Thursday, June 11, 2015

Behind the Wheels

Before a wheelchair is ever given out to a recipient, much preparation has to happen. To provide a behind-the-wheels look, I've included some photos given to me by Jenny, a team member with Wheels for the World (WFTW).
Catherine is our organization's logistics manager. She takes care all of the phone calls and schedule arrangements on the administrative side of our projects.
To the right of me is the leader of the county where we served the first week. On the far right is Parker, who led the WFTW team.
Brian is also a leader with Joni and Friends. He's a wonderful encourager. It's always a privilege to work with him.
It is common for the media to come out when we serve in smaller towns and communities. This community had never had an international group come and serve before, so it was a major event.
Recipients come in any way they can. We wish we could deliver wheelchairs to everyone in their home, but there's simply not enough time to do this. Recipients must come to the distribution site.
The team worked skillfully and dutifully for hours at a time. There was no guarantee for lunch. Often, there was too much work to stop for lunch.
 All of the families received a copy of Joni Tada's autobiography.
It was quite amazing to watch the team work together to bless an individual.
Before and after photos tell a lot (see above and below photos).
 When Helen wasn't providing physical therapy, she entertained the kids with her balloon animals.
 Another glimpse of before and after (above and below photos).
Every team had a mechanic and therapist, but often, two or even three teams worked together to provide adjustments needed. It truly was a unified effort.
The surrounding area was very beautiful. I personally always stayed in the towns, but several team members served in the surrounding communities.
To make adjustments to wheelchairs, the team purchased materials like wood, foam and vinyl. It was quite impressive to see them make the chairs mold into specific individuals.
We're not able to share photos of the orphanage, but I've seldom seen people labor with more love. For more than ten hours, the team adjusted the chairs for orphans with severe disabilities. Few people around the world will ever know what love was shared with those wheelchairs. I wasn't able to do much that day, but I was glad to help sand wood and bring in dinner.
Over the last two weeks, we served more than 200 people, but there will always be those who stand out in our memories. If you ever have a chance to join a Wheels for the World team, it is a life-changing adventure. It was a privilege to be a part.
~ Kevin