Joni and Friends Blog

International Wheelchair Day

“We’re in a race to reach more people than ever before in 2020 with the Good News”

It’s International Wheelchair Day and around the world, people are celebrating… wheelchairs! Now, if you can walk with ease, you may think that wheelchairs are an odd thing to celebrate. But for people like me who are paralyzed, a wheelchair gives freedom, mobility, and independence. As I often say, a wheelchair is the next best thing to having legs that walk (it’s why terms like “wheelchair-bound” or “confined to a wheelchair” don’t accurately describe people like me – our wheelchairs don’t confine us, they free us to zip around)!

Wheelchairs have been around for hundreds (or maybe even thousands!) of years, but they’ve changed dramatically in recent years. When I watch video clips of wheelchair athletes training for this summer’s Paralympic games, I marvel at how specialized sporting-chairs have become. I’m awestruck at the speeds these Paralympians reach when racing around the track. It’s partly because newly developed plastics and metal alloys make sport wheelchairs incredibly light and maneuverable, yet extremely durable.

We’re a lot like those Paralympians, except ours is a different race. Through the ministry of Wheels for the World, we’re in a race to reach more people than ever before in 2020 with the Good News, to share the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and that Good News is not something that needs to be “new and developed.”

Just listen to these inspiring words from the apostle Paul,

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”

The people we reach for Christ through Wheels for the World are getting a prize: a crown that will last forever! But that gift of salvation starts with… a simple wheelchair. Something physical – the wheelchair – makes possible, something deeply spiritual – eternal life with Christ. We consider the gift of a wheelchair as a “toe in the door” when it comes to opening the heart of a weary special-needs family to the love of Jesus Christ. It’s like Proverbs 18:16 says, “A gift opens the way,” the way to eternal life!

So you see, I’m all about celebrating wheelchairs today! Would you do me a favor on this International Wheelchair Day? Would you please join me in ‘giving a wheelchair’ to a person without one? You can donate right on our homepage. Plus, today we are kicking off our annual Wheelchair Collection Month, and we need your help. Maybe you have a wheelchair set aside in a closet or in the corner of your basement. We have volunteers around the country who would be happy to help you get that wheelchair on its way to a person in desperate need.

Thanks to Jesus, we are in a race that we’re going to win… so let’s take a lot of weary, wounded people with us. Let’s work together to make an eternal difference in Christ, one wheelchair at a time!

It’s Wheelchair Collection Month!

75 million people worldwide desperately need a wheelchair. Since 1994, we’ve delivered 190,000 wheelchairs in 19 different countries worldwide! This month, you can help by joining the collection efforts of your nearest Joni and Friends location.

Learn More!