Blog Posts by Betsy Madden

Thank You from Nicaragua


We are thankful that over 500 hundred bikes have been donated by RBCers in support of the Casa Bernabe orphanage in Nicaragua.

Thanks in part to your generosity, the orphanage has developed Nica Bikeshop, a thriving bicycle shop where orphans are discipled in Christ as they learn vocational skills like bike repair, sales and customer service. We recently received the photo above from some of the Nica Bikeshop workers – the sign reads, “Thank you RBC Friends. You are a blessing!”

We also received the message below from Cal Covert, our ministry contact for the bike donations. Cal is on the board of directors for NicaWorks, the non-profit organization that oversees the bike collection and many other aspects of care, support and ministry in Nicaragua.

The bike shop has provided opportunities for many Nicaraguans, including orphans and at-risk youth. It is now the largest bike shop in all of Nicaragua. RBC has played a vital role in donating more than 500 bikes to the ministry. The shop has been a tremendous opportunity to mentor young men and women who otherwise would have no hope of a future for themselves or their families. For example, Josh, the director of the bike shop is a recovering alcoholic. Last fall he looked me square in the eyes and said, “If it wasn’t for this business, I know I would be dead right now.” Not only has he pulled his life together, but he is in a strong walk with Jesus that he never had before. Josh meets with his Nicaraguan and American (via Skype) mentors at least once every week.

Thank you, RBC, for your continued generosity as we know Christ and make Him known in Northern Virginia and around the world!

Bike Project Update

On Sunday, September 15, RBC accepted bike donations to benefit an orphanage in Nicaragua. Through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are working with Verbo Ministries, a church-planting and disciple-making ministry working with the Casa Bernabe Orphanage. Verbo has partnered wtih the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop, where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where 60 percent are underemployed or unemployed. The training they recieve in the bike shop serves the orphans well when they enter the job market.

We are thankful to God for the generosity of so many here at RBC. On Sunday, we collected 175 bikes!

Here is part of an email we received from one of the project coordinators:

We’ve been collecting for several years from a bunch of churches.  I think the most we ever got from a church collection was 58.  Talk about shattering a record.  You nearly tripled it!

I met some really great people today.  What a blessing.  We are very, very grateful.  And, the quality of the bikes was excellent.  This is a huge help to the ministry.  Thank you for the remarkable work you did to make this happen.

Please extend our sincerest gratitude.  This will make a difference in Nicaragua.

Thank you to all who donated bikes. Please keep the Casa Bernabe orphanage and those who minister the gospel there in your prayers.

Nicaragua Bike Project

A couple weekends ago, we announced that through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are planning to send bicycles to the Casa Bernabe Orphanage in Nicaragua. We will do this through Verbo Ministries, a church-planting and disciple-making ministry who have partnered with the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop, where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where 60 percent are underemployed or unemployed. The training they receive in the bike shop serves the orphans well when they enter the job market.

Here’s a sample email we received in response:

I totally get it. We have spent a lot of time in Uganda serving at orphanages and we have 2 boys from Uganda. Empowering people with knowledge and a sense of self worth is an invaluable asset in overcoming poverty.  This ministry is a perfect fit. I love it through and through. My husband Mike had to keep telling me to be quiet during service last week when i was reading the flyer, he said my excitement was a distraction to others 🙂 I have already gotten one bike delivered! I am going to spend the afternoon making room in the garage for more. I believe that God is going to bring many more! 

On Sunday, September 15, we will be accepting bike donations for the orphanage. Bicycles can be any size, in any condition. Please bring your bike donations to the rear of the main RBC building anytime between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. that day. Look for the cones near the Food Pantry storage shed, where a volunteer can help you unload your bike(s). Donation receipts for tax purposes will be available.

If you have three or more bikes to donate, but can’t bring them to the church, please contact Betsy Madden at or (703) 404-5034 to arrange pick-up at your home.

Food Pantry: Tears of Joy

This is Anna and Ruth with J.R., one of our Food Pantry volunteers who regularly prays for and with our guests.

This is Anna and Ruth with J.R., one of our Food Pantry volunteers who regularly prays for and with our guests.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…”

– John 15:16

One of our regular food pantry guests, Anna, had been asking for prayer for her little girl Ruth who needed a life-saving kidney transplant.  Several months ago, we learned that little Ruth was very sick and the chances were very slim that a kidney would become available in time to save her life. Anna asked for prayer from some of our Food Pantry volunteers. Anna’s prayers were answered, and in only two months, a matching kidney was found for little Ruth! Even the doctors were amazed that a kidney was found so quickly. Anna has been praising the Lord, along with all those at RBC who joined her in prayer. Her faith in the Lord has been strengthened through this trial. Now, whenever Anna visits the RBC Food Pantry with her daughter, her eyes are full of tears of joy in thankfulness to the Lord.

