Vital Link No 72 Summer 2018

vital link The Newsletter for Through the Roof TTR on the Move Delivering Wheelchairs and Drawing Crowds Wheels for the World in Butaleja, Uganda 2018 God Has a Plan For Me Too When I See Her, I See God Waves of Refreshment Travelling by minibus to the main wheelchair distribution site in Nabiganda, just southwest of Mbale, our Wheels team stopped to buy water from a shop beside the red dust road. On the ground outside the entrance to the store they met William, a beggar with no legs and only one arm. He wasn’t able to get to the distribution site, so the team returned to him a few days later. In a scene reminiscent of Bible times where Jesus and his disciples stopped to minister to people at the side of the road, first-time team leader, Anj; Helen, one of the physios; and local techie Leonard carefully fitted William with the wheelchair they’d specially reserved for him, while team pastor, Ola, ministered to curious passers-by. As the chair was being fitted, another disabled man, Charles, turned up. The dedicated team came back later on and were able to give him a chair too, and invite a girl who begged on the same patch to come to the site for assessment, where she also received a chair. The shop owner allows these three to stay outside his shop and beg even though it’s normally not allowed. We pray that this practical demonstration of love will encourage the crowd who gathered to look to God and not to marginalise those with disabilities, especially disabled people living on the street. Anj, had previously visited Butaleja with a Wheels for the World team two years ago. Back then she had met a little girl called Afua, who needed a mobility aid. Anj was disappointed as she realised the team couldn’t help her because No: No: 60 Summer 72 SUMMER 2014 2018 they just didn’t have a suitable wheelchair to meet her needs. It’s very different from being at home where customised chairs would be readily available. Imagine how Anj felt when she met 9 year-old Afua again on this latest trip. Would Anj have to give her bad news for a second time? Afua was hopeful that this would be her big day – the day she received a wheelchair. Thankfully, this time, things were different! After taking careful measurements Anj spotted a chair that could possibly meet the girl’s needs. But then, encouragingly, she discovered an even more suitable fit – a bright red chair that was perfect for her. It was uplifting to be able to provide something just right for Afua, and amazing to see how happy and excited she and her mother were to finally have a chair. A whole family, and possibly even a whole community changed by the gift of one wheelchair. A whole family changed by the gift of one wheelchair When the team had arrived on the first day, they found a crowd of people already waiting. This isn’t unusual for a Wheels distribution – often people will wait all day for the opportunity of receiving the gift of a wheelchair. On that first day, 40 people were seen and assessed. Depending on the individual’s disability there are a few options available – a wheelchair isn’t right for everybody. In some cases, crutches may help improve mobility or at least prevent someone losing strength or skills. (Continued on page 2)