Zimbabwe: Bikes

What could gather 200+ men, women and children along with a chancellor, local governor and pastor?

Bikes.

Two years ago, a woman from Switzerland visited Morning Star, the farm we have been staying at in Zimbabwe.  She was burdened by the children’s daily journey to school, sometimes taking 3 hours one way.  More so, children are occasionally accosted during their travels.  This woman went back to Switzerland with a mission and she single-handedly raised money for 200 bikes!  She then called World Vision and asked them to match her donations dollar for dollar.  The result?  400 bikes for these children.

Yesterday, 5 of us had the privilege of attending a ceremony where 54 bikes were being distributed to these children.  It was a celebration and a ceremony.  There was music, dancing, speeches and food.  In total, it took 3 hours to celebrate this occasion.

Bikes.

One of the speakers grew up in the area.  He and his 2 brothers were all given bikes to go to school.  With a bike, it took 3 HOURS to ride to school.  He would get up at 4am, before his parents, and return at 7pm.  Repeat.  His two brothers gave up.  However, this gentleman persevered.  He finished primary school and went on to earn his Bachelors and Masters in London.  After his academic studies, he became the headmaster of a private high school in London.  His story is one of success because of…

Bikes.

His speech was incredible, holding everyone’s attention.  He challenged the parents to make sure their children went to school prepared.  He challenged the teachers to invest in these students who should be more alert.  He challenged the students to take care of their…

Bikes.

I have 2 that I seldom use.

It is humbling seeing a people revere an object to this degree when I hardly think of it throughout the week.  It reminds you of the small blessings we take for granted.  Fast transportation.  Available food.  Loving family.  And of course…

Bikes.