The non-profit I direct is experiencing a tremendous month of generosity as individuals give the gift of water for Christmas. Some are doing this in honor or in memory of friends and loved ones. But Engage Burkina does more than just water in coming alongside the people of Burkina Faso.
I was in Burkina in mid-November with some Pastors as part of a partnership trip with Compassion International. Along with our team members John and Betty Arnold we were able to present several people with a gift they needed most. In West Africa, there is a rare disease attributed to malnutrition causing people to go lame in almost ‘all of a sudden fashion’. In one of the poorest countries in the world where personal transportation is a premium and public transportation is non-existent these people are forced to crawl around on the dusty streets. Our partners on the ground with the Christian and Missionary Alliance have developed a solution. It’s a bike. It’s not a traditional bike, but one that can be pedaled with your hands. These bikes give dignity, and hope to people largely overlooked in an overlooked society.
The man in the picture crawled many miles (who knows how far in advance) to join us on this day. As part of the presentation to each recipient of the bike we would actually lift them, place them on the bikes, and have a word of prayer. It is truly a powerful experience to know you are meeting someone at their most basic level of need.
One of the leaders on this trip, Kim Harris (Leadership Strategist at West Cobb Church in Marietta, GA) shared this story, and we received a letter from someone giving a bike for this Christmas season. I thought it was truly a beautiful gift.
“Dear Engage Burkina, I am enclosing a check for Engage Burkina in memory of my husband, “Daws” who went to heaven this past July. He died after a long and physically devastating disease in which he gradually lost use of his motor skills. For the last two years he was totally dependent upon his wheelchair. When Kim Harris showed slides of the handicapped people with their new pedal-propelled bicycles I knew that I had found the perfect Christmas gift for my beloved husband! After 45 years of marriage, I knew his heart as well as my own and had he still been with us he would have wanted to give, in Jesus’ name, a gift of joy and independence to someone who needed assistance to walk. In Jesus love, Margaret”
If you want to give a gift this Christmas you can do so by visiting the Engage Burkina Story page by clicking here.