Louisville Container – September 22, 2014

Louisville Container Loading – September 22, 2014

What a weekend!

Annette and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Louisville, Kentucky this weekend. Chris and Donna Mooney from Bethel Ministries International in Guatemala were in town to speak at local supporting churches.  (Bethel is the ministry that Mission: Mobility provides equipment to)  The weekend was filled with wonderful fellowship.  Thanks to Brad and Holly Clark for hosting us, and the Mooneys.   It was great to spend time with these dear friends!

The weekend was filled with gatherings and events so Louisville folks could interact with the Mooneys.    The crescendo to our awesome weekend was Monday morning.   Brad is a cornerstone of Mission:  Mobility!!  He finally had enough equipment collected to send a container.  No stranger to wheelchair collection,  in years past,  Brad had sent 2 containers.  This was his first as a part of Mission: Mobility.  This load was a compilation of equipment that was collected by many of the Mission: Mobility team.  Murray, Kentucky and Jacksonville, Florida teams both contributed a significant number of chairs and other equipment to the load!   Nice teamwork everyone!882336_768706649814492_6581483567376094719_o

some of the Jacksonville team

10649609_10152777703079703_8332399063474240422_n (1)some of the Murray Team 

When sitting around the breakfast table Monday morning,  I shared a scripture I had just read.  

Proverbs 19:21  

Many are a plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

We all discussed the scripture,  wondering what significance it could have regarding OUR plans for the morning.  We soon found out.

20140922_071328The container was originally scheduled to arrive at 9 am.    We received a call from Emily at On His Path saying that the container dispatch called and said it was not coming until Tuesday.  UGH!   Cool heads prevailed.  In his smooth talking ways,  Brad called the dispatch and the container arrived around 10:30!   We were finished loading by 11:30!





20140922_114053It was great to have the Mooney’s in town to be a part of the loading of a container!   They are always on the receiving end.

20140922_113957-1David Shutt, Scott Gibson, Scott Graves, Annette, Rick, Holly, Brad

Many thanks to the entire crew!  All were veterans from past Bethel Mission trips.  John Forshner and Scott Graves were there.  I had met them on the January 2013  J127 men’s mission trip to Tecpan Guatemala.  (j127.org)     It was AWESOME  to see them again!   David Shutt was there smiling the whole time. David and his wife Carol have recently formed Open Door Ministries, a non-profit to support Bethel!    We are also humbled to note that they also are partnered with Mission: Mobility in getting the word out on our equipment collections!

10615351_10204950530665827_5028996241933032349_nGreat idea Open Door Ministries!  Thank you for the support!

Many thanks to Scott Gibson.  Scott, also a Bethel veteran, is the manager of  Towne Air Freight.    He donates Mission: Mobility the  space to store and load the equipment in their warehouse!

20140922_082114Robby Wheeler,  Scott Graves, Chris Mooney,  Brad Clark

Robby Wheeler was also there.  Robby, I just met this weekend.  Ultimately he could be credited for my connection to Bethel and then Mission: Mobility!    Robby and his wife led a Louisville team to Guatemala & Bethel in 2009.  Much like a great oak tree,   this first group has branched  out and taken root over a great area.   Teams from Murray Kentucky,  several teams from Louisville and individuals from MANY other  states are now veterans of serving with Bethel in Guatemala  as a result of that first trip.

 Psalm 1:3  

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers as a result of this Branching!

Last and DEFINITELY not least,   Holly Clark and my wife Annette were there keeping us all going with big smiles and encouraging words and carrying equipment into the ever filling container!  Thank you Ladies!  Brad and I are both extremely BLESSED to have you working alongside us as we continue to manage and grow this ministry of Mission: Mobility.  Your input and involvement is INVALUABLE!!

20140922_114946Brad & Holly Clark,  Annette & Rick Fulton

As we have made it a tradition, after we loaded the last item on the packed container,  we took a few moments as Brad prayed over the equipment!  A prayer of speedy travel and a prayer to BLESS the equipment.  A blessing that it will Truly TRANSFORM the lives they touch….both physically and SPIRITUALLY!

Thank you all who made this load possible!


Murray chairs arrive

Murray chairs arrive

On Monday, Tim Fortner from Murray, KY drove to Louisville to drop off equipment collected by several people. I want to thank Tim for going above and beyond in getting this equipment to me. He rented a U-Haul and made the long journey.


