Come Fishing June 2014

Come Fishing June 2014

Here's the latest episode of 'Come Fishing', from Jenny Edwards MBE. Each episode contains news, stories, music, and inspiration. We hope you enjoy it!

Hope on a rope!

Hope on a rope!

Wheels for the World supporter, Paul Goodridge, recently climbed 249 steps up the spiral staircase of Guildford Cathedral tower to a height of 160 feet, only to be harnessed to a rope and launched off the top!

Friends, family and colleagues all sponsored Paul, who took part in the charity abseil to raise funds for Wheels for the World - giving hope of independence and inclusion to disabled people in developing countries, through the provision of mobility aids they otherwise wouldn't be able to access. His daring descent raised over £780 for Wheels.

A big thank you to Paul, and all those who sponsored him... it's still not too late to donate via Paul's page - just follow this link.

If you'd like to help more disabled people have the hope of a better future, we have lots of ideas on our fundraising pages or do email us to discuss any ideas you might have.

The Through the Roof Podcast June 2014

Our podcast is back, with an edition for June 2014 containing ... a 'Thought for the Day' message from Jenny Edwards, news about the Emerging Churches Conference, a report from our Dalesdown holiday for families with children with autism, including some interviews with parents on the holiday. There'll be another episode next month - please do get in touch and let us know what you think about the podcast. We're always looking for new ideas for features too.

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 7 & 8

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 7 & 8

Our Wheels for the World team are working in Kosovo during June - you can catch up on all their updates by following this link.

Tuesday 17th June

This morning everyone woke up to thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Our morning routine of breakfast, prayer and washing up seemed like clockwork now. With all seven of us managing one bathroom without any problems!

We travelled to the depot ready for a day of giving out wheelchairs and work. The team got straight on it with people arriving in all sorts of different ways. One man was bought on a horse and cart was over the moon with his new wheelchair, as it meant that he could move independently.

The team doubled up for a couple of fittings and the techies worked hard at making modifications. It was a busy morning with a steady flow of people. There were lots of home visits with one therapist going out with a techie, and seeing some difficult cases. One of the lows of the day was a young man who came to be seen who had many deformities but had two casts on his legs. The father explained that he had no money to get the casts taken off and they had been on for many months. The wounds smelt bad so Rob who is a nurse went with them to hospital to see if they could get the casts taken off. Unfortunately the doctor was not there and they were unable to do it without him being there. The plan is for him to go tomorrow.

Reninca was praying with people. When she asked one lady if she wanted to accept Jesus her answer was ’ no, no I have no space in my house,’ showing that she had never ever heard the word of God and the name of Jesus! For many people it is hearing the gospel for the first time and is the first Bible they have ever received. For people in Kosova accepting Jesus comes with a big cost.

The team left and visited the Smile International Palliative Care Centre, dropping off some wheelchairs. In the evening we went for a yummy meal and then went to the supermarket before returning home to play board games and have fun as a team.


Wednesday 18th June

The team travelled to Prizren this morning which is about 45 min away and is known as little Istanbul. It has had a huge Turkish influence and really was like Istanbul. We travelled to the Handikos centre and it was wonderful to see what a well-equipped and organised center it was.

There were four staff, a manager, physio, teacher and driver. The driver bought people back and forth from the centre. The physio and the teacher were very interested in learning. The physio spent time with Pam, and Pam trained in her in what she was doing to extend her knowledge. Jill and Sue spent time together fitting wheelchairs and buggies. We saw range of children and adults, including a community leader who was a widower with 9 children.

The team went for a lovely lunch overlooking the beautiful hills of Prizren. The team then climbed the hill overlooking the city to get to a view at the top. This was beautiful but began to pour so everyone got soaked on the way down. But lots of fun and the view was definitely worth it.

We then split into two groups, one going back to the house and the other to do a home visit to the client we saw yesterday. He had been to the hospital and had his cast taken off. He had pressure sores and wounds which had not been dressed which was distressing for the team. The father said ’even a dog would be treated better’. The team worked together to support him.

Once the team got together we went to the local supermarket to buy gifts for home. Before returning home for debrief, food and fun.


