chris k 4

I know we are just about to enter Spring, but this story from Christmas was just way to sweet to tell!

Thanks to sixth-graders Charise Mitson and Kendra Wickham of Boise, Idaho, 29 people will receive a new wheelchair of their very own!

These two enterprising young ladies hosted a Free Wheelchair Mission display at Ustick Baptist Church for four Sundays preceding Christmas. Their credibility as short-term missionaries and creativity prompted the congregation to buy FWM Christmas gift cards. One donor was so inspired that he offered to match $1,000 of the donations made! The girls met the match in the final hours of their campaign on Dec. 22.

For their display, the girls purchased a Christmas tree, decorations and a special touch — a toy wheelchair and a cast for Charise’s teddy bear. The stuffed animal helped to draw kids to the display (along with their adults), Charise said. She took promoted the campaign with a photo of her display in the church newletter and made sure to include a reminder to donate in the Sunday bulletins.

The girls learned about Free Wheelchair Mission when they attended Ustick Baptist’s ministry fair last March. They had just returned with their families from a mission trip to Belize and experienced first-hand how difficult it is to care for a family member who needs a wheelchair but doesn’t have one.

Kendra’s 10-year-old brother Spencer was among the 29-person Belize mission team. His rare neurological condition, hemimegalencephaly, affected his ability to walk. Though he has since had successful surgery on both of his feet, he needed to use a wheelchair when in Belize last spring.

On a visit to an orphanage, the team met a boy about Spencer’s age who was confined to a crib because he couldn’t walk. Spencer quickly connected with the boy and the attention Spencer gave him made him joyful, Kendra said.

When the team was ready to return to Boise, they decided to leave Spencer’s wheelchair behind for his new friend. They relied on loaned wheelchairs at the airports for Spencer until they came home and bought a new one.

At the ministry fair the girls were so excited to learn that Free Wheelchair Mission had distributed wheelchairs in Belize. They are planning more fundraising efforts and hope to reach a container goal with UstickBaptistChurch! With the help from an ongoing children’s ministry offering and annual vacation Bible school gifts, they are well on their way to their goal.

Thank you Charise and Kendra, for loving your neighbors who await mobility!

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