I was excited that all of these wheelchairs, walkers and crutches arrived now. We are planning on shipping a container to Guatemala on September 22nd. I am still short on chairs, so the timing is perfect.

Also, these chairs were the first to get the new Mission Mobility stickers. Some day while in Guatemala, you may look down and see one of these at a distribution.


A special thanks to Tim/June, Roger/Belinda, Kim/Stephen, Ben/Britteny who all played a part in the collection. You all made a difference.

This upcoming container will have chairs from Jacksonville, FL; Murray, KY; Louisville, KY and Indianapolis, IN.

Praise God for everyone’s help!!!

Dios Te Bendiga,


Ramps of Hope

Ramps of Hope

submitted by Rick

I love meeting new people and learning about what makes them tick. With Mission: Mobility, I have been provided the unique opportunity to “meet” many new people from across the country. Although most I have only met via email, a few over the phone, and a few when “meeting in the middle” to pass off some wheelchairs. Many of these who I have met are now part of the infamous “facebook friends” world. Although Facebook is viewed as both good and bad, I have embraced it now as a vehicle to attempt to strengthen our wheelchair collection network.
It has been amazing for me to observe vicariously through this electronic portal, how my new friends are serving in their local communities. When seeing how many are doing AMAZING things to serve those in their communities, I am humbled and thankful that they take the time to join Mission: Mobility and collect wheelchairs. Observing these various people with the photos and stories they share on FB it has truly been an encouragement to me.  One of these ministries has really struck my attention, because of it’s LOCAL involvement in serving those with Mobility needs.

Meet Debbie Hills.

Debbie is our Mission: Mobility partner in West Springfield, Pennsylvania. Debbie was one of the first to eagerly join us in our efforts to collect equipment. Unlike me, a farmer/insurance agent who had no history with ANYTHING mobility related, Debbie’s past truly lends itself to Mobility Assistance ministry.
Debbie practiced for 32 years as a Pediatric Physical Therapist before going into full time vocational ministry. She is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. In this, she is called to “connect the gathered community of believers with the needs of the world and lead them out into the service IN the world.”
Debbie has been in Guatemala 3 times with her home church serving with different missionaries and with Bethel Ministries 5 or 6 times. Often times working in the orphanages fitting the children with specialty wheelchairs. “I absolutely love the Maya People and their gentle and strong spirits.”   I echo that Debbie!

She has also served 8 or 9 times in Honduras, working with Joni & Friends’ Wheels for the World, doing wheelchair distributions. (WFTW also partners with Bethel Ministries in supplying a HUGE portion of their wheelchairs)   El Salvador has also been the destination for 6 mission trips for large wheelchair distributions.


While in Honduras and El Salvador, Debbie has also spent much time teaching with Occupational and Physical Therapists in the government rehab system.  Debbie’s husband has also travelled with her on most of these trips, “he is an ace wheelchair mechanic”.

To quote Debbie, ” I have a passion for reaching out to those in the margins that the world largely says are “less than” and letting them know that they are loved and valued and not alone. I love equipping others to go out to those who really need to hear the good news that can only be found in our Lord and Savior”.    Very well said Debbie!

She also serves as the chairperson of the Western PA Conference of the UMC Disability Concerns Team. This works to be a resource to nearly 900 churches who strive to become places of welcome and inclusion for those who are affected by disability.

Ok, this is some amazing background. Most of which I just recently learned from Debbie. The above in-and-of-itself is a blogpost. But the following was what I have seen on Facebook that I wanted to share.

Since last February when we first “met,” I have seen many, many posts of events she was a part of.   It quickly became obvious to me that these were not occasional “random acts of kindness”, but a serious organized effort to SERVE!  https://www.facebook.com/RampsofHope is their Facebook page.
Debbie is the executive director and founder of a disability ministry called “All God’s Children Ministries.”   4 ½ years ago, they started “Ramps of Hope.”   ROH operates mostly in a 2 county area in NW Pennsylvania. They have a core of about 40 volunteers who often help and 50 who help on an occasional basis. The regular volunteers come from a dozen different churches. (the group is growing and branching out into nearby communities)

On a typical outreach, a group of 10-15 volunteers will construct wheelchair ramps for local people in need. Materials are acquired at a local lumber yard that is owned by a strong Christian family.  They provide a discount and free delivery of materials.

