The Words She Never Thought She’d Hear (Ros' Blog)

The Words She Never Thought She’d Hear (Ros' Blog)

The Words She Never Thought She’d Hear (Ros' Blog)

How much of a struggle was it for her to get to the synagogue that morning? To get up off her mattress on the floor and wrap herself in her clothes, to feel her way shuffling down the street and in through the doorway, to lower herself onto the floor in the women’s section, wondering how she would get up again?

When the scroll of the Tanakh was handed to the young Rabbi and the congregation stood to hear Him read, who helped her to her feet? Did she struggle alone, or did the younger women lend her their arms and their strength?

She never meant to cause any trouble. She didn’t look defiantly at anyone – indeed, she didn’t look at anyone at all. Even when the young Rabbi noticed her and called her forward, as she inched painfully towards him, the eyes of all burning into the top of her head, all she saw of Him was His feet. Bent double, the floor was her entire field of vision. They were grubby those feet, encased in worn sandals. They looked like feet that had done a lot of walking and come a long way.

She trembled, not knowing why he had singled her out or what he planned to do, unable to take any cues from His face for she could not lift her own far enough to see the look in His eyes.

The voice, when it spoke, sounded soft and familiar. It might have been her own son’s voice. But the words it spoke were like nothing she had heard before. “Woman” (spoken gently and respectfully) “You have been freed from your infirmity.”

She had? How did He know? Where was the evidence? Before she had time to ponder these questions, she felt His touch, a hand on each shoulder, and as He touched her, she straightened up and stood erect, something she had not done for eighteen long years.

That was when the trouble began. The synagogue leader began to shout at her that she should not have come to be healed on the Sabbath, since there were six other days she could have chosen from. Instinctively her shoulders dropped again and her face turned back down to the floor, this time not in infirmity but in shame. She had sought the young Rabbi and been publicly disgraced for doing so.

But before she could turn and shuffle shamefacedly out, much as she had come in, the Rabbi spoke up in her defence. It was right that God should choose the Sabbath day to free her from what had bound her.

And in that moment she realised that she had been bound by much more than her physical disability, and that the touch from Jesus had not been a mere physical healing, but had unbound her deep in her spirit from the things that had kept her from being who she was created to be.

May your encounter with Jesus today touch the deepest part of your innermost being and free you from anything that prevents you from being and doing everything that God had in mind for you when He created you.
You can read this story in Luke 13. 10-17.

Kumi Wheelsblog: Final Thoughts

Kumi Wheelsblog: Final Thoughts

The Wheels for the World team spent ten days working hard in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. As they head home, here are some final thoughts from team leader, Rob...

Last day in Uganda. In a few hours some of the team fly back. 3 others are doing their own separate travels.

As I reflect on the trip- it has been hard going. But good.
God is good.
Joni Erickson apparently ends all her emails with 'God is good'. I feel that is an apt end for this broadcast.

I hope you have seen your prayers at work and enjoyed the journey with us in the highs and lows. We thank the God who is good for the work done and of course your support.

If you would like to think about coming on a wheels trip one day, please follow this link and see what is coming up next.

Thank you all.

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 7

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 7

The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. We'll be bringing you all their updates as often as we can...

Today felt like a long last day. We had fewer chairs - in God's grace we had just enough for those who came!

One of the challenges on this trip is that Uganda is suffering a famine.
Coupled with single mothers plus CP children who can be difficult to feed and you have a perfect storm for malnutrition amongst young disabled people.

Several times this week the team have had to see children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. We had a case today where he might not have long to live. This is one of the reasons we insisted on feeding everyone who came to the distributions while they waited for a chair. They clapped almost harder when free food was announced then when we told them about free wheelchairs- but all part of caring for the whole person.

The child in question we sent to the emergency room here and then referred to a nutrition program. A chair was also found that could help him once he was a bit stronger.

So a challenging end, but we had some real highs this evening. We thru a party for the volunteers who had helped us so much with translation and workshop skills. We had lots of food and dancing and a good time was had by all. They even made us a cake- and with food being so expensive here due to famine it really showed their appreciation.

Tomorrow we travel to Kampala to the journey home to following day.

Thank you all for your prayers at work here!

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 6

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 6

The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. We'll be bringing you all their updates as often as we can...

Today was another happy and positive day of fitting chairs.
The local newspaper, with a wheels photo on the front coverFinding ourselves in the national newspaper was a surprise... thankfully we were quoted well.A page from the local newspaper, showing the wheels team

Today we met a lovely man called Lawrence. He is in his 90's, blind from birth and had leprosy. He has no fingers or toes.

