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Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.
By Gad Maiga December 5, 2020 | NAIROBI, Kenya (United Methodist Church) As the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is keeping most commuters away from public transport, cycling has quickly emerged as a safe and convenient alternative. The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, led by Joe Wesley Kilpatrick president of Bikes and Bibles ministry, motivated pastor students at a Wesleyan United Methodist Training College Pastors school in the Kenya-Ethiopia Annual Conference to resuscitate local churches during Covid-19 as the government gives temporary reopening of religious spaces. This comes in a time when the under-resourced churches across the country race to protect their congregations through improved hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing practices. The bike support has been the first step into mobility for many clergy persons in Kenya. Many pastors, especially in more remote and poor villages, walk miles every week due to having no means of transportation. They cannot afford even a bicycle, let alone a motorcycle, car or truck. Some of these faithful pastors actually serve more than one congregation or are out visiting the sick, or sharing the Gospel with other villages. Their feet are blistered and dirty, but Romans 15:10 is certainly true of them: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! Equipping a pastor with a simple bicycle can really encourage their hearts and increase their effectiveness and efficiency. A bicycle, in fact, “speeds up” the spreading of the Good News of the Gospel! The pastors also realize that they personally are not forgotten, that God cares about their needs too. The Rev. Paul Matheri, Naivasha District superintendent, thanked the donors for supporting the pastors in Kenya with bicycles during this tough times of COVID19, when public transport is not attainable. He hoped, that this is not the last one but just the beginning which will make evangelism more effective. The Rev. Wilton T. Odongo, secretary to the Kenya-Ethiopia Conference and Nairobi District superintendent, thanked Bikes and Bibles for providing support to Wesleyan United Methodist Training College student pastors in this difficult time. “As the coronavirus outbreak continues to develop and change the way we congregate, worship and interact with our church members, family and friends, it’s our hope that we will continue to get out and ride our bikes to make our community as resilient as possible,” Odongo said. “We recognize that day-to-day life is changing for all of us. While we may be more physically disconnected than we’re used to, we are still one united community.” He said. Odongo urged church members to remain united as they brace themselves to a new normal after the pandemic subsides and urged well-wishers to help “speed up” the spreading of the Good News of the Gospel by providing additional bicycles for pastors during this difficult time. The Rev. Alois Ososo, Busia District superintendent, said there is a renewed enthusiasm for bicycles which cannot just be a passing fat. “Together with the transport community, we all have a small window of opportunity to build on this shift and make cycling an integral part of a greener, healthier future.” Ososo added. Talking about the transformation that comes with equipping a pastor with a bicycle, the Rev. Rosemary Iseren, WUMTC student and senior pastor of Dirakho United Methodist Church narrated how she sometimes had to walk 15 kilometers to attend seminars. “There are times I am required to walk even many more miles for the sake of ministry. Sometimes, I am unable to attend beneficial conferences due to long distances. I know that God cares about every detail of our lives. I was in need of some type of transportation, but had no hope of getting it. Thank you, Bikes and Bibles, for this blessing. The Rev. Patrick Wandera, WUMTC student and senior pastor at St. John United Methodist Church, said, while the COVID-19 pandemic has injected an air of the unknown into our society of late, it has also served as a reminder for us of the many benefits of bicycling. “Bicycling is a permitted outdoor activity and will provide relief to our clergy. Bicycling connects people, it improves our health and the health of our neighbors, it reduces our stress levels in times of uncertainty like our current moment, and it allows us to see the world in new and unexpected ways.” Wandera said. “This is an answer to prayer.” Said the Rev. Meshack Lumbe of Riruta United Methodist Church. Social distancing protocols have made public transportation too expensive for me and my family. The past few months were very challenging for me, my family, and ministry at large as I had to walk 10 miles to and from church, three days a week. What a blessing from Bikes and Bibles to receive a bicycle at this time! Pastor Evans Khalonyere, WUMTC student, used to walk 9 miles to Riruta UMC for meetings. He says: I had to leave my house 4 hours early, so that I could get to the meetings on time. The Pastor Joseph Nanyanga, who lives quite far from his church, says: I had to walk for a very long distance to and from church, 5 days a week. I am so grateful to Bikes and Bibles for this bicycle! This will allow me to give more time to ministry, and less time walking. “Bicycles can help us move through the pandemic—and toward a better future. As the coronavirus pandemic is keeping most commuters away from public transport, cycling will be a safe and convenient alternative for us clergy and exercises our physical bodies,” said Pastor Patrick Mutwiri, from Eastern District-Meru.

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