It is a rare gift to encounter a young girl with a passion for justice so big that she believes she can make a difference. It is even more rare when her dream invites others to engage in justice. After living in Rwanda for 3 years, 11-year-old Rachel Fitz was profoundly impacted by what she saw. When her family moved back to Canada, she set to work supporting Wellspring’s work in Rwanda and began to dream of creating a bike ride in which the entire community could participate.
On June 24th we will celebrate the 4th annual Rachel’s Ride for Rwanda in Derby Reach Park and we couldn’t be more motivated to help a young woman realize her dream. Through Rachel’s Ride, a total of $39,700 (and increasing daily) has been raised to support the Wellspring Foundation for Education.
We had the opportunity to ask Rachel some questions to uncover more of what drives this inspiring 14-year-old. May you be encouraged and inspired by her response.
Rachel, tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Rachel Fitz and I am in grade 9 at Regent Christian Academy, in Surrey, BC. My favourite subject is English. I am a big fan of literature, reading and writing. Writing is also what I do in my free time – charting out stories and poems, creating characters that I become emotionally linked to. My other favourite subject is P.E. because, at this age, the average person rarely gets enough activity in their life, and besides that, my teacher Mr. Walker makes P.E amazing!
How do you think living in Rwanda for 3 years has impacted you?
Rwanda gave me an experience that most teens don’t get to encounter. It was very eye opening to see how people live very differently than us. To see the children in my neighbourhood playing with nothing but sticks and balls, some without shoes, living in small houses with tin roofs… It shocked me so much and unleashed an urge for justice in me.
What do you love most about Rachel’s Ride?
What I love most about Rachel’s ride – well, definitely the fact that we are raising money to improve education for children in Rwanda, but also that everyone gathers together in community and joy, to ride together for the glory of the Lord. It amazes me, how we all come together and unite. God is working!
What has surprised you the most about being involved in Rachel’s Ride?
What surprised me most so far in Rachel’s Ride is the number of people every year who chose to give up their day, come out with us, ride for Rwanda, and raise money for these children – the world needs more people like this! If we all stood together and praised the Lord, united as one in the Church and granted justice for the poor – well, we could have a big impact on many lives, show people how much Jesus loves them, and set an example for others!
What have you learned through being involved with Rachel’s Ride?
If there is anything I have learned through Rachel’s Ride, reading the Bible, and talking with loved ones, it is that I did not start this event. I wrote out a proposal of an idea I had to Mr. Richard Taylor [the co-founder of Wellspring]. I had a large dream in my heart for the Rwandan children, and there were people there to support my dream. But no. I did not start this event. I do not want the “specialness” of being the founder and everything. It is not my place to take that glory. That glory goes to God. It is He, who truly started this all, and brought together a team to make it happen.
What is your dream for the future?
My dream for the future – is that Rachel’s Ride would grow bigger and larger every year. Not to have fame for us, but so that more and more money can be raised to support those children.
What advice would you give to those who want to make a difference in the world?
My advice for those who want to make a difference – don’t hold back. Give it all! Write that letter, ask that question, ANYTHING, just to get your dream started. Or join someone else’s dream. Find a way to get involved, giving to something beyond yourself. Because God works in amazing ways, and He will work in you.