We recently received the following note from J.R., one of our key Spanish-speaking Food Pantry Volunteers:

I just want to start this e-mail with words that the Lord put in my heart in reference to all the people involved in the food ministry from Reston Bible Church and their compassion to the hungry and needed.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you…” John 15:16.

God’s Word is like refreshing rain that waters crops and seed; it brings new life to open hearts, and meets us in our needs. God has been using the food ministry at your church to bring, throughout prayers and actions, hope and new life to innumerable people coming to Reston Bible Church. We have been seen God in action. Three people accepted the Lord Jesus in their hearts. A man going blind was able to get for the first time in his life medical attention and the Church help him to get glasses that will allow him for the first time to see properly. We will be taking him at the end of the month to Washington D.C. to see if they can slow down the fact that he will go blind soon. People of the Church, PRAY for Mardoqueo. Pray that the Lord will heal his eyes and that this man will come to the Lord.

And remember that many times the Lord allow in our life difficult times, but it is always with a purpose, and that is to bring us to be part of His family. People looking at your generosity are more willing to the opening of  their hearts to God’s Word. And this week a young mother came to thank us for the prayers in reference to her 5 years old daughter. When she came to us,  she asked for prayers for her little girl. She was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Well she just want this Church to know that prayers were answer by Jesus and that her little 5 years old daughter got a successfully kidney transplant and is doing very well. All Glory to God.

Please be in prayer for all that God is doing through our Food Pantry. If you would like more information on the RBC Food Pantry or would like to get involved, please visit

Good Samaritan Advocates Legal Clinic Update

This past Saturday, June 15, RBC hosted the kick-off for the Good Samaritan Advocates legal clinic.

Twenty-five RBC’ers attended the orientation and training to volunteer as pro bono attorneys, paralegals, administrative support and in hospitality. The clinic assisted four clients in need of legal counsel. If you would like to learn more about the Good Samaritan Advocates legal clinic or how you can volunteer, go to

Our next clinic will be on July 20.


Guilford Elementary Summer Volunteers

Guilford Elementary is in need of volunteers during their July summer school lunch program. Duties include, serving lunch, directing children and families to their lunch tables, help dismissing students after lunch and taking students to alternate activities after they have finished eating.
The dates are July 1 through July 26 (19 days total). Hours are from 11:30am-1:30pm. Ages 16 and older can volunteer, and younger children serving with a parent are welcome to help out as well. We are looking for 10-15 volunteers to serve each day, so if you can volunteer for any of the days, your help would be greatly appreciated. For more information, please e-mail Betsy Madden.

You can click here to sign up to volunteer.

Click here to learn more about our partnership with Guilford Elementary School.

Good Samaritan Advocates Legal Clinic

Reston Bible Church is partnering with  Good Samaritan Advocates to serve our low income neighbors who face legal problems and economic straits by providing free legal and practical guidance in a Christ-centered atmosphere. Legal clinics will be held at RBC every third Saturday of each month. An open house/orientation for the Legal Clinic will be held at RBC on Saturday, June 15th at 9:00am

There are volunteer opportunities in many areas including hospitality, administrative, translators, paralegal and attorneys! If you might be interested in volunteering at one of our monthly legal clinics, please come to our orientation on Saturday 6/15 where the attorneys can explain the details of the clinic and answer any of your questions. E-mail Betsy Madden or visit for more information.

Guilford Updates: Bingo Night & Book Fair

BINGO NIGHT: RBC helped sponsor a Bingo Night at Guilford Elementary last Friday evening. The event is one of the school’s biggest community events with 300-400 families attending. The Guilford staff and PTA were so thankful for the RBC volunteers and the financial support we were blessed to be able to provide.

Here’s an excerpt from a note we received from Alex Collier of the Guilford PTA:
“The volunteers really made the evening run smoothly. They were up for helping with anything we needed, and added a definite air of excitement to the night! Katie VanDorsten and her son were the best 50/50 raffle hawkers we’ve ever had! Together they raised almost $100! Julie and Micah Loesch worked the popcorn and cookie concessions like pros, and Tyler Preast and his friends did a spectacular job manning the bingo sales table, selling cards and daubers with confidence and pizazz!”

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BOOK DRIVE: We are thankful to God for all who donated books and time for yesterday’s Guilford Elementary Book Fair. We were able to give out over 1500 books! Each child was able to take home 3 books of their own, and the librarians and resource teachers were able to restock their dwindling supply of books and resource items. The principal and entire faculty were so thankful to RBC. Many of these children have never owned a book and were joyfully overwhelmed to be able to take three books home. RBC is sharing the love of Christ to children in need in our community, and we are grateful for the many who invested your time (and books!) in serving them.