Bike and Brain has been a fantastic adventure to say the least. However, there are moments where feelings of worry creep in. Will bikes keep coming in? Will there be enough people to give bikes to? Is this the right person to give the bike to? A great deal of time has been spent perseverating on these concerns. Although a concrete answer has not been found, a conclusion has been made. One that has laid these questions to rest. There are no answers! In fact, these questions are merely a lack of faith. They only produce worry and angst. To put it simply, these questions do not matter.
This new, worry free, approach became clear after meeting Jacqueline! Much like the story with Julie , this introduction came at a perfect time. So perfect that it could not be a coincidence. The memory is very vivid. The time was around 4:55 PM on June 1st. As random thoughts of doubt about Bike and Brain began to grow, an email came through on the Iphone. The notification might as well have been a voice whispering “Stop the worrying. Have some faith.” So that’s what happened.
The email opened with:
“This is Jacqueline . First of all thank you so much for your initiative of BIKE and BRAIN. This is such an inspiring work to do. My bike got stolen couple of week ago and a friend knew what you do told me to contact you and I thought to share my story with you and if you are open to help 🙂
God bless you”
Obviously, the doubts vanished quickly. These feelings were replaced with joy, confidence, and faith. Jacqueline continued:
“I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. I always loved to play sports, run around and stay active. Though in Egypt I didn’t have that much of freedom to do anything I want anywhere as a girl. Even the simplest thing, riding a bike in the street. It is a very masculine society and a lot of harassment. I used to only ride my bike in summer near the beach where no one is around, it was very challenging and dangerous for a girl to do that in the streets of Cairo anytime. However, whenever I get the chance to do that, I always used it because cycling made me let out all my energy and use all my body muscles and experience a sense of freedom I always searched for.”
Jacqueline clearly grew up in a much different society. Despite this, cycling brought her much joy. This shed light on the true, universal experience that cycling can bring to people. However, it did not stop there:
“I moved to New York in August 2013 with my parents. It was the first time to live outside Egypt; that was a big move. Even though I was very sad to leave my country and friends that I lived with for 21 years, but part of me was happy because finally I will have my basic right and freedom to do whatever activity I want to do. In May 2014, before I finish school, I asked my dad to buy me a bike because I will be back home and start cycling around the house when I finish school. I was so happy that he actually decided to get me one.
Unfortunately, a week after I bought it, I was playing a basketball game at school and I did a wrong twist and I hurt my knee so bad that I ended up doing an Arthroscopic surgery because I had a tear in the meniscus. I was wearing a brace for 2 months then I went for 2 months physical therapy. In April 2015 I was 95% recovered, the weather was great and I decided to go back cycling and celebrate this journey and use cycling as part of the end of my recovery. And I did start cycling every couple of days around the house. It refreshed my soul, my energy and my muscles.”
It was good to know that Jacqueline was getting back on the bike. Until…:
“On Sunday May 3rd 2015, I was going to church in the morning and I usually leave my bike outside my house. The weather was beautiful and I thought in my mind as soon as I go back home I will ride my bike. Unfortunately, I arrived home and I didn’t find my bike in front of my house. It was stolen”
Most people in this situation would have been saddened, angered, and/or distraught. This is the tone that was expected as the email continued. However, Jacqueline continued much differently.
“I decided to pray for this person and hoping he/she would need it more than I do. And I believed God will provide me a better one at the right time. I also shared that with my serving group at church that my bike was stolen and a friend from our group “Renee” came to me at the end saying that there is something called Bike and Brain that actually gives away free bikes. I felt that really God is good. I believe God allows the events in our lives to happen for a good reason and to get closer to him. I would have never imagined that this would be the ending of my stolen bike. I thought it is just a stolen bike and nobody will care, but God cares for every detail in our life and uses every opportunity and even unexpected ways to prove us that.”
Jacqueline is clearly a special person. Her ability to change negative situations into positive experiences is unmatched. It’s amazing to have put the bike back in Jacqueline’s life, but that was nothing compared to what she has provided to us. Her incredible strength, perseverance, faith, and positivity is much needed in this world. It is without a doubt that Jacqueline has provided much more to Bike and Brain then she may ever know.
* Nothing in quotes has been edited or modified