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Thank you for considering becoming a Roofbreaker - your membership of this movement is going to help transform lives and enrich churches all around the UK. Fill in the form below, and we'll get back to you very soon. If you'd like to find out any more before signing up, please follow this link to email Janet at Through the Roof. All the fields marked with a star are required for the form to submit. 

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    Institution or Inclusion? : The Autumn 2019 Vital Link

    The Autumn 2019 Vital Link Newsletter is now available for download. This issue contains stories from our work in Ukraine, a warm welcome for our new team members, details about our exciting inclusion events in 2020, and much more.

    Or click on the cover image below to read the Vital Link online using Joomag - you can zoom in and swap between pages much more easily that by just using a PDF reader.

    Hands That Flung Phones Into Space… (Ros' Blog)

    A colleague once told me a story which had quite an impact on me, and I have never forgotten it. While he was a student, one of his fellow students was “dumped” by his girlfriend by text message. The young man was devastated both by the ending of the relationship, and by her method of informing him. So he went into a nearby church and sat down in the front pew. He took out his phone, re-read the text message, and then, mustering all his force, flung his phone against the wall of the church behind the altar.

    At that precise moment, the priest entered the church. He went and sat down in the pew beside the young man, took out his own phone and looked at it for a moment. Then he flung it with force against the wall behind the altar and asked, “Want to talk about it?”

    I can imagine the impact that gesture would have had on the young man. This was not merely a symbol of empathy, but one that involved some sacrifice. The priest was attempting, in this powerful way, to enter into the young man’s suffering, even though he didn’t yet know the nature or cause of the suffering.

    This beautiful gesture on the part of the priest reminds me of two things. Firstly, it reminds me of the poignant words written by Isaiah as he tried to convey to God’s people the depth of God’s empathy with them. It’s rendered in various ways by the different translations, each of which adds another layer to our understanding:

    “In all their distress He too was distressed, and the Angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” (Isaiah 63. 9, NIV)
    “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” (ESV)
    “In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.” (NLT)

    How wonderful to know, when we are experiencing difficulty or suffering, if we are feeling the limitations of a physical or mental condition, the disabling effects of societal barriers, or the rejection of a world that really doesn’t try very hard to include disabled people, that God feels all that we are feeling, comes to be present Himself with us and carries us through everything we are experiencing.

    And secondly, it reminds me of the way in which Jesus expressed His empathy with us. He not only laid aside all He was entitled to and came to share our plight, but He accepted weakness, pain, mental distress and permanent scarring to show how much He loves us, wants to be with us and identifies with our human experience.

    The gesture of the priest identifying so wholly with the young man’s distress is a wonderful incarnation of the heart of God, reflecting what the Bible shows us about Him. How can we go and be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to someone today?

    Tanzania 2019: Friday 25th October

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Please keep praying for the team and for all the local people they're meeting, who often travel long distances with the hope of receiving a wheelchair.

    Wheels for the World


    Feis, a young girl, sits and draws on a colouring sheet in her wheelchair

    Feis is a delightful little girl. She is 4 years old. Her name means Faith. Fais has deformities of both hands and her left leg. She was crawling and the wheelchair will help her go to school and church. You can see her colouring, looking at a board book of Bible stories and singing.

    Feis smiling in her new wheelchair

    Techies and therapists work together to create cushions and padding to keep children secure and in a good position.

    Techies and therapists work together to create cushions and padding to keep children secure and in a good position.

    A young girl in her very specialised wheelchair and her family

    Sometimes a chair fits a child perfectly. It was a carved foam seating system. When we first saw the chair we did not expect to find a child to fit it. This little girl was called Happy, she was born without a cry and is 5 years 4 months old. She mainly sleeps.

    A man using a stick to pull himself along

    Last night it had got to late and dark to assess this man.

    The man from the previous picture sat in his new wheelchair

    We were so pleased to see him return this morning and provide him with a wheelchair. Last night a man had scooped him up in his arms and carried him across the dark, wet, busy road.