They have averaged building 3-4 ramps each month. Her local core group has built 36 ramps in the past year. Since April 2010, 131 ramps have been built. Each project takes approximately 2-3 hours. Ramp sections are prebuilt in “modules.”


This allows for quick installation and also ramps can be reclaimed and reused if the recipient no longer requires use of the ramp or moves to a different location.

imageimageIn reviewing the hundred of photos from their building events, it became obvious to me that this is a phenomenal group.   They build rain or shine.  Winter doesn’t even stop them!
What Ramps of Hope is doing in their local community reminds me so much of what Bethel is doing in Guatemala. ROH isn’t just about building a ramp for a disabled person. Debbie says “my absolute non-compromise is that I must have a promise of pastoral support in proximity to the ramp installation before we proceed. I feel building relationships is key. The heart of the project is evangelism/offering them CHRIST. That is done best through relationship. Relationship is best built in proximity”.    AWESOME!  Well said Debbie!
Amazing Ministry!  Truly inspiring!   A lifetime of service to the disabled both domestically and in Central America. Debbie has a huge heart for the Lord and a huge heart for SERVING those in need.

Thank you to the many volunteers in the Ramps of Hope group!  Thank you for your dedicated service to your neighbors in need!  Thank you Debbie for all you do in your many outreaches!

Romans 12:11 GNT
Good News Translation
Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.

Ps.   Debbie said that Ramps of Hope could easily be replicated, anywhere.   She welcomes inquiries of how a similar program could help people in your community.    You may contact Debbie at deacon.dhills@gmail.com




submitted by Mission: Mobility Partner Kim Moody Crouch


It’s been six years since our first mission trip; a trip I anticipated would be a short lived adventure.  Little did I know, God would continue to call us again and again to return to Guatemala and turn this experience into a passion.  It’s a ministry I’m grateful to be a part of and have had the immense pleasure of watching grow because of people like YOU.  Our dearest donors and supporters, thank YOU for allowing us to be the hands and feet of Christ through YOUR giving, prayer, donations, and incredible generosity.

After that first trip, I was convicted on so many levels of how I’d been living my selfish, so-called Christian life.  The following verse from Proverbs 24:12 cut deep and made an incredible impact on me.  “Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act.”  It was a trip that completely wrecked me, and I mean that in the greatest of intentions.  Returning home, I knew change was necessary.

Every summer, this trip always put my life in perspective.  I think about everything differently, from the way we spend our money, eating leftovers, to realizing our house will always be big enough (regardless of the size of our family), and how we give and who we give to.  These moments have taught me the importance of being intentional in every aspect of my life.  I make an honest effort of thanking God daily for the little things.  I appreciate our children more (even on their worst days).  It’s opened my eyes to recycling, planting a garden, collecting memories instead of stuff and loving our neighbors.  My eyes have been opened to loving God by loving all of His people and His earth.

I am grateful for the chance to step away briefly each year and work in Guatemala with Bethel Ministries, International and the Mooney Family.  They have been instrumental in shaping my spiritual life.  Serving there can feel like a vacation, when given the chance to turn your back on the mess that often accompanies our everyday lives we often create ourselves.  It’s an opportunity to walk away from the meaningless distractions ofphones, email, meetings, TV, and the over-scheduling we are all guilty of.  It’s an opportunity to truly LIVE in His will.  From the fundraising efforts leading up to the trip and being touched by the generosity of our family, friends and community, to the second we serve in Guatemala, we receive love, give love and are so BLESSED by the richness this journey entails!

These trips are always humbling and make my life.  They are a favorite part of every summer, yet, I waver through such a roller coaster of emotions from anger and sadness, to gratitude.  My heart is so full while I’m there, but so shattered at the same time.  I see God everywhere, but struggle with so many questions.  Why do we have so much and they have so little?  Why do my children always have full tummies and they don’t know the next time they’ll eat?  Why don’t more people help?  How can I motivate others to give up some of their abundance and give to those who have so little?

