Last week I wanted to update you on the progress and success of Famous Ray’s Burger Restaurant, the project our spring Journey team launched in April.
But now…. it’s time to announce our new project.
We’re opening Famous Ray’s Bicycle Shop!
The vision and purpose from our bicycle shop stems from a 5-month relationship with a 13-year-old boy we met on our doorstep. He was about to sleep on our doorstep one night this summer but our hearts wouldn’t allow that to be his reality. In truth, it was much more messy and complicated than a few days of hard, heart-wrenching work trying to find him a home. He has a whole background of experiences and stories that are difficult to understand and accept. Surely this can’t be someone’s reality?
But it is… It’s more than one kid’s reality.
I could go outside and round up 50 or 60 kids in the next few hours who have lived through stuff like this and worse. How do we help them?
We’ve spent a few months partnering with other organizations who work with children specifically. There were meetings and interviews and questions and prayers. In the end we all know there is more work to be done despite all that the efforts to address the realities for young children along the border.
This is our attempt to get started and help change some realities.
While we will sell refurbished bicycles with top-of-the line parts and cool, attractive colors and accessories, we will also be training and discipling young kids. They will come from children’s homes, partner organizations, and even the street.
In the front of the store you can buy or rent a bike. Ultimately the profits feed back into our ministry of training and supporting children. We’ll be able to employ more Burmese staff and create more consistent jobs for those who need them. However, in the back of the store, our mechanics and long-term missionaries will teach kids how to work on and build bicycles.
The kids can come into a program where they work on disassembling a bike, refurbishing, and putting it back together for the shop to sell. This will be a class-like environment and will require several weeks to complete. Once they build a bike and learn the skills, they continue to practice by taking another bike and rebuilding it for themselves. They can keep it, sell it, or whatever they like. The bike is theirs. The entire time they are with us in the shop, they are off the street. They won’t have to beg. They can learn something useful to change their lives. We can build loving and caring relationships with them. We can mentor them. We can give them hope… the Hope.
Again we are partnering with Ray Ward and his ministry, The Outpour Movement. He and His team will be able to use the profits, the opportunities, and the relationships to grow and expand their ministry. In one year, their ministry in Mae Sot has exploded and they have 6 people who have arrived to commit and serve long-term.
Obviously we have a lot of work to do before our team leaves on Dec. 19th. We’re already in the process of creating logos, developing videos, writing blogs, reaching out to supporters, looking for shop locations, developing discipleship plans, hiring mechanics, and so much more…
But first things first, we need investors and advocates. To create this business and get it running, we need to raise $21,000 in the next four weeks. We’ll be using funds as they come in to pay for our deposit on our building, paint the walls, purchase inventory, and start paying staff. You were all a part of making Famous Ray’s Burger Restaurant a reality, and it’s changing lives. Please prayerfully consider investing financially to see this bicycle shop do the same!
There are two ways to give. You can donate online at www.changereality.org/projects or by mailing a check payable to Kingdom Inc. (memo – Bikes 4 Burma) to PO Box 98438 Atlanta, GA 30359. Share this blog, tell your friends, repost videos and updates via social media. We need all the exposure and help possible. If you are a cycling enthusiast, would you consider hosting an event or sharing this opportunity with your cycling buddies?