    How can we sum up an amazing week? Thank you for your prayers, for sponsoring wheelchairs, collecting wheelchairs and frames for sending out, making sanitary products, sending money for Bibles, books, crayons, reading and sunglasses.
    It has been a great privilege to be part of the Through the Roof partnership. The blessing of smiles and laughter, the anguish of seeing tears, poverty and pain but these are so often turned to gratefulness as lives and families are transformed.

    A  young woman in her new wheelchair, holding a Bible

    "Wheelchair means I can get to the toilet myself. This gives dignity." Thank you from Tanzania!

    The WFTW team’s have seen 257 people, including 100 children, and given our 140 wheelchairs and buggies, 76 walking aids, 179 Bibles (including 58 audio bibles). We saw them on a military area. This meant people didn’t have to go up into the hills where there was a large venue but it would be difficult for disabled people to reach. The roof was in 2 sections and rain could enter from above and from the sides. The rain was a challenge but the venue was well known and easy to access. Thank you to everyone involved, and to all of you at home for your prayers and support!

    Churches Inc.


    Today the Churches Inc team had the privilege of visiting some of the people who have received wheelchairs.
    Helena using her new light-weight chair

    It was great to see Helena using her new light-weight wheelchair and to hear that it will mean she will now be able to go to school.


    Maghembe in his new chair, pointing at the blackboard

    We then visited a man called Maghembe who works as a teacher. With his new wheelchair he is now able to write on the blackboard and move around his classroom. It was very moving to be thanked by his pupils for giving their teacher a wheelchair to help him to teach them well.

    Altogether the Churches Inc team have had 740 people attending sessions during this week. This is an amazing number. We have seen people giving their lives to Christ and seen disabled people responding to the great commission - going back to their communities to share the good news of Jesus.

    It has been a particular blessing to be part of an international team with representatives from the UK as well as pastors from Tanzania and Kenya, bringing a variety of experience and expertise. It has also been wonderful to see the different aspects of Through the Roof working together - with Churches Inc and Wheels teams in the same venue - blessing people both practically and spiritually. We pray that the momentum that has grown during this week will continue long after we have left and that the trip will have made a real and long-lasting difference to the lives of disabled people in the Mwanza area of Tanzania.

    Tanzania 2019: Thursday 24th October

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Please keep praying for the team and for all the local people they're meeting, who often travel long distances with the hope of receiving a wheelchair.

    Churches Inc

    We had our final Churches Inc workshop today and were especially thrilled to have participants leading our worship. After a talk about the great commission, many raised their hands to respond that they would go back to their communities to share God’s love with others. It was good to meet again some of the individuals from last year's trip, including 14 year old Helena who received a wheelchair today and enjoyed the bubbles too.
    Participants in the workshop leading the worship

    A crowd at the workshop with many raising their hands to respond

    Helena blowing bubbles

    Wheels for the World

    Omari sits and listens to his audio Bible

    Rejoicing at the joy of seeing Omari listen to an audio Bible.

    Philip adjusts a walking stick for Moira

    Moira got the correct height walking stick and Philip made it white using a white plastic bag.

    A man holds his white stick and audio Bible, while his son holds his hand

    John accompanied by his son also got a white stick and audio Bible. So much to thank God for.

    A man sits on the ground, waiting for a wheelchair

    Transforming a life

    The man from the photo above sits in his new wheelchair

    Bringing dignity, respect and hope

    A man in a striped t-shirt sits in his new wheelchair

    No longer needing to crawl about all day. Juma had got polio at age 4. He was also pleased to get an audio Bible.

    A mum and son smiling at each other as he sits in his new wheelchair

    A lady in her new wheelchair with a child and one of the wheels team

    A lady in a new wheelchair is pushed along by a smiling child

    "You may be heavy, but you are my family"

    Tanzania 2019: Wednesday 23rd October

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Please keep praying for the team and for all the local people they're meeting, who often travel long distances with the hope of receiving a wheelchair.