This July we served in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.  It’s an area deeply rooted in Mayan culture with over 27 dialects just in this region alone.  The people are dark brown with beautiful long, shiny black hair and the darkest of eyes.  They are warm and kind.  They look at least 10 years older than they actually are.  They’ve lived hard and been kissed by the sun far too many times working in the fields and trying to survive this difficult life.  They dress in “typical” Mayan attire of handmade embroidered blouses and wrapped fabric skirts.  The fabric is so beautiful and vibrant with stitching so intricate you can’t fathom how long it took them to create these amazing ropas (clothes) by hand.

The town is located in a rugged region, full of mountains, deep ravines, and volcanoes smoking in the distance.   It sits at 6,000 feet above sea level with breathtaking landscapes from every direction.  The climate is ideal and tropical.  Today is 70 degrees and perfect.  Every time I’m in this country, I’m convinced the Garden of Eden looked like this.  There are apple trees in every direction and flowers of every color growing wild.  It’s one of the most beautiful places on this earth, despite the sight of poverty everywhere.

We held a wheelchair distribution today.  It sounds so simple, meaningless almost.  When we first started these missions, I didn’t realize the impact a single wheelchair could have on a person’s life, especially when I thought about the lack of other resources like shelter, food, clean water and money.  After the first distribution, it’s now always one of my favorite days.

The crowd is trickling in.  Road protests have slowed the people from getting to the clinic where we’re distributing free chairs.  Some of these people have been on a waiting list for 6 months to years to receive a wheelchair.  A 30 year old man comes crawling in like a crab, his only method of moving around.  There’s a gentleman carrying his 85 year old mother on his back in a plastic chair tied to his waist because she’s too weak to walk.  He carried her for miles and paid what little money he had to get her through the protesters so he could get her wheelchair.

There’s also the lovely hermanas (sisters) with their 88 year old father.  He lost his wife just 17 days ago.  He has no legs because both were amputated due to cancer.  They show me his wrist, badly bruised with a deep cut.  He fell while trying to scoot around the house when his daughters weren’t home.  A sweet mama walks in and lays her daughter on the ground.  She’s tired from the journey.  She’s carried this child in a sling on her back.  For 13 years, she’s carried this paralyzed child everywhere.   Today, this child gets a chair and mama gets a new freedom of walking alone and using her arms again.

Whether it’s a 38 year old who has never left the house because of cerebral palsy or the opportunity to give a mother her arms back to work again because she’s carried her child since birth, a wheelchair is LIFE in so many ways for these people.  Some of them will come for miles, for days on a bus to receive this free gift.  To us, it’s just a chair someone threw out to the dump, to them; it’s the gift of mobility!


On this day, we meet young and old with difficult stories.  There is one in particular that affects me profoundly.  He’s a 7 year old boy who I love at first sight because hereminds me so much of my boys.  His smile is infectious and lights up his entire face.  His cheeks are round and rosy and he illuminates happiness.  Today, he is receiving his first wheelchair.  I look down and grab his little hand to hold and hug him, but am immediately taken back at the sight of his hands.  I well up with tears.  His tiny hands are broken and battered.  They are so severely calloused and swollen two times the size they should be.  Where there should be knuckles, there are cracks and deep cuts to the bone that are black with dirt.


He’s been dragging this little body on the rugged earth since he was mobile, using his fists to crawl.  His hands have literally been his feet.  These precious hands are so filthy and probably have never been washed or cared for.  These darling hands have never seen a Band-Aid or an ounce of Neosporin.  I’m physically sick; not that he’s so dirty and cut up, but that these precious 7 year old hands have endured so much in his young life.  He’s been crawling on rocky roads and dirty floors, and then using those same broken, achy hands to put food in his mouth when it is available.  I once saw a sign that read, “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply.”  I will not forget this moment; it has cut me to the core.

I hug him again and I don’t want to let go.  How is he smiling when I can see the bones in his hands?  How is he giggling when his hands are so infected, calloused and broken?  We put him in his new chair and his expression says it all.  He knows this is his first set of “legs.”  I exhale, hoping his hands may finally heal.  He grins from ear to ear, excited about his new wheels!


10 minutes later we sit down to eat and I can barely move food from my plate to my mouth.  I’m still shaken, devastated by the wounds of this child.  I long to take him home and bandage up his sweet little fists.  I’m saddened that I’ll never know if those wounds actually heal or if he will lose his fingers or hands.  I’m troubled that a child has to live in this sort of pain.  I ache for his uncertain future.

