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Banana Bicycles

    I crossed paths with two men and their bicycles in Rajahmundry, India. One was at the banana market that operates every morning near the Godavari River which flows east into the Bay of Bengal. Banana growers unload the crops that flourish in the lush green groves near the river, and vendors load their bikes with the bananas, ready to roll out to the streets to make their sales. The biker had huge bunches of yellow and green bananas hanging from the handle bars, and draped over the cross-bar, and attached to a frame over the back wheel. More bunches will be strapped onto the back of the bicyclist.

    The other man working with a bicycle was an egg vender. To the handlebar of his bike he had fastened a square platform to hold a flat of two dozen eggs. But not just one layer – twelve. He balanced almost 300 fresh eggs on this contraption as he went door-to-door among the neighborhood.

    I was impressed by these bicyclists’ ingenuity, and by their willingness to work hard to conduct their business. They were doing what was necessary to succeed. St. Paul wrote I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4). Well, he wasn’t selling bananas or eggs – we know him as the most penetrating Christian missionary in the history of the Church. He’s referring to the way God blessed his Gospel ministry and enabled him to endure in the face of challenges. No doubt, Paul was focusing on both the physical and spiritual assistance God provides. We should, too.

    The ELS relationship with the Lutheran Mission of Salvation – India is conducted by the Asia Committee of the Board for World Outreach.

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    Steve Petersen

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