    Wheels for the World

    Helen shows a lady some exercises she can do to help her daughter

    Helen is teaching mum leg exercises and then demonstrated how to develop head control using a hand puppet. We also want to say thank you to those that knitted puppets and blankets and donated toys.

    Children gathered together in the distribution centre with a few of the team

    On Wednesday after lunch 6 children; Jeremia, Lita, Ashley, Sita, Nuru and Hamisa were brought to the distribution centre from the Village of Hope. This organisation provides care and guardianship for children and young people who are abandoned due to their disabilities including one little boy with Albinism who attended the Churches Inc workshop. These children were aged between 8 & 23. All of the carers are were from local churches and were gentle with the children.

    A young boy with Albinism wearing his sunhat and holding his magnifying glass

    "Thank you for helping protect my eyes with a sunhat and sun glasses. Thank you for my reading glasses and magnifying glass to help me read. I love my audio Bible, it’s brill."

    A young boy sat in his new wheelchair holding his new Bible

    "Strong boots help me stand and my wheelchair is awesome. I love my Bible. Thank you."

    Churches Inc.

    We had a really encouraging Churches Inc day today with many people sharing their experiences and beginning to build relationships with each other. A government social worker joined us and was able to provide practical support and guidance to parents of disabled children.

    A young boy standing in the training centre with Kathy, a physio from the Wheels team

    Kathy, a physio from the Wheels team, joined us and ran a fantastic session with practical physio advice.

    Charles and Pastor Davies speaking to a group at the training day

    Charles from Kenya also shared from his own experience and gave an insight into how self help groups can work in practice. A really positive day!

    Thank you Flowstore!

    Tim Wood, Wheels For The World CEO, visited our supporters at Flowstore to speak to the Charity Committee and pass on his thanks for their corporate donation last year and their continued partnership in our work.

    Each year Flowstore set aside some money to give to their nominated charities. This past year they have managed to give a fantastic £25k to Wheels For The World! In the past they have also partnered with the work by building storage racks, site visits, and with two team members even giving up time to support the work on the ground in Africa. This amazing gift will help us to continue bringing life-changing wheelchairs, physiotherapy, and other vital mobility aids to people who would otherwise have very little chance of getting one.

    Byron at Flowstore built us a fantastic set of storage racks for our Aldershot wheelchair warehouse. "The crutch storage racks designed by Flowstore have proved very helpful. They enable our volunteers to instantly see which sizes we have and helps to utilise our limited space" said Shaun, International Missions Manager

    As a sign of our gratitude we've presented Flowstore with two plaques to celebrate their ongoing support--thank you to everyone there who's given so generously of their time, funds and skills.

    Tanzania 2019: Tuesday 22nd October

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Please keep praying for the team and for all the local people they're meeting, who often travel long distances with the hope of receiving a wheelchair.

    Churches Inc.

    Michael and Pastor Davies speak at the front of the Leaders Event

    At the Churches Inc Leaders' Event today, God seemed to be bringing the message that any one of us can be a leader for God, from the youngest to the oldest regardless of ability or perceived disability.

    We were blessed by the testimony of Michael who has albinism. He shared that even in dark times we can find light and hope in Jesus. Michael received an audio Bible during last year's Churches Inc trip, and shared how it has helped him to encourage others in his community.

    Wheels for the World

    Jacobo with his new wheelchair and one of the Wheels team

    Jacobo is 23. He arrived crawling. His knees were very bent with a lot of muscle wastage. Receiving a wheelchair will mean he can get water and use public transport. He lives with his mother and hopes he will be able to get a job making shoes. I told him about Pastor Shadrack‘s vision for a training workshop. Pastor heard me say his name, he came over and said he knows Jacobo and he will be involved in making shoes in the future.

    Mkama sat in his new wheelchair, holding his new Bible

    Mkama asked Jesus into his life today at the Churches Ink meeting.He said, ‘I want a Bible, I don’t want money, I want a Bible.
    Pastor said, ‘You will get a Bible’.
    Mkama added, ‘You talk so much you may forget’.
    Mkama has a stroke 13 years ago, today he received a wheelchair and a Bible in Swahili. He gratefully received a pair of reading glasses. As we went through scriptures to encourage him, he asked to read proverbs 3 v 5-6. It was a blessing to see his grandson who cares for him.

