Haley Clasen shared this testimony yesterday with Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. It’s a great example of how love is changing lives not just in Kenya, but in the United States as well!
We had one of those gloriously beautiful Sundays that those of us living in Indiana live for all winter long: mild temperatures, sun shining, birds chirping. Determined not to let the day go to waste by spending it indoors, my husband and I took our new bikes for a spin.
We’d been talking for years about getting bikes so that we could ride the trails near our house, but there always seemed to be something more important to do with the money than spend them on bikes. So, it was a blessing when my neighbor stopped me in my driveway one day and asked if we would be interested in two old (1970s) but well-maintained matching Schwinn bicycles.
After clumsily circling the driveway a few times to dust off my bike-riding skills, we hit the open road. As we rode past houses and people, a memory flooded my mind and I was carried back to Kenya to a day when others were gifted with bicycles.
On a trip to the village in 2009, we got to meet many of the pastors who serve their communities, some in Makutano and Likuyani and some who serve the Lord much further away. Each pastor was committed to the service of his community and traveled to Likuyani to participate in a Theological Seminary by Extension experience where they studied and worshiped with each other each week. Some of the pastors traveled far distances, as their tired feet and worn shoes could attest. After attending classes, they would walk back home to continue their work in the community. Their feet would find no rest at home, as many would travel to the edges of their villages to visit homes and share the Good News. Many of these pastors were older, but more committed than ever to doing God’s work. Their flesh may have been weak, but their spirits were willing!
Knowing the difficulty that some of these pastors faced in coming to weekly meetings in Likuyani, returning home, and continuing their work, a Sunday School class in Indiana decided to raise funds for bicycles. So, on a sunny day (not unlike the day I was riding), three hard working pastors were given bicycles to help them continue the good work they were doing. Those wheels became a vehicle for those pastors to be the hands and feet of Christ in an even greater capacity. Three years later, I am sure those bicycles have covered many miles and carried a message of love and hope to many people.
I’m not sure if God will use our “new” matching Schwinn bicycles the same way I know He has used those bikes in Kenya, but I do know that there is always a way to be the hands and feet of Christ, whether you’re on two feet or two wheels.
Julie Carpenter has created a new tradition in her first grade classroom at Calvary Christian School in Kentucky. Last year, and again this year, the class celebrated Jesus’s birth by throwing a birthday party and bringing gifts in his honor—school supplies to benefit Heritage Academy! Julie shares the response and reaction she’s gotten from the children in her classroom this year.
Audrey Armstrong visited Makutano in 2008 and shares her experiences working with women in the village to increase their literacy.
When we walked up the path approaching the Grace House, we heard chattering and laughing. Terror gripped my heart. Who was inside and what was I doing here in this place? Were those inside eager to be here or did they want to be in their homes caring for children and tending their gardens and fields? Would they like me or would my lessons planned to help them recognize and write the letters in their name be too juvenile for these African ladies? I had prepared material for the fifteen women who had agreed to come, but when we entered the room, I saw the benches were filled with beautiful, happy, eager ladies—not fifteen, but nearly thirty had come. They were there early and were prepared to stay all day. This would not be the 45 minute lesson I had envisioned!
We learned a lot about improvising on the run that morning, but what fun! We sang and prayed and wrote and talked and played and laughed. The women practiced The Alphabet Song, The B-I-B-L-E, and B-I-N-G-O in English. I practiced John 3:16 in Swahili. And to my amazement, they came back every morning that week to do it again!