Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada to tell you about my friend, Don.
I met him years ago when I was speaking at his church in Colorado Springs. I was talking about our “Wheels for the World” outreach; you know where we take wheelchairs and Bibles to needy disabled people overseas. At that time, some of our wheelchairs were being restored at a prison facility in Colorado. Well, Don is sitting there in the congregation listening to all this, and he decides to get involved. He gets his adult Sunday school group to help raise funds to provide more tools and workbenches for the prisoners who are restoring our wheelchairs. He even digs in and helps bring the ’Wheels for the World”restoration shop up to speed.
From there, he helped us collect wheelchairs in his region, and then he decided that he could use his mechanical skills by serving on a “Wheels for the World” team to a developing nation. Well, he wrote me the other day, they said, “Joni, (this is what he said,) having been on 7 trips for “Wheels for the World,” I’ve seen countless times how the gift of a pediatric wheelchair or an adult -sized one really touches family. It’s the gift that helps open their hearts to receive the gospel. They see first-hand how generous the God of the Bible really is. And I tell my friends that there are '5' wins in the Wheels' Ministry: (1) a chair is salvaged; (2) a prisoner has got purpose, (3) someone gets the gift of mobility that changes their life, (4) many people are opened to receiving Christ, and (5) the team that goes to a third world country has a totally new perspective on life and an appreciation for their blessings. No other mission effort that I know of does so many things with 'one' item, a wheelchair!”
Well you know, Don was just sitting there one Sunday morning in the church, and God spoke to his heart. Don’s the kind of guy who, when he sees the need, can’t wait to meet it. That’s just like him. He saw that he could do something to help those prisoners do a better job of refurbishing our wheelchairs. Next thing you know, he’s got his Sunday school involved. He is making a difference. Neither Don nor his Sunday school friends had much connection with prison ministry before, and they weren’t particularly involved with disabled people in their church, but they saw they could do something. They can raise funds. They can donate tools, hammers, wrenches. Make work tables, benches and so much more. Of course, when you see a need or start meeting it, God opens your eyes and you begin to see other needs: the need to collect wheelchairs, the need to minister to prisoners, and ultimately, the need to even serve on a “Wheels for the World” trip.
Acts chapter 20, verse 35 says, "in all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" That perfectly describes people like Don who see a need and don’t wait around for others to do it. Huh-uh, no, they do it. And they get the blessing. We’ve got a “Wheels for the World” team in China this week fitting wheelchairs to some of the poorest disabled people in the world. Kids with disabilities who are forgotten, neglected. Actually this month, there are three different Wheels teams going to three different big regions in China. I know Don’s gonna be cheering on our “Wheels for the World “team with his prayers, and I sure hope you will, too. And if you’d like to serve on a “Wheels” team or help collect wheelchairs, then help us. Just visit our Wheels for the World page at joniandfriends.org for all the details. Find need, and then roll up your sleeves and meet it.
God bless you today, and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends.
© Joni and Friends
Featured Resources From Joni Eareckson Tada: Sharing Hope
This elegant cutting board and tea towel set makes the perfect gift for any occasion. Both pieces feature Joni’s inspiring “Majestic Mountain” artwork, and the encouraging words of Psalm 36:5,6: “Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains.”