Bike to the Future


Lots of young men prepare financially to serve a mission. In Africa part of that preparation is earning enough money for a passport. Sedrick Tshiambine earned what he needed in an enterprising way: by selling bananas from the back of a bicycle.

Sedrick lives in Luputa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He’s one of 45 young men in the Luputa district who is working to save money for a passport to go on a mission. In DR Congo a passport costs $250, which is about two-thirds the cost of building a house.

But Sedrick was undaunted. He earned his mission money by cycling 15–30 kilometers (9–19 miles) from Luputa to small villages, where he purchased bananas, then cycling back across the hot African savanna, his bike heavily laden with fruit to sell in the city. Each week he traveled about 180 kilometers (112 miles) along the sandy roads, and only once did an unbalanced load cause a tumble.

For his efforts Sedrick earned about $1.25 a week, or $65.00 a year. It took him four years to save enough to purchase his passport, but now he knows his future will include a full-time mission because he is financially ready to answer the call to serve.

Photograph by Howard Collett