Vital Link No 71 Spring 2018

vital link The Newsletter for Through the Roof Every Church Needs One Celebrating 10,000 Wheelchairs Wheels for the World in Ghana Stay in Touch Sharing the Stories of Changed Lives Holidays and Retreats in 2018 Under darkened skies, and working through a power cut, our Ghana team had the thrill of fitting a young man with Wheels for the World’s 10,000th wheelchair. The recipient, Andrew, is 24 years old and has been disabled since childhood, when he had convulsions which left him unable to walk. He lives with his mother, who was delighted that he would no longer have to crawl over rough grass and pot-holed roads. He thanked God for “this precious gift" - a wheelchair which was rescued from landfill, repaired at Parkhurst Prison Workshop, and transported five thousand miles to help restore Andrew’s dignity. What an amazing practical demonstration of God’s love. Since the first Wheels for the World trip to Albania in 1998, your support has brought chairs to 10,000 people, mobility aids to 12,000 more, and changed the lives of over 20,000 families, plus extended communities and churches, reaching 40,000 people with the Gospel. Sometimes, the scale of the need can be daunting, but we can point to 10,000 people who have found new freedom through the work you’ve made possible – 10,000 reasons to keep pushing on for another 10,000 chairs! We’ve been working with Ellen Annan from the Light Outreach Foundation in Tema since No: No: 60 Summer 71 SPRING 2014 2018 2003, but this is the first distribution to the Central Region of Ghana and the Ashanti people around Kumasi. The team, led by Jill Jenkinson, travelled to four centres over five days, and it was obvious that the need is huge as they distributed 128 wheelchairs, 4 buggies and 166 mobility aids. There’s lots more to do in future visits, but for each recipient and family, it’s a life-changing gift. That gift of a wheelchair will make a huge difference to Obour. He fell off his bicycle while cycling to work on the family farm 20 years ago and sustained spinal damage. He’s been looked after by his brother and family ever since. When asked what difference his wheelchair would make he replied “I shall not have to stay out in the rain and get wet as I can push myself to shelter”. Apparently the previous day he had been carried into the compound to sit in a chair, but when the sudden rainstorm started there was no one to move him, so he got very wet. His brother said that both of them had been given freedom, as Obour would no longer need carrying. His name means ‘stone’ but the radiant smile that broke out as he pushed himself for the first time was anything but stony! Although at the start of the distribution the most needy were obvious by their absence, by the end, many clients were being carried in by family members, or crawling on the ground as news spread. The Ghanaian team were all overwhelmed initially at seeing those