Riding the Storm (Ros' Blog)

Riding the Storm (Ros' Blog)

Psalm 107. 23 – 32

Those who go down to the sea in ships,

Who do business on great waters,

They see the works of the Lord,

And His wonders in the deep.

For He commands and raises the stormy wind,

Which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens,

They go down again to the depths;

Their soul melts because of trouble.

They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man,

And all their wisdom is swallowed up.

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble,

And He brings them out of their distresses.

He calms the storm so that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet;

So He guides them to their desired haven.

OH! that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness

And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people,

And praise Him in the company of the elders.


Whoever is wise will observe these things,

And they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.


When I was in my teens I loved sailing. Some kinds of sailing more than others – dinghy sailing was good fun in its way, tacking across Chichester Harbour, or along the Helford River in Cornwall. But real exhilaration was being out on the North Sea in a 30-foot Bermuda rigged sloop, at the mercy of the elements, harnessing the wind and navigating a course through the waters by day, and at night anchored in some sheltered creek, lulled to sleep in my wooden bunk by the gentle movement of the waves – nothing beats it for restoration of the soul, and I’m fortunate enough never to have experienced seasickness.

I remember well an incident when I was just 14 years old. My father ran sailing holidays for young people, and he took me along with him – two weeks of sleeping, cooking and sharing fellowship on board, only putting in to shore when the drinking water ran out or the bread turned mouldy. On this particular day we were crossing the Medway Estuary and heading north up the Essex coast. The shipping forecast predicted ideal conditions for the trip: clear skies, good visibility and winds of force 4 – 5.

We set out in high spirits; the mainsail and jib filled with wind as the bow sliced through the water, leaving a gentle wake trailing behind us. It was such a pleasant, straightforward sail that my father told me to get out my guitar and lead some singing. So I sat in the cockpit with the guitar and we all sang,

“This is the day, this is the day,

That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.

We will rejoice, we will rejoice

And be glad in it, and be glad in it.”

The first thing I noticed was a change in my father’s demeanour. Suddenly he became tense and focused on the horizon, all his senses on full alert.

“Put the guitar away!” he ordered, in a tone I didn’t question. I quickly stowed it in my cabin and returned on deck. Now we could all see what my father had seen. On the horizon, a well-defined area of dark grey cloud was racing towards us at a speed that had to be seen to be believed, whipping the sea into a frenzy beneath it as it rushed in our direction.

“My father shouted, “Life jackets on!” and we all obeyed. He pointed at me and a young lad named David. “You two – harnesses on!” We strapped the harnesses over our shoulders and around our waists, fastening them securely. “Go and get the mainsail down!” David and I shackled the karabiners on our harnesses to the mast and began to lower the mainsail.

My father was an absolute stickler for having everything on board ship, well…. shipshape; every item put away, every rope neatly coiled, and the sails smoothly and evenly furled. David and I began to furl the sail meticulously, as we had been taught. “Forget that!” my father shouted. “Just get it down and tie a bit of rope round it.” I was astonished – it was the first time he had ever instructed me not to do something “properly”. We let go the sheets and grabbed at the sail, yanking it down as fast as we could, and tying it down roughly. Just as we finished and stood up, the squall slammed into us. I expected it to hit us amid-ships, but while we had been dealing with the sail, my father had turned the yacht directly into the storm, out to sea, to avoid the risk of being driven onshore. The bow of the ship rose up in the air as the first wave raced up underneath it, and then we rushed down the other side of the wave. David and I dared not undo our harnesses from the mast, or we would have been overboard for sure, so we stood there, on the highest point of the deck, hanging onto the mast, with a grandstand view of this magnificent storm.

At 14 I was too young to appreciate the very real danger we were in, and I found the whole experience totally exhilarating. Before long the waves were coming at us from the side, and were as high as the mast. We would hurtle up each wave to the crest, then plunge down into the trough as the next wave towered over us and looked as if it were about to break across our deck. Then at the last moment we would race up that one too, and then plummet down into the next trough. The squall lasted only about 15 minutes, but later that evening we heard on the shipping report that it had been gusting up to hurricane force 11, and I could well believe it.

I don’t know how my father felt, responsible as he was for the lives of five young people in his care, but if he was at all perturbed, he never showed it for a moment. He was calm, focused, alert and in control, and his actions brought us safely through that storm with only one minor injury between us. That night, at anchor in the calm once more, we read this passage from Psalm 107.

