Happy holidays everyone! Just a reminder: Here's my donation link for WBR: http://teamwbr.worldbicyclerelief.org/karlpmitchell. If you're wondering why this is something I would want to help, read this story of Mary:
If you met Mary Mwanza in her local village, you would immediately recognize that she is a young woman who is passionate about her family, her education, and her work. In addition to the daily work of raising a family, Mary also leads a group of youth in developing their gardening skills and sells her own vegetables at market. When her hard work and leadership qualities quickly became evident to Africare, she was selected for World Bicycle Relief's Field Mechanic Training Program. That was six months ago. Now, Mary is a successful bike mechanic in her village. Mary, 22, has now completed 9th grade where she most enjoyed mathematics and art. She comes from a family of eight and is married with two children, Betty and Joseph. When asked what her most prized possession is, Mary proclaimed, "Family is what I treasure most." She was pregnant with her second child when she started her bicycle mechanic training. Mary says, "The bicycle program has really helped me because from some profit I am able to buy food for my family. I want the bicycle program to prosper so I can have more earning from the same program and serve the community at large." She has many clients who are coming to the village to service their bicycles. Mary explained that she plans to grow her business by advertising with the local radio station. She wants people to get to know her because she has "good qualities, good servicing skills – very good." Mary tells us that she enjoys the job very much because she is making money. Mary keeps a cashbook where she notes the date of transaction, cash in, cash out and balance. She says, "It is the one way of knowing if really you are progressing or maybe you are making a loss." Changing spokes, greasing and changing bearings are Mary's most common repairs. We could not help but ask her about being a woman in a position generally held by men. She told us, "Yeah, a lot of people admire my work, because in this village, it is something new for a female or maybe a lady to do bicycle servicing. So they get interested in that. Hence they bring a lot of bicycles to see or maybe to prove if at all I can really do it. To test me!" But has this been good for business? She laughed, "Very good."
To read other stories, please go here: Stories. Now, by the time you read this, you probably will have already spent quite a bit from Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday sales. My challenge for you is to donate 10% of your total purchases to WBR. Also, if you donate by year end, all donations are being matched 1:1! Please help this incredible organization.
Unrelated to cycling, in about two weeks we will be making our biannual trip to St. Louis to visit Casey's family. So far, weather looks to be a good forecast. However, please be praying that everything goes well, there and back. As happened last year, ice can be bad on the route. While up there, we will also be looking at helping with cleanup in Ferguson. More than praying for our trip, please pray for reconciliation and the truth of the Gospel to be known.
Karl for the Mitchells