Archives for category: wheelchair distribution in Thailand

Wheels of Hope shipped a forty foot sea container to Thailand in July with over a 127 wheelchairs, 185 folding walkers, 35 rollators, 118 pair of crutches, 118 canes, 74 bedside commodes and many other durable medical
equipment (DME) related items. But this almost didn’t happen in time!

As the shipping date kept getting closer, we got a big donation from the maintenance man at Grace Baptist Church of Brunswick, Pat Wilkinson. He called asking if we needed wheelchairs. He has a contact with a drugstore chain that needed to dispose of 30 or so wheelchairs and other DME. I asked when do they need picked up? I would need to rent a truck to get that many. He responded that he would bring them to the warehouse! Yes, yes Lord!

The chairs were like new and had minor issues. Our Tuesday Volunteers were able to get them done very quickly! Thanks again Lord!!! And just a month be- fore the date Pat Wilkinson called again with a few more new chairs.

Help Came …

Helpers to the rescue: volunteers from load a sea container bound for The Wheelchair Project, our partner organization in Thailand
Helpers to the rescue: volunteers from area churches and youth groups load a sea container bound for The Wheelchair Project, our partner organization in Thailand

And at the very last minute, God also supplied a great team of young folks to load the container that warm Saturday July morning! We had volunteers from Maranatha Bible Church and Hope United Methodist Church in Akron, Mission View Church in North Canton, and other friends lend a hand. In the weeks leading up to loading day, I was being distracted in thoughts of having to load this container with just my wife and I … thank you Lord for all the hands that made my worrisome thoughts vanish! He knew our needs!

Help came for Wheels of Hope! Hats off to Rick Thompson, of Thompson Target, for all his connections, and providing lunch for the crew!

… and Help Was Given to the Helpless

Meanwhile, in Thailand, Joey and Jasmine Tell and The Wheelchair Project team continue to distribute our equipment to the neediest. We are fairly certain that one of the bariatric wheelchairs Patrick shipped was recently given away to a father with … twins!

Jasmine shared on October 24 “I love how God provided for the unexpected in Ratchaburi this week! … two sons in need of a wheelchair, but only one caregiver to push them. This father came to us and requested a single wheelchair big enough for both of his sons. They were a walk in, no ap- plication prior, and we hadn’t come prepared for their request, we thought. But then we found a wheelchair wide enough to fit both brothers together, and the joy they felt was so visible to all around. It may be unconventional, but it is what this family needed and we were thankful to provide help to this amazing father and his beloved sons.” Jasmine adds that “in Ratchaburi [we are] supported by the local church” who follows up with the patients to build a long term relationship of care and the love of Christ.

Twins receive a transport chair wide enough to share at The Wheelchair Project in northern Thailand.
Twins receive a transport chair wide enough to share at The Wheelchair Project in northern Thailand.

Thank you Tells and The Wheelchair Project, for building on the strategy first envisioned with Joey’s dad, Doug Tell, and the RICD Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital in 2000.

When God gives you a pat on the back, it can feel like a thunderclap.”We will be forever indebted …”

Today is the very first time I have seen this 2016 annual report from our Thai distribution partners, and I am completely undone: a Statement of Appreciation …


The RICD Wheelchair Project 2016 Annual Report, page 6  – right click to enlarge

to Wheels of Hope … when there are so many more organizations donating medical equipment to this incredibly worthy project from all over the world …

… when all I have felt over the last two years is that we’ve become a dying vine due to diminished resources.

Federal regulations have redirected all Durable Medical Equipment from U. S. manufacturers to EPA-certified scrap yards since 2012. The following year, 2013, was our “year of Jubilee” as we rested from 16 years of receiving more equipment than we could refurbish and ship. It took us FIVE “Jubilee” years to empty our football-field sized warehouse space of all the equipment! Now it is almost empty. The inflow remains just a trickle of what it was in former days.

Add to this picture a new 5000-wheelchair distribution goal for 2018 from a Thai financial donor to our Thai partner, the RICD Wheelchair Project: an appeal to increase distribution to Thai persons with disabilities— not twice as much, but five-fold! Which means a corresponding five-fold increase from equipment donors like Wheels of Hope— This is nothing less than a call to faith.

Who “owns the cattle on a thousand hills”? The God we serve, the Bible says. To the ancient man this was riches beyond imagination, the equivalent of the physical and financial resources of a thousand Earths.

Wheels of Hope is not done yet! This year-old tribute describes how we have been blessed, and gives me hope. We have shipped 23 sea containers, each with an average of $200,000 in wheelchairs, walking aids and bed and bath aids, since helping found the RICD Wheelchair Project in 2000. Well over 3000 of lives have been changed. Can we trust Him to equip us to send even more?

Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.