As my life navigates through some pretty big storms, I often think back to that day. Now, as then, the ship of my life is in the hands of a competent Captain who has made Himself totally responsible for my safety and wellbeing. Sometimes my inclination would be to navigate away from the approaching storm, but He knows that to hug the shoreline is to risk being driven aground and wrecked, and so He turns my bow and points me straight out to face the oncoming hurricane head-on. He harnesses me to a place of safety so that I can never be swept overboard, and He expertly navigates the crests and troughs of the waves, no matter how high and overwhelming they look. I know that He is utterly committed to bringing me into safe harbour, and although all I can now see is the current moment, the ferocity of the storm, and yes, at times the intensity of my fear as the waves threaten to swamp my deck, I know that just a short while from now I will be safely at anchor in a sheltered place, glad because I am quiet, and have been guided to my desired haven.

At any time He could choose to say to the wind and the waves, “Peace! Be still!” But for now He holds back and lets the storm rage. Let it rage. If my vessel were in my hands, I would perish. But I have handed the Captaincy over to Him, and He has a 100% track record. No vessel Captained by Him has ever come to disaster. No wonder the Psalmist longed for everyone to give thanks to Him for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men. I cannot be swept onto the rocks or swamped by the sea – even if at times it looks close. My destiny is peace and safety – and to sail again another day. “Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the loving kindness of the Lord.”


The photo 'pewter' is of a sailing boat at see, and was taken by Flickr user Jenny Downing. Used under Creative Commons License 2.0 Free for commercial use, Some Rights Reserved.
Please keep attribution to the creator.

Success at the Village Day!

Success at the Village Day!

Thank you to all of our volunteers and friends who took part in the Ashtead Village Day in June 2014, raising a fantastic £516 for Wheels for the World! If you'd like to help fundraise for Wheels, please get in touch with us by following this link and emailing the office.

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 5 & 6

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 5 & 6

Our Wheels for the World team are working in Kosovo during June - you can catch up on all their updates by following this link.


Today was a rest day and everyone had a much needed rest and lie-in. We then walked to Gjakova family church with our partners. This was an incredible church with so many young people. The worship was awesome, Pastor was great and the young people's enthusiasm was infectious. The service ended with everyone jumping up and down shouting/singing ‘po zot, po zot, po po zot' which means 'yes lord, yes lord, yes yes lord'. We finished church and went up the hill overlooking Gjakova. Here we visited some cemeteries of a street of men, boys and some women who were killed in the war. This was very sobering - especially for George who found one man who was born in the same year as him and was killed just before his sixteenth birthday.

We then went to a beautiful restaurant for lunch we had a great time. We then split into three groups and did some home visits of people who needed wheelchairs so we could measure them for chairs and sort out later in the week. We returned home and had the SEED Kosovo team for a games night at our house.

This was a great evening – we played the hat game, mafia, singing and clapping games, spoons as well as food and drinks. A lot of laughing happened. The girls after told us that they don’t laugh a lot so it was a good time building relationship and loving our wonderful partners. We are learning so much for them.



The team were excited as working in Gjakova at the storage areas of the wheelchairs. This is the area that the SEED Kosovo work in so much easier for people to come and be seen. The team worked hard to create chairs for those who they saw yesterday but also conducted many other home visits. Kosovan people do not like waiting so a great system was found where our drivers would go and pick/drop people off. This meant there was a steady trickle of people and no one had to wait very long.

On Sunday Pam, George and Glenda visited a young disabled man who was just lying on a mattress on the floor. He had been lying there a very long time and not been able to get up or see anything but people’s feet. The team got to work committed to not being defeated. They found a fully reclining seat and made many alterations and adjustments to create a VERY complex seating system. The problem was the how to get the seating system and a new hospital bed from SEED Kosovo to his house. The solution was to go on a horse and cart to take the equipment to the house. At the house the man and his family were ecstatic with the seating system, bed and the support they were been given. Pam is planning on going back later in the week to give some physiotherapy training and support on how to loosen up his muscles and support him.

The team returned very late to the house, but walked to a wonderful restaurant where we had some great food before returning back to the house.

