20th Anniversary Celebration Service
We invite you to join us at a special Celebration Service on Saturday 9th September 2017, as we give thanks to God for His faithfulness, goodness and provision throughout twenty years of Through the Roof.
The service starts at 3.00pm and we are blessed to welcome Rev Jonathan Edwards as our main speaker. Jonathan will share his wisdom and experience as a former leader of the Baptist Union, church minister and Dad to an adult son with autism. He’ll inspire, encourage and challenge us to see the value of every person created by God
Blind worship leader, Thuy Mallalieu, will sensitively lead us into God’s presence through times of sung worship.
Light refreshments and a TTR Anniversary cake will be served from 4.30pm when you can catch up with old friends and meet new ones and everyone who attends will receive a souvenir booklet and pen.
The service takes place at St George’s Christian Centre, Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead, KT21 2DA. Follow this link for the answers to many Frequently Asked Questions, and register your interest on email@example.com or 01372 749955.
Get Involved with Churches Inclusion
Philippa, part of our mission team, shared her own experience of life as a totally blind person with a group of parents in a remote village in Guatemala, Central America’s poorest country. She recounted the story of John chapter 9 where the disciples ask Jesus whether the blind man had sinned or his parents. Jesus affirmed that he wasn’t blind because of sin, but that God’s good works could be shown in him. Disability isn’t a punishment or curse from God – a very different message to what people usually hear. The tears streamed down the face of one Mum with her young blind son. She was hearing (probably for the first time) that it wasn’t her fault that her son was born blind.
You can help change hearts and minds like Philippa! Join one of our teams as we train church leaders, parents and others in developing countries about disability from a Christian perspective.
Churches Inc relies on donations and volunteers to run - we'd love for you to get involved, either in the UK or on an overseas trip. Get in touch, and be part of transforming lives.
Could you support us by organising an event, celebration, or sponsorship to help raise funds for Churches Inc? Follow this link to find out ways to help raise funds.
Churches Inc. Mission Trips
Are you a leader in a local church, someone able to teach with authority, or do you have a revelation of God's heart to see all his people included into the life of the church, particularly those who are disabled and most likely to be excluded? We are looking for mature Christian teachers to spread a vision of inclusion and encouragement for disabled people. Follow this link for details of applying/a>.
Impact So Far
Over 3000 church leaders and members at over 50 locations have had disability training from our teams. We’ve shared our experience, ideas and resources in 6 countries on 4 different continents to change hearts and minds and encourage disabled people’s equal involvement in church and community life.
Church inclusion around the world
During one of our mission trips to Mozambique, we learnt about a family with a severely disabled child. Shockingly, they had been told by others in their local community to sacrifice the child to appease God. Another family was criticised by neighbours for not killing their disabled child to bring ‘the suffering to an end’. Thankfully, the church had stepped in with love and compassion, sharing the Gospel, and counselling these families to care for, and value, their children. But such tragic misunderstandings continue to happen throughout the world.
Our international church inclusion project equips the church with a Christian perspective on disability, helping them to be fully inclusive so everyone is valued. We rely on donations and volunteers to run please consider donating to support this work by following this link.
We want to stand side-by-side with local churches and groups to journey together and resource each one to enable disabled people to be involved in church life and grow closer to Jesus.
The church is God’s vehicle for changing lives, and it needs to be equipped, empowered and resourced to include disabled people fully in all aspects throughout the world. The Bible says that each one of us has a part to play within the Body of the church. The need is seen more than ever in developing countries, where disabled people are often seen as cursed and kept out of churches and community events due to misunderstandings about God creating and valuing disabled people.
Our international church inclusion project is all about valuing disabled people and encouraging churches to recognise that where disabled people are fully involved, not just as members of the congregation, but actively using their gifts and skills in church life, everyone is blessed as a result.
We do this in developing countries by providing training and support for local partners specific to their cultural context in churches, church groups, schools or other settings. We aim to help educate, empower and equip to serve the people and give them a new outlook on disabled people’s potential.
