Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blessing with Bikes

The Wildwood summer project motto is "treasuring Jesus and making him known."  We want to be conduits of God's love and blessing in every way that we can while we are here this summer.  One creative approach we've decided to employ is free bike maintenance.   On Thursday nights, we provide free bike repair to anyone who needs it.
College students come from all over the world to work in Wildwood, NJ over the summer.  Because almost none of them have cars, many of them purchase used bicycles from local shops, craigslist and random neighborhood dealers.  Many of these bikes are pretty beat up!  The wheels are bent, the gears and brakes are a mess and you wouldn't believe how many bikes I've seen this summer that are missing bearings!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Bicycles.  (Just coming out here to Wildwood, I brought a bike for everyone in the family along with two child carrier trailers to tow behind our bikes!)  And most of the other staff here also have bikes and know how to work on them.  So we decided to buy a mechanic stand and each Thursday evening at our International cafe we set up shop at the end of the driveway and work on peoples bikes.  

We've advertised our services on our flyers, so plenty of kids show up with messed up bikes.  We'll line em up and get to work adjusting cables, pumping tires, fixing brakes and lubing chains.  While we work the students either hang out with us and chat or sit down in the back yard enjoying the snacks and meeting new friends.

There are a couple of things that I really like about this venture.  To start with, it's just a very simple way to serve others practically.  People's bikes are broken, their tires are flat and they need someone with tools to help them get back on the road.  And there we are.  Secondly, students come in with busted, struggling bikes and we bring a certain 'restoration' as we get things tuned up, unstuck and put back together.  And in that way, what we are doing with the bikes is really a picture of what I believe God is doing through this project all the way around.  He is using our group to teach and proclaim the good news of Jesus thereby ushering in life restoration to people who are broken and hurting.

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