We went to visit his house - he and his wife live in one room, she is worried about him falling if he ever walks out of the house.

It was our joy to give him a chair, something they could never afford.

Seeing Lawrence reminded me of the story of Lazarus. That story shows how Jesus can restore all things, all disability and even death with 3 words. It reminded me that if Lawrence trusts in Jesus he will be dancing with the Lord one day. He got a bible and Mike prayed with him.

Tomorrow we hope to give out our last 12 chairs. The rest have been given out.

We also plan to have a bit of a volunteer party in the evening to thank our local helpers who have been invaluable.

Thank you all for your prayers- I hope you are encouraged to see your prayers so tangibility at work in helping us.

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 5

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 5

The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. We'll be bringing you all their updates as often as we can...

Today was a new day! And it could not have been more different than yesterday.

It was still busy - we saw 39! But we had a new plan for avoiding working in the dark like last night.

We saw our first real lot of adults today. These clients are normally less complex and require less time to fit the chair, needing less foam and less customization of the chair.

However one child we saw was one of the most difficult we had seen -- she had a type of soft bone disease, where just to pick her up could break bones. We almost didn't give her a chair as too dangerous - however Mavali decided to think outside the box and make an amazing soft basket the child could sit in that went inside a larger wheelchair. (Pic coming tomorrow).

One of the highs of the day was this lady. She was paralysed on one side and needed a one handed wheelchair. In a God moment Mavali found a one handed chair we didn't know was there, that fitted her size and even had the drive wheel on the side she needed! Amazing to see her learning how to use it and moving independently from A to B.

So as you can see your prayers are hard at work, so please keep them coming. We have only 30 chairs left. It may be difficult if people continue to come and are turned away empty handed. I am dreading this situation so please pray it would work out. Thank you all!

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 4

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 4

The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. We'll be bringing you all their updates as often as we can - here, team leader Rob reflects on a tough day on the distribution.

What a day. Hard and emotional.

After a very late start the pressure was on to see a large number of highly complex children and young adults before dark- the power is off then and we have to work by torchlight.

A sad story of one youngster who was underweight. Turns out the mum had been ill for 2 weeks and no one in the family had really fed the child for that time. Highlights how even in families disabled people can be viewed so low. It was our joy to give her a chair and get her reviewed by a nutrition nurse at the hospital.

The most moving part of the day was seeing over 60 people, 29 of whom were our clients. Bundle onto a small truck with wheelchairs and all. That sad sight of so many vulnerable people packed like that was very sad to say the least. Plus thunder started.

Team prayed and two things happened straight away. The rain did not fall, and another vehicle was found available. The team paid for the driver and fuel to get a number of them home safe and make more room and dignity for those on the truck.

A highlight of the day was utilizing off its of foam to make bespoke filled cushions. Some workshop guys sew several of them during the day which made some clients very comfortable.

So please thank God for today and keep praying.

I especially need wisdom about this pattern of late arrivals and then overcrowded, undignified and dangerous journeys back after dark, sometimes clients face a 2 hour drive. Could they sleep at the hospital overnight then carry on in the morning? When do we stop seeing people in the afternoon? For this we need wisdom and sensitivity to locals at the hospital.

Thank you all.

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 2

The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kumi, Uganda from the 14th to 24th June. We'll be bringing you all their updates as often as we can...

Another busy afternoon! Finally finished by torchlight at 8pm.

A large truck full of 20 complex children arrived just before lunch, and we were working into the evening to see them all. We needed to take a Moto journey into town to get more foam as we are using so much of it for the complex cases.

The truck of recipients left almost when we did. Several of the young people today were sadly unwell. Lucie - one of our amazing therapists was worried about a young girl with possible chest infection. Being at a hospital we were able to send her to the on call Dr and send her seen and home with antibiotics. She went home with a life-changing wheelchair and a bit of health input.

Many various seating arrangements were constructed by the tech team - assisted by many volunteers from the ortho workshop again, many of whom came on their own time today.

We pray for safe journeying for those still traveling back. And look forward to a day of rest tomorrow. Thank you all as you support us in your prayers.

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 1

Kumi Wheelsblog: Day 1

The Wheels for the World team are in Uganda, working in Kumi from the 14th to 24th June. Here's the first report back - we'll be keeping you up to date as often as time and internet connections allow.

First time for Wheels in Kumi and it was in at the deep end! Almost all of those who came were very complex. The team worked amazingly well, even until after dark to make sure people got the right chairs.

