Over the past several years, I have come to enjoy cycling as a hobby, a great cardio workout, and a wonderful way to spend time with people and with God. As my interest in cycling has increased so has my awareness of cycling around the world in all types of communities, people groups, and economic situations. People in Europe may cycle because of eco-friendly ideologies, people in Asia’s megacities may cycle because of urban mobility, and others may cycle for the freedom that cycling offers. But for many people trapped in poverty, cycling is the only means of affordable transportation, and even then, a bike may be too costly for them to own.
Recently while in Burundi, I was talking to a group of pastors who were discussing church planting in surrounding villages. They spoke about how they would walk 10 miles to a remote village to preach and then would travel another 10 miles to preach again at another location. These arduous weekly journeys required an enormous amount of time and multiple days away from their families, especially if a crisis demanded extended attention. As I listened to these mostly elderly men, I saw their faithfulness to the gospel and their commitment to “the least of these” in their nation.
You may be wondering if they need a car or a motorcycle? But if they were to own a car, would they be able to afford the petrol, the insurance, and the maintenance? Burundi is one of Africa’s poorest countries with 80% of its people living in poverty. The average salary for a Burundian is only $343 per year, and there are only six vehicles per 1000 people. Therefore, a car or motorcycle for these men would be a burdensome and unrealistic responsibility.
As we continued to talk, the use of bicycles became the most realistic and empowering option— no fuel was required, and the low cost of maintenance was feasible. But at the cost of $150 per bicycle, this still remained a half year’s salary and an unreachable luxury. At that moment, my enthusiasm for cycling became a means to empower pastors to reach their communities and beyond. Since returning from Burundi, we have purchased two bicycles raised the funds for several more.
Recently, SpiritLife Ministries discovered that pastors in Cuba are also in need of bicycles for transportation which can be purchased for $150.
Will you help us empower these pastors to do the work of the kingdom? Will you give $150 to purchase a bike for a well deserving pastor?
So the next time you jump on a bike for a leisurely ride around the neighborhood, thank God for the blessings He has given us and please say a prayer for these pastors laboring faithfully for His Kingdom.