Why Kim Rode the Bicycle

KIM creep deeper into the bushes beside the road. He had been hiding since early morning, and he was hungry. He was frightened, too. The cruel soldiers had been through the small Korean village where Kim lived and had taken his father and mother prisoners. Kim had gotten away before the soldiers saw him and had run and run until he came to the bushes. There he hid, but he knew he couldn’t stay there much longer. He must look for food. But where? Quietly Kim pushed aside the bushes and peeked out. Not far away he saw a big vegetables garden. "Maybe I can find something there," he thought. Then Kim noticed a man in the garden. He wasn’t a soldier. At least, he wasn’t dressed like a soldier, but Kim was afraid. He ducked buck into the bushes for a while. When he looked out again, the man was not in the sight. Now he could look for something to eat! Kim hurried into the garden. Beyond the garden were three long, while building with children playing nearby. Kim didn’t notice the children. He was thinking only of finding something to eat. He saw some green peas on a vine at the end of the rows. Quickly Kim gathered a handful of the peas. As he started back toward the bushes to eat them, he felt a hand in his shoulder. Looking up, he saw the man who had been in the garden. "Son, why you didn’t ask me for the peas?" said the man kindly. Kim was so frightened he dropped the peas. "I’m hungry," he answered. He tried to look up at the man, but suddenly everything went black. When Kim woke up, he was in a room different from any he had ever seen. Beside his bed were the man from the garden, and his wife. The woman smiled and said gently, "You’re much better now. Here eat this." She held out a bowl of warm soup, and Kim began to eat it greedily. "Where do you live?” the man asked. "What is your name?" "My name is Kim, and I live at Kimo," answered Kim. He wasn’t afraid of the man any longer. He must be a missionary. Kim had heard his parents speak of the missionaries. They were wonderful people. "How would you like to stay here at the mission and live with us?” the man asked Kim more. Kim gulped. "I haven’t any money," he said. The man put his hand on Kim's shoulder. "You won’t need any money," the man explained. "Our Master is Jesus. We work for Him, and He loves boys and girls. If you stay with us, you will learn to love Jesus, too." In the days that followed Kim was busy at the mission. He helped the missionary, Dr. Miller; take care of the people who were sick. He also went to the mission school and learned to read and write. But one thing Kim couldn’t seem to learn was to ride the bicycle. Each time Dr. Miller tried to teach him how, Kim would shudder and say, "Ill fall on my face in the dirt!" One morning Dr. Miller looked at Kim thoughtfully for a moment. Then with a sigh he climbs on the bicycle himself. "I must go to Kimo," he said. "There are sick people there who need me." "Let me go with you," Kim pleaded. "Some of my friends live there. Maybe I can help them." "All right, come along," Dr. Miller called back, and Kim ran down the road after the bicycle. When they reached the village many sick people came to see the doctor. Before long all the medicine the doctor had brought with him was gone. "We need more medicine," Dr. Miller said with a worried frown. Then he looked straight at Kim. "You must go back to the mission and bring me some more." "But it is so far," Kim protested. "I can never go to the mission and come back before dark." "You can if you will ride the bicycle," replied Dr. Miller. Kim's heart pounded hard now. How could he ever do that? Finally he said, "I’ll go. I’ll try to ride the bicycle." Kim's hands were shaking as he got on the bicycle. He almost forgot how to pedal. Then he thought of a verse that Dr. Miller had read from the Bible the evening before, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me." Kim repeated the verse over and over. And suddenly he was riding the bicycle! He was wobbling all over the road, but he was riding. Soon he had the bicycle under control and was on his way down the small hills toward the mission. Kim reached the mission headquarters and got the medicine that Dr. Miller wanted. Then he started back. As he pedaled over the rocky road, he whispered another prayer and repeated the Bible verse many times. Almost before he knew it he was back at the village. Dr. Miller met him with a happy smile. "I knew you could learn to ride the bicycle," he said, patting Kim's shoulder. "Thank you, Kim, for bringing the medicine." "Jesus helped me to learn," Kim said. "And He helped me bring the medicine. I’m glad you taught me about Him. I want to join the baptismal class at the mission and really belong to Him." Kim was happy. Dr. Miller looked even happier than Kim. "You shall," he answered.

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