"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
The youngest of nine children, Axel’s life has not been easy. “My parents heard at the church that they were registering children to be part of the Compassion project, so they decided to take me there and see how they could help us,” Axel says. “I was thankful that there were people [at the project] that took care of me. Well, that and the snacks they gave me. My father was not there for me the first years of my life. I needed him, and he was working. But I did not know that he was getting paid more money for longer shifts and was saving it to buy me my first bicycle.”
Once he learnt to ride, Axel rode everywhere he could. Noticing his talent, his father encouraged Axel to try road cycling. “I started practising wearing a T-shirt and trousers and using my brother’s bicycle, because I could not afford to buy one. Shortly after I started training, I received a birthday gift from my sponsors and I knew what I wanted and needed to buy with it,” he says.
Over the years, Axel has received several gifts from his sponsors. “I bought sleeves, a special suit, socks, a helmet, protective glasses, a plastic water bottle, a little basket for my water and some accessories for the bicycle,” Axel says. “I know that all these things are expensive and I did not have the resources to buy them, so I am deeply grateful to my sponsors. I know that because of giving me a gift they may have a little less money, but I know that God will bless them and give them everything they need, just like He did with me.”
Five days a week, Axel wakes up at 5 a.m. and trains for three hours. He knows that if he wants to improve and be the best, he has to practise hard. He says, “Every child has talents, but they sometimes do not know what they are and just need the encouragement and support of other people to find them, just like my sponsors did with me.”
Prayer: Thank you God for how you have blessed Axel and the opportunities he has before him. Thank you for the sacrifices his sponsors have made and may you bless them greatly. Amen