CCA Wheels Inmate Video

  • Dec. 7, 2017
  • #9289

The lives of inmates are changed by refurbishing wheelchairs for children in need through our Wheels for the World program.

Wheels for the World inmate

Let me tell you the untold story about ‘Wheels for the World’.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, and it’s a part of the ‘Wheels for the World’ story that you don’t hear much about, but I think it’s worth telling. And I can best tell it using the story of Billy Baker. He’s an inmate at the Metro-Davidson County prison near Nashville, Tennessee. Billy got into deep trouble with the law and he ended up at Metro-Davidson, but his life did not end when he got locked up. In some ways, Billy’s life, in that prison, got a new beginning when he was approved to work in our ‘Wheels for the World’ restoration shop there in his prison. Metro-Davidson County prison has been running our restoration shop for more than 15 years, and in that time, the inmates have restored more than 8,000 wheelchairs that our ‘Wheels for the World’ teams then take overseas to hand-fit to kids and adults with disabilities. When Billy started refurbishing our wheelchairs, and when he saw the videos and the photos of kids with disabilities being seated in the very wheelchairs he helped restore, well I tell you what, it really touched his heart.

Now, you need to know that our ‘Wheels for the World’ restoration shops are located in more than 16 prisons around the country. Inmates like Billy not only restore old wheelchairs into like-new condition; I mean, these men get to learn team-building skills, how to respond to authority; they learn how to sharpen their mechanical skills, perform a job that’s more than up to standard. They learn compassion when they hear the stories and see the photos of disabled kids getting the wheelchairs, and best of all, they get to hear about Jesus Christ.

That is how Billy’s heart was changed. In a video that I posted today on my radio page at, you will see Billy working in the shop and sharing how ‘Wheels for the World’ changed his life. Now this young man’s got a long way to go before he gets out of prison, but he quotes the book of Hebrews where faith is described as the evidence of things you can’t see. Billy knows he’ll never see the children who are receiving the wheelchairs he works on, but their smiles in every photo are evidence to Billy that his faithful labors are making a difference. Ephesians Chapter 4, verse 28 says, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Well, I tell you what, Billy is certainly doing something useful with his hands and he is sharing it with those in need. So please, be sure to hear his story on this brief video I’ve posted today on And let me know how this story about ‘Wheels for the World’ touches your heart. Who knows, you might even end up serving on a ‘Wheels for the World’ team to help disabled kids in a developing nation, and deliver one of Billy’s wheelchairs!

I want to thank the staff of the Metro-Davidson County prison, including Bart Wilson, Supervisor of our Wheels for the World shop there in Nashville. And while I'm at it, I want to thank all of you who have either prayed for ‘Wheels for the World’ or donated a wheelchair or served as an administrator on a ‘Wheels for the World’ team or a seating mechanic or maybe as a physical therapist. You are giving the love of Jesus Christ in a very practical way to some incredibly needy people in places where the world is bleeding out of control, where the kingdom is at its weakest. Billy would want to join me in saying “thank you”. And watch that wonderful video today at Again, it’s all about how Jesus Christ changed Billy’s heart through working on our wheelchairs at ‘Wheels for the World’. Again, it’s at Thanks for listening today on Joni and Friends.

© Joni and Friends


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