In my frustration, one of my favorite songs comes to mind.  It’s by Matthew West, called “Do Something.”  The lyrics say, “I shook my fist at heaven and said, God, why don’t you do something?  He said, ‘I did.  I created you!’”  And it is in this moment that I am grateful, so very grateful for this little boy who keeps a smile on his face despite his circumstances.  This physically broken child is an incredible reminder that we are all broken.  We have broken pasts, broken relationships, broken hearts, broken marriages, we are spiritually broken.  We. Are. Broken.

This child is a reminder that we have a God who aches to have a relationship with us.  We too, can smile despite our circumstances in this fleeting life, knowing we are promised eternity if we would just accept Him.  We serve a God that aches to use us, if only we’d listen to His purpose for our life.  I’m humbled all over again.  God can use ME, despite all my brokenness to give hope where it’s needed most.  He uses a sinner like me, to bring comfort to those in need.  I pick my head up with tears in my eyes and go back to my “check out” post at the clinic.  It’s the last stop for those who receive a wheelchair and have met with the pastor, to get last minute information.  A man grabsme and wraps his arms around my neck and hugs me tightly.  With big tears in his eyes he says, “Muchas gracias. Dios es tan grande!”  (Thank you very much.  God is so big!)

Yes, He is.  Amen.


Kim and her husband Stephen live in Murray, KY and are veterans at serving with Bethel Ministries.   They lead mission groups independently every summer to serve with BMI.  They have two young boys, Collier who is 9 and Kellen who is 6 years old.  Their oldest son, Collier has served with them in Guatemala for two years.  They love serving the people of Guatemala and love serving The Lord.   Along with serving with Bethel in Guatemala,  they collect wheelchairs that have been shipped to Guatemala.   The Crouches have huge hearts and are an integral spoke in the wheels of Mission:Mobility!  

Thank you Kim for submitting your story.  And many thanks to you and Stephen for all you do!  Dios te Bendiga!







Hide & Seek

Hide & Seek

Sometimes several people in a room can all have their eyes open and everyone sees something different.   Often times looking at the exact same thing,   we can see something different.   There may be a need that is HIDING right in front of us.    Though not a game,  we must SEEK it out.  Last week,  we experienced this while SERVING  with Bethel Ministries in Guatemala.

On the way to our first home visit,  Chris made a statement that was very important.  He said,  “Keep your eyes open. Many times there is a need that may be very obvious, or not so obvious that only one of the team may see.  We may visit a family planning to help in one way when that is not the actual need.  Keep your eyes open.”

While visiting our first family with the intent of delivering  a bag of food supplies and some clothes and shoes,   God showed our team members a hidden need.


Chris Mooney from Bethel has a gift of talking with the people of Guatemala.   He often digs deep looking for those needs that could be buried deep.    After visiting with the family,  we learned that the middle daughter was truly struggling with school.   The siblings were doing well,  but younger daughter  was frustrated, and at the rate she was going,  she would probably,  eventually quit school.   Without an education,  there is virtually NO way to break this cycle of poverty.   Enter our team member Christy and her daughters  Briana and Alyssa.    Christy is a vision therapist from Illinois.   Her optometrist employer donated 100 pair of used eyeglasses and a vision acuity chart.


The kids went through the exercises and it was found that the little girl had a great need for vision correction!     The perfect glasses were fitted and now she has the opportunity to succeed at school.     She has the opportunity to succeed at LIFE!    Originally,   we ASSUMED that a probable need was school sponsorship.    While this is still a need,   her impared vision was the basic, HIDDEN need.




At another home visit, our intention was to provide food and clothes again.   School was going well for the kiddos.   Eyetests showed no glasses were needed.   A new, Bethel built home was already a possible need.   Then we saw it.   We ALL saw it.  It was so obvious that this was a HUGE need.    This family’s cocina (kitchen)  was tucked back in a corner  of the small backyard with a makeshift tin awning.    It was basically a typical wood-burning “stove”  that was a piece of metal (probably the top out of a barrel)  that sat on a few rocks or cement blocks.  Plus one more thing…….can you see it?

20140719_160358 (1)

Yes,  the stove was on top of the old outhouse BANYO (toilet).    WOW!   THIS was an IMMEDIATE NEED.    WE ALL SAW THIS ONE!    It was decided immediately that Bethel would provide her with an ONIL stove so they could abandon the old, Banyo cocina!        We had friends from Iowa make donations for this mission trip.    When we saw this,  we instantly knew THIS was the perfect place for their donation.    This family will have a new Onil stove installed very soon!


