Reflecting this week on all that has transpired since a year ago Monday I set out for my trip to Ireland that resulted in the Shoppe 561 dream seed being planted. Seeing today a face book post regarding the bicycles for the pastors in Rwanda conjured up memories from 2 1/2 years ago at my master’s graduation party. Wanting to surprise me, my friends scheduled the party five days before I left for Rwanda on my trip with a team from Liberty.
Below is a link to the video of the pastors ringing their bike bells. For many this is their first bike. Guaranteed to make you smile and realize how blessed a people we are in the US.
At the end of my party everyone gathered to pray for my trip to Rwanda. Remembering the daddy of big sister and little sister that I have blogged in prior posts prayed that I would be wrecked by this trip and my life forever changed because of it. Looking back on that trip, seeing the opportunity to support women at the Anglican Vocational School and create a scholarship fund for women at the Blessed Mango Tree Church to go to school.
Looking back, blessed to have been part of a story where 10 women rescued from human trafficking were able to go to school with the scholarships raised from donations for the bags made in Rwanda. Seeing lives transformed and changed through bicycle donations for pastors. Partnering with World Help and being able to see through pictures and trip reports the students in school, the pastors receiving their bikes, and smiling faces.
Connecting the dots to this story, the only reason 32 pastors received bikes in Rwanda this week was the generosity of Spoonful of Hope blog readers that occurred as a result of my heart 2 1/2 years ago passionate about getting the bags made at the vocational school. Even then I was passionate about taking gifts home that were locally made. Hearing the story I was insistent that I get some bags loving the idea they were made locally and were supporting women looking to provide for their families. When I heard the Holy Spirit say buy 100 bags which was crazy, I did it and that is the same faith and trust I need to demonstrate with Shoppe 561.
Knowing at the time I could not see the road ahead or what one simple act of buying 100 bags would bring reminds me again the path for Shoppe 561 has been cleared and was waiting for me to walk down the road. Even when it didn't make sense, it made sense in God's economy.
Reminding myself if God had all of those pieces figured out, He has my future store location, artisans, web design and all the other details for this store well under control. Continuing to trust that God will continue to direct my path for Shoppe 561 and act in obedience is what I am charged to do.
Thanking God today that 32 of the 39 pastors who were in need of bikes in Rwanda received them. Wondering how you can help make the last 7 bikes a reality? (See original post B-I-C-Y-C-L-E spells HOPE for the story.)
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. All donations are tax deductible and eligible for gift matching if your company has a program.
Realizing once again, the path was made clear when it was time. Knowing if God has brought me this far on the journey, He will continue to clear the paths; trust and believe is what I am called to do. Reflecting on the road traveled for Shoppe 561 fuels my hope.