If this vision excites you, then you can be a part of it! We are looking for anyone who is mission minded to be part of this work.
Get Involved with Wheels for the World
Otwao has Cerebral Palsy and lives in Uganda. Although he can see and hear, he is unable to move his body. Like so many disabled children in Africa, he is hidden away. He and his mother live on their own in a reed hut. She goes to work every day and used to carry Otwao on her back, but since he’s grown too large for her to carry, she has had to leave him at home, lying alone on a cold floor until she returns in the evening. Otwao arrived at our Distribution Centre with his mother hoping for a wheelchair. Our team assessed him and gave him a wheelchair fitted for his size. Otwao can now enjoy company and freedom with her again.
You can be involved in changing the lives of some of the most needy people in the world, like Otwao! Have a look at the following ways of joining with us…
The work of Wheels is entirely supported by donations and volunteers. Whether you choose to help out on a trip, raise vital funds, or support us in the UK, thank you!
Could you support us by organising an event, celebration, or sponsorship to help raise funds for Wheels for the World?
- Contact us to find out about fundraising.
- Following this link to download a sponsor form or by contact the office for a copy in the post.
In the UK
- We need regular help repairing, cleaning and maintaining some of the better condition wheelchairs in our Aldershot warehouse. These volunteers need a degree of mechanical savvy. If you're happy repairing or maintaining a bike, you'll be fine!
- From time to time, we need help loading up the container for overseas trips. This usually takes about two hours on a weekday morning in Aldershot, and involves shifting a lot of wheelchairs. If you let us know you're interested, we'll get in touch when the day's coming up.
- We need occasional drivers to pick up or transport wheelchairs. You'll need to be able to drive a large van, and be happy to take the drive from time to time (days are negotiable)
Wheels for the World Roles
These are the key functions on a ‘Wheels for the World’ distribution. Please indicate the role in which you have an interest and your experience in the particular role.
Wheelchair seating: Requires experience of identifying needs and fitting suitable wheelchairs and ability to demonstrate the proper handling of a wheelchair, pressure control, transfers etc for recipient and family members.
Mechanic: Requires mechanical skills and ability to work closely with seating specialists and to customise wheelchairs if necessary.
Administrator: Requires a detail-oriented, good communicator to handle all of the paperwork associated with the distribution. Keeping track of team finances, performing administrative support role for the Team Leader.
Speaker/Teacher: Requires knowledge of biblical issues regarding disability and practical knowledge of disability/church related issues. Will teach about disability awareness, developing ministry and services for and with people with disabilities to various audiences, small groups and one-on-one. Must be flexible and sensitive to meeting needs of encouragement and education as identified by national contacts.
Photography: Requires someone to make a comprehensive photo record of the distribution, each of the recipients who receive a chair and also a video record of the distribution.
Impact So Far
Our Wheels for the World teams have provided 20,000 people with a wheelchair or mobility aid over 56 distribution trips in 13 countries, and shared the Gospel with 30,000.
But there's a huge job left to do! The World Health Organisation says there are 1 billion disabled people in the world, with 20 million of them in need of a wheelchair, without the funds or ability to buy one. The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation found that 90 to 95% of the world's disabled people die without ever hearing the gospel.
Please join with us in making a difference to the lives of disabled people around the world.
Donating Wheelchairs and Funds
Getting a Chair to us
Thank you for thinking of donating a chair or mobility aid to Wheels for the World! Unfortunately, we can't usually pick up chairs, but we're very glad to receive them at our Aldershot warehouse (follow this link for the warehouse address) or take in occasional individual chairs at our Morden office. Please call us on 01372 749955 or email the office on firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure that there's space, and that we'll have someone around to open up.
We can accept, and would love to have…
- children’s wheelchairs
- wheelchair cushions
- manual collapsible wheelchairs (not electric/power wheelchairs)
- crutches (in pairs and undamaged)
- walking sticks
- undamaged folding walkers (three or four wheel)
- children’s car seats in good condition (we use these for seating)
- straps and harnesses
- gaffa tape
We’re only able to repair wheelchairs, so if there’s any damage or bending to crutches or folding walkers, we unfortunately can’t take them.
