When is a bike ride more than a bike ride? When it allows you to break through more than just physical barriers.
Last month 40 of the Passion Center youth did just that. They participated in a 15 mile bike ride from the Passion Center to an outlying trading center in Jali. Most of our orphans have lived through traumatic events that debilitated them spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. These events vividly and painfully remind them that they have no future; that their lives are hopeless; that they will never succeed, and for some of them, that their HIV status dooms them to illness and early death. But all that is changing!
By the grace of God, we are seeing these kids experience New Life in Jesus; many believe they’ll succeed in school; most are beginning to reject that destructive inner voice that tells them all they deserve is disappointment, despair and death. The Passion Center staff designed this all day event to show them that the old limits of their lives can be exceeded; that by encouraging one another, there is a strength they can draw on beyond their own; and that no matter how difficult the terrain—hard work, commitment and faith will carry them to the finish. At the Jali center the Passion kids received refreshments, heard encouraging speakers and celebrated their success.
Speaking of success, we’d like to share with you a very encouraging trend that we hope will foster the restoration of the communities surrounding the Passion Center. Of the 223 children in the Passion Center, 142 are attending primary school, 47 are in secondary school, three are in vocational training, and four are in college! In a country where it’s estimated that only about 25% attend secondary school and out of that only 10% go on to graduate, we are seeing great success! The after school tutoring program is obviously making a difference. Of the 18 Passion students who took exams to qualify for Secondary school this year, 17 passed. And of those 17, 10 scored high enough to attend government schools while the other seven are enrolled in private schools. We are still awaiting results for those who sat for college entrance exams. This is an amazing trend, made possible only because so many of you are partnering with us to tangibly bring the hope and love of Jesus to the “least of these.”
When is a bike ride more than a bike ride? When you arrive at more than a geographic destination!
May God continue to bless and guide you.