The Beauty of the Bicycle

I spotted a blog post titled 25 Beautiful Photos of the World’s Favorite Transportation recently on the Compassion Blog. I highly recommend reading the post and checking out some bikes from around the world.

As a cyclist, I love opportunities to highlight the beauty of the bicycle.

There are more than a billion bicycles in the world – used for sport, work and regular old transportation. In the impoverished communities where we work, a bicycle can mean so much more than just a thing that gets you from point A to point B.

It’s sometimes a child’s only toy. A teen’s only way to get to class. A means to attend the only church in a 100-mile radius. An opportunity for a street business to provide for a family. Bicycles are sometimes a catalyst for a little … Hope.

The post reminded me of a couple of bicycle photos I took while in Rwanda a few years ago seeing Compassion at work. The photo at the top of this post is one I snapped when I saw an older gentleman cycling along the road I was standing beside. You can click on the photo (or the others in this post) for a closer look.

The photo below shows Emmanuel and the bicycle he uses to earn a living for his family. He collects and delivers water as well as transporting groceries from the local markets for others in his village. This is one of my very favourite photos.

Emmanuel is holding one of his babies. His wife had triplets. I can’t imagine the mixed emotions of finding out that you’re pregnant with triplets when you’re living in poverty. On the one hand it would be such a blessing but on the other hand, you would be wondering how you would be able to support these new, precious lives.

Thankfully, Compassion was right there partnering with the local church and was able to ensure a good pregnancy and a healthy birth. Those triplets were gorgeous and Emmanuel was absolutely besotted with his little family.

This brings me to another bike photo. This is my 2012 Giant bicycle which I’ll pedal more than 4,300 kilometres across Australia later this year to raise funds for Compassion. It’s for people like Emmanuel, his wife and their triplets that I’ll be riding.

If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.

I am personally seeking to raise $15,000. I really need your help to make that a reality.

You can make a direct donation to my fundraising page. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund.

Every child in poverty is vulnerable, but some children are at risk of the most deplorable situations in the world.

Children whose parents who have left, died, or are unable to provide for them, children exposed to exploitation and children with special needs are highly vulnerable. They often find themselves on the edge of extremely dangerous situations like child labour, gang violence, trafficking, and life on the street.

So far, I received donations from $10 to $1,000 from some generous friends. All donations above $2 are tax deductible in Australia. Your contribution, of any amount, will put me closer to my target of $15,000.

The other way you can help to boost my total is to sponsor a child living in poverty. By using that link your sponsorship will count towards my fundraising goal while releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

Whichever way you choose to support me and however much you choose to give, your contribution will not only help push me closer to reaching my target, you’ll also change the life of a child or children living with the devastating effects of extreme poverty.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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