Due to limited space, we regret that we can’t accept any wheelchairs that don’t fold down; standing frames or zimmerframes; assisted-propelling wheelchairs (the ones with the small rear wheel); electric wheelchairs; other books; medical equipment; orthotic equipment; piedro boots; broken equipment; blankets; positioning equipment; or children’s toys.
We’re always happy to answer queries about donations, so please follow this link to email the office, and we’ll be happy to advise you.
Please contact the office or visit our donations page ( Follow this link to our donations page) to support us financially. We run a wheelchair sponsorship scheme where £42 will help cover the costs of refurbishing a wheelchair and changing the life of a recipient in a developing country. Download a sponsorship form by following this link or by contacting...
- The TTR office on 01372 749955 or email@example.com
We're also very happy to be supported by Flowstore--you can find out about their generous donations of money and time by following this link. If your workplace is interesting in partnering with TTR, we'd love to hear from you.
What is Wheels for the World?
‘Today marks my most happiest moment of my life to see my grandmother Susan has acquired a wheelchair through the Wheel for the World initiative’, Phillip, from Kirinyaga, Kenya.
Philip’s words are a typical response of joy and thankfulness for the hope and freedom that a wheelchair can bring. However, Susan is only 1 of 20 million people that need a wheelchair and can’t afford one, as reported by The World Health Organisation.
Our Wheels for the World programme restores and distributes refurbished wheelchairs to disabled people in developing countries who can’t afford one. This gives increased independence and demonstrates the love of God in a practical way.
We take donated wheelchairs, including old NHS wheelchairs, to our workshop where volunteers use their technical skills to refurbish the chairs. The hub of operations is a warehouse unit in Aldershot where unwanted wheelchairs are received and restored. Then, before an international mission to a developing nation, they are loaded into containers for shipping.
The container of wheelchairs and other mobility aids is sent in advance of the mission team arrival. A typical distribution usually lasts 8 – 12 days with a team of 6 - 10 people staying in basic accommodation.
Our therapists fit all our chairs most carefully to ensure safety and comfort, and all recipients and family members are instructed in the correct use and maintenance of their chair.
Wheels for the World meets the practical needs of the disabled person with a wheelchair and, as we are a Christian charity, we offer recipients a Bible in their own language and local people share the Christian message. Wheelchairs are given according to need regardless of whether the recipient has a faith or not. Team members speak in local churches and community halls, spreading the message of including disabled people and training church leaders.
All of Wheels for the World's work is made possible through the generous support of donors and fundraisers. If you'd like to sponsor a wheelchair, you can download a form by following this link.
An example of how Wheels works
When Peter’s father died after a period of increasing frailty, it was a distressing time for the whole family. Peter found that the NHS did not want him to return his father’s wheelchair as it was too worn to be reused. Peter donated the wheelchair to Through the Roof, and had the satisfaction of knowing that his donation would make an immense difference to someone on the other side of the world.
Chris had a difficult childhood and got in trouble with the law. He trained to repair wheelchairs and gained some useful skills that would help him to find a proper career. Chris refurbished the wheelchair donated by Peter for Through the Roof, and made it as good as new once again. Chris was able to feel a sense of self-worth and dignity, and know that he was helping others with his skills.
Miriam contracted polio as a child which left her with paralysis in her legs. Living in a community where no physiotherapy or rehabilitation services are available, she spent most of her time in bed, shut away from society. Occasionally she would venture out to see the world beyond the walls of her home, but could only move by dragging herself along the ground. A team from TTR arrived in Uganda to distribute wheelchairs. Miriam was given the wheelchair that had been donated by Peter and refurbished by Chris. Now she can help her mother selling produce on their market stall, and can go out independently and make friends.
The Sound of Many Waters (Ros' Blog)
I took my daughter swimming after work yesterday (Basingstoke Aquadrome if anyone’s interested – fantastic place: height-adjustable changing bed, ceiling track and hoist, and a chair that wheels down a slope into the water for ease of getting in and out of the pool). Because there are so many different pools, flumes, tipping buckets and waterspouts there was a constant deafening roar of the sound of water – not something that all autistic people would cope with, but it suits my daughter, whose motto in life is the noisier the better.
