A pastor in Virginia was initially upset when his bike was stolen last September, but the event turned out to be life-changing in a positive way. The perspective he got from losing his bike led him to start a bike repair shop that has effectively become a “bike ministry.”
According to Good News Network, Robbie Pruitt sought to replace his stolen bike last September, and found there wasn’t much to choose from when he looked.
Pruitt, an assistant rector at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Leesburg, Virginia, had an inspiration: He went to Facebook, offering to fix bikes free of charge for anyone who needed it.
He also asked for unwanted bikes, which he offered to repair for free, and then donate to folks who couldn’t afford bikes but had need for them.
Pruitt wound up 30 used bicycles upon making his initial ask, and has since fielded more than 500 queries from people who either had bikes to donate or that requested repairs.
As Good News Network reported, “By the end of 2020, Pruitt had refurbished more than 140 bikes for donation or to be returned to their owners at about a 60 to 40% ratio.”
He’s also turned it into an educational venture as well, using the bike shop to teach kids in his neighborhood how to do bike repairs.
According to a WDVM-TV story, Pruitt developed his interest in bike repair upon a life-changing trip to Haiti. “We built bikes, we helped fix bikes, and we mailed bikes in piece by piece,” Pruitt said of that trip.
“The neighborhood kids saw me working on my brakes on my diamondback — I was replacing disc brakes — and I asked them if they wanted to learn how to fix brakes and they said, ‘Sure,'” Pruitt recalled in the story. “They kind of reminded me of my days in Haiti and the mountain biking ministry at the Church of the Epiphany in Herndon and kind of got me back into this.”
Pruitt tied the venture to one of his favorite Bible verses, a passage in Revelations that says, “Behold, I make all things new.”
“I feel like I’m part of making something old, new again, or something abandoned, usable again,” he remarked.
Lead image: WDMV-TV.