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What if you had never had a bicycle?
What kind of expression would there be on your face,
if someone gave you access to a bike to ride?
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That was my story as a young boy, for I grew up in a very poor farm family in central Indiana and a bike was never in our budget, so like the first picture in my story, I whacked away at any kind of rim, pretending it was some sort of magic vehicle that I could steer in all directions and even make it do tricks. That’s the story of 90% of the Haitian children, and the story of all the 60 orphans who live at Place of Hope in Haiti! I’ve watched them propel plastic bucket lids or anything round by use of a stick, and I know their dreams of imagination as they pretend to have something they don’t have, perfectly content with pretense.
What if the only bike you ever had was without any tires, and you still tried to ride? And WHAT IF someone from America sent you a brand new red or blue bicycle with tires and training wheels, and for the VERY FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE, you learned to ride a bike? Your facial expression might just be like my fourth picture. Your JOY would be un-containable wouldn’t it? You would be nothing but “happy face” from ear to ear.
THAT’S THE STORY that the children at Place of Hope in Haiti will know when they receive the 5 brand new bicycles, donated by members of Covenant Church of Naples. I’m excited as much as they are, as I imagine their first attempts to ride a bike! There may be some falls, so we sent 5 different sized kids helmets along for them to wear. But, most of all will be the EXTREME AND UNMANAGEABLE LAUGHTER as they share these 5 bikes with each other.
GOD IS GOOD! Trey Bicycle Shop in Naples, Florida even helped me pack the bikes for shipment, and I had the joy of sharing the story of Place of Hope in Haiti with the management and workers there. Who knows? Maybe we can just get some more bikes donated and give a couple of them to the villagers nearby so their kids can have the joy of their first bike ride too.
I know, it’s a “bottomless pit” issue. There are thousands of other things that are only dreams of a Haitian child, or for that matter, a family with several children, things like rice and beans to satisfy the hunger of the tummy. And seasons like Christmas and the myth of Santa Claus, that intimidate a gift less society, but you and I have the power to change some of these issues, which is the reason we sent over 200 gift boxes, with new sneaker shoes in each gift box, hoping to make the myth of Santa seem more true and real to these precious Haitian families. AND THE END IS NOT YET, for there are other dreams I have for alleviating some of the things that add only sorrow and heartache to these precious people. One of those is drilling a new well so they can have access to pure drinking water. That one is also in the process of completion to the glory and praise of God. Things like bikes, food, and wells will bring healing and hope, and win more Haitians to Christ than all the sermons in the world.