Wheels that Broke the Cycle of Poverty

Rickshaws help break the cycle of poverty
Rickshaws are a common mode of transportation in many Asian nations. Some carry cargo while others are designed for transporting passengers. Prabhal (not pictured) utilized his rickshaw to feed his family and send his daughter to school.

Prabhal’s bicycle rickshaw will probably never be called “sporty.” There’s nothing exotic about it—no shiny chrome, no eye-catching leather interior. But this functional vehicle means the world to Prabhal because he no longer worries about how to feed his family.

Hardworking Father Struggles to Provide

Prabhal loved the Lord and strove to care for the family God entrusted to him, yet even with the hours of hard work Prabhal put in every day, he barely earned enough money to feed his wife and two children. Prabhal owned no land, so he toiled in others’ fields, earning just enough to buy rice and vegetables. The meager meal, split between four people, hardly satisfied the hearty appetite Prabhal developed after laboring in the sun all day, but there was nothing else he could do. As hard as he tried, his family’s situation didn’t improve. The high cost of living swallowed up everything Prabhal earned and locked his family into a pattern of living from hand to mouth.

The lack of income affected more than their mealtimes—clothing was hard to come by, too. Purchasing inexpensive clothes just once a year for his wife, son and daughter was problematic. Even worse, Prabhal’s son had to drop out of school, caught in the same cycle of poverty that grips millions of people in Asia. Without receiving an education, obtaining a well-paying job is unlikely, so financial struggles continue from generation to generation.

Extending a Helping Hand

Prabhal and his family are part of a congregation led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Nand. Pastor Nand observed the poverty Prabhal’s family endured, and his heart went out to them. His opportunity to help the needy family came through the generosity of believers who had never even met Prabhal.

Some gifts provided through Gospel for Asia’s Christmas Gift Catalog were directed toward Pastor Nand’s area. While helping organize the distribution, Pastor Nand suggested Prabhal be selected as one of the recipients. Seeing Prabhal’s evident need, a gift was soon allocated for his family.

 His Rickshaw: An Unassuming Treasure

Overjoyed and filled with gratitude, Prabhal received a new rickshaw at the gift distribution. Rickshaws are a common mode of transportation in many Asian nations, and they provide a steady profit for those who own them. After years of financial difficulty, this simple gift brought new hope for Prabhal’s family!

He quickly redirected his diligence from his field labor jobs to driving his rickshaw. Soon, the income he earned was more than enough to provide for his family’s needs.

Although Prabhal’s son had dropped out of school because of poverty, this new source of income meant Prabhal’s daughter could receive an education. Even after meeting his family’s needs and sending his daughter to school, Prabhal was able to start setting aside savings—yet another thing that had been impossible for him to do before receiving the rickshaw.

“After getting the rickshaw, it is easier for me to earn money,” Prabhal shared. “Now I do not have to go in search of labor work. Moreover, I can easily maintain my family, and we do not worry about what to eat in the morning and in the evening.”

Now, Prabhal’s family lives above the poverty line, in stark contrast to their situation just a few years ago. Recognizing God’s provision in his life, Prabhal rejoices in the care his faithful Provider demonstrated toward his family.

“I am so blessed by this rickshaw,” Prabhal continued, “and thankful to the Lord for His blessings and to all the church leaders for thinking about my family.”


Another father struggled to meet his family’s needs after an accident crippled his hand. Read how God worked to change his situation.

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