So many stories from today. One mother was really worried about coming - she had to be convinced by the community worker just to turn up with her child. "He can't sit up so they will never find a chair for him" she said. After spending over 2 hours with Mavali, one of our newest therapists, they rolled out with a heavily adjusted chair that supported in all the right ways. The mom called that community worker this evening to say what a life-changing thing this was and how she couldn't believe how it went.

So many creations and adaptations, made easier by full use of an ortho workshop and staff - power tools, benches, stand drills, all made the work slightly easier.

So a good first day. But we are realizing that this is going to be a distribution of complex children and lots of creative work ahead. Thankfully on Wheels this is why we are here and we are doing in Gods grace what we love.

Please pray for tomorrow as we continue to share the love of God in action and for energy for the team. Thank you all.

Jesus as You’ve Never Thought of Him Before (Ros' Blog)

Jesus as You’ve Never Thought of Him Before (Ros' Blog)

I had an interesting conversation the other day, which gave me a new perspective on a familiar Bible story. Someone had mentioned the fact that Zacchaeus was a noticeably small person, and speculated as to whether he might have had some condition such as achondroplasia.

Someone else chipped in that actually, the relevant Bible verse (Luke 19.3) tells us that Zacchaeus had climbed a tree to see Jesus because he was a small man, and that in fact it was unclear from this wording whether it was Zacchaeus or Jesus who was the small man. He suggested that perhaps Jesus was sufficiently short to get lost in a large gathering, and so Zacchaeus had climbed the tree so as to be able to get a bird’s eye view into the middle of the crowd.

I’m not convinced, but it’s an interesting perspective. It underlines for me the fact that we easily make assumptions about people. Why wouldn’t Jesus be a short person? For example, if I told you that our chair of trustees is a highly qualified computer scientist with a PhD, what kind of mental image would you have of him? I wonder if the picture in your mind included the possibility that he has been blind from a young age?

The trouble is that in our culture, someone’s disability or impairment is seen as the most striking thing about them. “Oh,” we say, “He’s a double amputee”, and only add as an afterthought, “He’s a football coach.” (Yes, that really is the case with one of my friends.)

I once took part in some research into the coping strategies developed by parents of children with multiple disabilities. The researcher began every interview by saying, “Tell me about your child”, and she noted in the resulting book that parents told her all sorts of fascinating characteristics of their child before they even thought of mentioning the child’s disability.

We do this with absolutely everybody else (including Jesus, who may or may not have been short!) so why is it that so many don’t do it when they speak about disabled people? It’s as if disabled people have to be defined by what they can’t do.

Suppose I told you that I failed four of my O levels, that I’m no good at maths, I can’t draw to save my life, that I find reading maps very challenging, that I have to get someone else to tell me what to do when instructions come as diagrams because I can’t interpret them, that there are at least 6,905 languages that I don’t speak or read, that I have almost no sporting ability, can’t play the violin or the saxophone, have no understanding of computer coding, am not good at one-to-one social interactions, have forgotten how to play chess, have never been skiing, never run a mile, never learned to crochet, and that my only attempt at decorating ended with burgundy paint splashed onto a beige carpet.  I’m sure by now you must be wondering what Through the Roof were thinking of, employing such a useless person.

That’s because this negative description of me gives you no idea of the languages I do speak, the instruments I can play, the work I’ve accomplished, the books I’ve published, the one sport I am rather good at (sailing!) or the three wonderful children I’ve raised. And yet people do this all the time with disabled people.

Thankfully, God never sees us in this way. His word tells us that we are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1.6), complete in Him (Colossians 2.10), more than conquerors (Romans 8.37) and that we can do everything through Him strengthening us (Philippians 4.13). So let’s stop defining ourselves and one another by what we can’t do, and let’s instead seize on those gifts and talents which God has given us, and rejoice in them, just as God rejoices over us (Zephaniah 3.17).

Wheels in Kumi, Uganda (14.06.17)

Wheels in Kumi, Uganda (14.06.17)

Our team are now on the way to Kumi, Uganda, for a ten day Wheels for the World distribution working in partnership with Elspeth Robinson and Kumi Hospital. The team, led by Rob Dalton, will be fitting wheelchairs and other mobility aids to disabled people around the area. We'll be sharing pictures, videos, and stories just as often as they get the time and internet connection to send them back. Please do pray for the team - most of whom are travelling today, with a few already in-country - for safe travels, and good health, and for the preparations for the work.

(Photo taken from a previous trip to Uganda - we'll have up to date ones up soon).