This started me thinking about the places in the Bible (there are quite a lot of them) where the sound of many waters is mentioned. Here are just a few of them...
Sometimes the sound is a symbol of power, as in Psalm 93.4 which says,
“More than the sounds of many waters,
Than the mighty breakers of the sea,
The Lord on high is mighty.”
In this passage, the sound of many waters symbolises the things and (in this specific context) the nations that oppose God’s people, and affirms that no matter how loudly they roar, God is mightier. To someone grappling with disability and all the challenges life presents, it’s good to know that however loud the roar from the things that come against us, God is mightier and can overcome them.
There is a similar thought in Isaiah 17.13:
“The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters,
But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away.”
Some friends recently asked us to pray as they went to tribunal to contest a clearly unjust PIP ruling. I haven’t yet heard the outcome, but I do know that the anxiety caused by having your disability dismissed and all your benefits stopped must be liked the thundering of a torrent of water. How good to know that God isn’t intimidated by the roar of opposition – His roar is louder, and He promises to provide for our needs.
But the sound of many waters in the Bible isn’t always the noise of the enemy roaring at us. Listen to Ezekiel 43.2:
“And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.”
I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to visit two of the world’s beautiful waterfalls – Swallow Falls at Betws-y-Coed, which breaks in scores of seething white rivulets over the rocks as the river makes its way down the Conwy Valley; and Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrünnen, Switzerland, where the river simply drops off a cliff face and dashes onto the rocks below. I have scrambled up the rocks there and stood on a ledge behind the falls, with a curtain of water crashing down in front of me, its sound the voice of nature praising its Creator.
I love the way the Bible uses this imagery to represent the glory of God. Here again the sound is deafening, but it’s not a threatening or intimidating sound, but a glorious one – the voice of God Himself.
The first time Ezekiel had a vision of God, he was beside the river Chebar, and if he had heard the sound of many waters, he could have dismissed it as the noise of the river thundering along in its bed. But the time he is describing here, he was not by the river but by the temple, and the sound of water which he heard was the sound of the glory and the voice of God. Maybe next time you run a bath or shower or water your garden, close your eyes, imagine the sound multiplied thousands of times and let it remind you of the glory of the God who loves you.
This same imagery is used in Revelation 1.15, where John encounters the risen, glorified Lord Jesus:
“His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.”
John was Jesus’ closest earthly friend; he took care of Jesus’ mother for the rest of her life after Jesus’ death. How often he must have closed his eyes and recalled the voice of his dear Friend and Lord. And yet when he encountered Him in all His risen, ascended glory, His voice was not that familiar, homely Aramaic with the Nazareth burr; it was the sound of many waters. This is a symbol of the greatness and glory of the God who has taken us under His wing.
And finally there are two more passages in Revelation (Revelation 14.2 and 19.6) which refer to the sound of many waters – and this time it isn’t the voice of God, but of the great congregation of worshippers in heaven:
“And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.”
“Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.’”
Matthew Henry writes of this passage, “The concert of heavenly music. The chorus was large and loud, as the voice of many waters and of mighty thunderings. God is fearful in praises. There is no discord in heaven; the morning stars sing together; no jarring string, nor key untuned, but pure and perfect melody.”
And for all of us, whether life is full of joy and laughter and the love of family and friends; or whether it’s marked by pain and impairment and loneliness; or, as is more likely, a mixture of both, this is the glorious truth: something far, far better awaits us – an eternity that centres around Jesus, His greatness and His kingship over all. As we add our little drops of praise and worship to the thundering torrent that is roaring in heaven, we are giving a prophetic sign of the day that we will be part of that mighty chorus of praise to the One who has loved us and redeemed us from our sins by His blood. On a day like today when the sound of heavy rain drifts in through the office window, that hope transforms a drab, grey day into a foretaste of the sounds that await us for all eternity.