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 3 & 4

Wheels in Kosovo - Days 3 & 4

Our Wheels for the World team are working in Kosovo during June - you can catch up on all their updates by following this link.

The team seem to have settled into a morning routine in the house and shower rota seems to be working. After breakfast we went back to Peja to work in the Handikos center. Our team of 8, 6 translators and 4 seed Kosovo staff all travelled in two vehicles the hour journey there. Our translators are young girls (aged 14-16) who speak wonderful English and are volunteering from school. They are enthusiastic and have the most incredible testimonies. In their young lives they have encountered suffering and hardship that we will most likely never know.

On arrival at the center everyone had a much better idea of what is happening and how things worked. We managed to find foam which was a success and the team got to work. Dodging some showers and getting to work the team worked fantastically really supporting one another with two or three heads being better than one.

The team did some home visits as it seems it is difficult for people to get to the centers. This included visiting a convent where single handedly two nuns take care of 17 vulnerable and disabled people. In Kosovo people will not crawl so they are dependent on family to bring them. In total the team saw 18 people though had some very complex cases.

The team returned back to Peja some of the team on the public bus along with the SEED Kosovo team. We had a great dinner with the team before heading back to the house.

Today the team went to Rahovec we went to a small center 20km away. This was to a disability center which before five years ago was doing amazing and important work in the community. The funding has dried up and they have had no support and it is just an empty building. The SEED Kosovo team have been trying their best but they had identified people in their area who needed wheelchairs and support. It was a poorer area, and the man who ran the center was disabled himself.

The team worked well and had some great interaction with the people. For example Jill worked with a man with muscular dystrophy who managed to get hold of four wheelchairs before the war. He gave three away and kept one. In the war his house got burnt down with his wheelchair inside so had nothing for 8 years. He was an artist and had been very involved in the centre when it was open but says now they have nothing. He was given a power chair but he cannot travel anywhere with it and it is not always working properly which takes away his independence.
The stories of the war and the hardship some of the people have been very hard to hear.

The team worked hard before squeezing to the car along with the foam, mattresses and all the other equipment needed. We finished by afternoon and returned back to the house. We then walked to a local Swiss restaurant. As we didn’t have to get up early we played a board game before everyone collapsed into bed.

Live from Kosovo

Live from Kosovo

We have a Wheels for the World team distributing wheelchairs and other mobility aids to people in Kosovo from the 10th to 20th June. They've arrived safely after an early start and a long journey, and begun working with people in Gjakova. There are plenty of photographs and regular updates going up on our Facebook page - take a look by following this link to our facebook page. Things are going well, but please pray for their ongoing health, energy, and for the important work they're doing.

Disability Sunday Pack

Disability Sunday Pack

It’s time to get ready for Disability Sunday 2015. On July 5th, churches all over the country will focus on celebrating the abilities and involvement of disabled people. Through the Roof, alongside our partners in the Churches for All network (, will be supplying a Disability Sunday pack full of materials to help churches make the most of the day. This pack will include some new materials, such as an interactive sermon outline, a drama for churches to perform during the service, a resource booklet and materials for Sunday schools and youth groups to use (featuring a board game!).

The findings of a recent survey by SCOPE have revealed that 67% of people admit to avoiding disabled people. Additionally, Through the Roof have carried out a survey with disabled people about their experience of church. The greatest heart-cry that came across in our survey results was a longing for real, deep, reciprocal friendships between disabled Christians and their fellow church members. We recognise this need, and so in response to our survey and the SCOPE findings, the theme this year will be on a Biblical understanding of friendship.

In an attempt to defuse the fear which stems from anxiety about unwittingly offending or encountering needs one cannot meet, the resource will take a look at what the Bible says about friendship, and hope to demonstrate how building Biblical friendships with disabled people will transform not only their lives, but the whole church and ultimately the world.

How are you planning to mark Disability Sunday? Is your church doing anything new or out-of-the-ordinary? Get in touch to let us know, or leave a comment to spark discussion on our facebook page at


Last year's materials are available from the Churches for All website...

Follow this link to visit the Churches for All site and download the Disability Sunday pack.

We hope the resources are helpful to you and your church - please do let us know what you think!