    A family gathered together with one of the Wheels team

    A family was registered to receive mobility equipment. Their children were aged 14, 9, 6, 5 and 9 months old. The oldest 4 are all disabled, so 2 adult wheelchairs were adapted to seat 2 children each with baby on mummy, the parents could transport their family. The Dad received a Bible and was encouraged to read 2 verses a day at mealtime to the family. The mum is illiterate and the couple who got them to the centre requested she also have an audio Bible in case her husband could get work and would not be around to read to them all. We gave them oat bars, coloured ribbon streamer, sanitary towels and knickers for the mum and an information sheet about stretching the legs of the 5 year and reducing the tension in the muscles.

    Tanzania 2019: Monday 21st October

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Please keep praying for the team and for all the local people they're meeting, who often travel long distances with the hope of receiving a wheelchair.

    Wheels Team

    Here are some pictures and stories from the first day of distribution.

    Crutches and walking aids ready for our first days distribution

    Crutches and walking aids ready for our first day's distribution

    Assessing William's mobility

    Assessing William's mobility

    Mum is also disabled and was able to use the buggy as a walking aid

    Mum is also disabled and was able to use the buggy as a walking aid

    Magdalena has muscle wastage and is very weak. She was delighted to receive a wheelchair and an audio Bible.

    Magdalena has muscle wastage and is very weak. She was delighted to receive a wheelchair and an audio Bible.

    Provision of food during a long wait

    Provision of food during a long wait

    Churches Inc

    A group listening at the albinism workshopChurches Inc had their first workshop today. About 300 people heard the message that they are loved by God. They encouraged one another with truths from the Bible about how God sees them and how that affects how they see themselves. We later had a separate workshop group for people with albinism and they told us about the difficulties they face. It was encouraging to see how members of the group supported each other and it was good to be able to bless them with the donated gifts of audio Bibles, sunglasses and sun hats. We had a government official present who was responsive to issues raised. We hope this will make a difference for people with albinism in the future.

    Tanzania 2019 Preparations-- Churches Inc and Wheels for the World

    IMG-20191019-WA0015

    From the 20th to the 29th October, two teams -- one from Churches Inc, and one from Wheels for the World -- will be hard at work in Tanzania. We'll be bringing you all the stories and details of what they're up, the people they're meeting, and the lives they're changing just as often as the internet connection allows. Two members of the Wheels team, Susan and Philip, are already on site, making preparations and meeting up with contacts. Here's Susan's update on day 2 and 3 of their work ...

    Day 2: We saw the original rooms that were to be for training disabled people in work skills like sewing and making shoes. The government have reclaimed this land and have provided new land but it will cost about £8,000 to complete 2 rooms. One for training the disabled people. The second room will be for them to work in and earn a living and to provide. Income togrow the project supporting growth of the programme. The old site has buildings, tables, and several areas with foundations laid. Broken rocks and new bricks can be used on the new site when funds allow.

    We met a minister, Alex, and later attended church with him. Pastor Shadrack is seeking to work with many Pastors and Imam to promote care of and inclusion of disabled people.

    Day 3: Home visits. We met Esther, who has Albinism. She will receive protected transport, get sunglasses and advice for her mum. We also met Magdalene, paralysed for 10 years waist down. Trying to assess how practically a wheelchair can be used with surrounding rocks on pathways and steps. One of her daughters has given up study to care for her, she was busy washing when we arrived.

    A family with two adult women and three children, hoping for a wheelchairOne Mum shared how her 9th child was born healthy. At age 2 she had contracted polio, and now cannot use her right hand easily, not her legs. Whilst missing primary school she studied and became a tailor/seamstress. She remains in a cross-legged position. She hopes she can have a wheelchair and when the project training disabled people begins, she will be able to be a teacher.