, Attn. Cyrus Mad-Bondo, PO Box 501, Forest Hill, VA 24551
Would you like to know more about Pastor Eric? He will be my first Face of Hope feature. He is doing some really amazing things in his community to help them become self-sustaining people. Cyrus is in country currently gathering details for the story.