Summer Updates from Link Up Bike Ministry 🚲☀️

by Brian Hintz

I would like to share some of the “surprise” blessings that have occurred since the start up of our Link Up Bike Ministry.

I don’t know where to begin as there are countless experiences and interactions that have taken place over the past couple of months that my words will barely describe how gracefully our Lord  continues to work through us! His power and Love are both visible and tangible in the work that we do. And I, for one, am filled with gratitude to be experiencing this first hand!

So far, we have given away over 90 bikes and we are about to give away our 100th bike! Our first “big give-away” was AMAZING!

Several families showed up and we had pre-selected bikes to suit their needs. (This is the learning and growing part.) We thought we had picked the perfect bike for a 7 year old boy, but unfortunately this child had never had a bike. He NEVER learned to ride and needed training wheels! We unfortunately did not have a bike on hand to fit his size with training wheels, but when he came back the next week, we had one just for him! There are no  words to describe the feeling of observing the PURE JOY on a child's face riding a bike for the first time! All that comes to mind is, “Thank you Jesus!”

A regular shopper at our twice blessed free store came by that day to see if we might have a couple bikes for her 2 teenage daughters. Unfortunately, the 31 bikes that we had that day were already taken. She was told to come back to the free store next week and we will TRY to have bikes for her daughters. That day came and we were there with bikes ready and they showed up at the very last minute.  As I fit the girls for helmets and adjusted the seats, their mom told them, “Say thank you to this man. These people are our family. They are the people that help us.” Is it just a bike? Are we just giving people bikes? How can I put into words the feeling of someone I just met calling me family? All that comes to mind is, “Thank You Jesus!”

Last month, I was contacted by a member of Westlake UMC. She was involved with a vacation bible school program held in Cleveland and as part of their program intended to give bikes to all of the children that attended. Unfortunately they came up 3 bikes short and heard of us through the grapevine. She asked if we could help so I invited her to our shop. She was very excited about our ministry and we set her up with the bikes she needed.

We talked for quite awhile and I can’t describe in words the overwhelming feeling of togetherness I continue to feel from everyone who donates, volunteers, and commits themselves to this good work!

Thank you RRUMC.

Thank you Jesus!