 (an ONIL stove from the first house build)


This trip, we had the awesome opportunity to have a second wheelchair distribution.   Personally,  I was really fired up about this!   Typically at these events,  MOST of the recipients are fitted easily to their new gift of mobility.   But sometimes,  there are things we didn’t plan on.   Annette, Taylor, David and I were working one station.    Our first friend was a gentleman who was carried to the event on a stretcher.


He had 2 volunteer fireman/paramedics attending him.   This was especially exciting for Taylor,  as she is a volunteer fireman/EMT at the fire department in Cedarville.


Andreth,  was excited to get his new chair.    The basic fitting was routine.


But Andreth had some sort of Ostomy bag that he held on his lap in a plastic grocery bag.    This just won’t do.   So,  David with his mechanical engineering degree from Cedarville, and me with my farmer “figure it out with baling wire and duct tape” degree from Crawfordsville figured it out.     We found an extra, aluminum walking cane.   After figuring out the optimal placement, we mounted the new ostomy bag hanger.


All the while ensuring that we did not compromise the integrity of the cane…..so it could be removed and used as a cane someday, if needed!


The firemen were having fun helping us with the customizing project.    It turned out pretty well.   Andreth was happy with it!


We were all thankful that our eyes were opened to what HE wanted us to see.                            Keep your eyes open!

Psalm 119:18   18 Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.





Abuelo Noe (Grandpa Noah)

Abuelo Noe   (Grandpa Noah)

July 16 – 23 2014  we had the wonderful opportunity to return to Guatemala on a mission trip.    This was a reflection to my first-ever mission trip, in 2011.   This my 4th, but extra special.  My family (wife Annette & daughter Taylor)  travelled to serve with Bethel alongside John Mitchell and his family and Christy Reist and her daughters.

20140719_122641-1John & Jean Mitchell are the founders of On His Path (www.onhispath.com)   which partners with  Mission: Mobility.   It was great to return with good friends to revisit many of the places and projects we experienced in 2011.     For the Mitchells, it was extra special,  their 7 year old daughter joined us.  She was adopted from Guatemala when she was a little over 1 year old.   This was her fist trip back.

One special memory and experience on this trip was during our second home build day.    We arrived at a  hillside and saw the “goat path”  trail that led up a steep hill with our building site at the top.

20140721_162838This trail reminded us of Matthew 7:14.   14 But the pathway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

This home was for a widowed mother (Stella) and her 3 children.   Also at this home site were Stella’s parents in a small home.

We proceeded to carry all the building materials up the steep grade to the top.    It took many, many trips.   The elevation and the grade both made for an exhausting start of the day.   Ironically,  I had to chuckle,  because I had emailed Brad (Louisville)  that morning saying it should be a light day with only 1 house build on the schedule.   Boy was I wrong!   Eventually we got it all to the top.    I was preparing to carry my last load of several sheets of tin.   I was taking a minute to catch my breath before climbing.  I had 5 sheets of tin on my back.    Then I heard an old man talking to me in Spanish.  He was grabbing for a few sheets of my tin.   I figured it was a local wanting to help out to make a few Quetzales.    I was looking down when he spoke.  The first thing I saw were his feet.

20140721_163103-1Noe was the father of Stella.    He was so excited to help with the new home for his widowed daughter.   He was probably 65, looking 85 from the hard life he had led.    His feet truly told the story.

The project progressed quickly.    Grandpa,  as we referred to him,  was so excited and happy to help in any way possible.   At one point John gave him a pair of gloves.    He accepted the gift happily.  But it was almost comical.   He had absolutely NO idea how to put the gloves on.   We realized he probably had NEVER owned a pair of gloves.    WOW!   Once he had them on, he looked like he had won the lottery!

I recall throughout the work,   I kept looking at his feet.   They were so weathered, in his makeshift flip flops.  The shoes were several sizes too small for his feet.

20140721_130627We broke for lunch.  Ham sandwiches, chips and my favorite Guatemalan cookies…CHIKYS! (love those things!)     After lunch, I wanted a photo op with Grandpa.    We stood by the woodpile.  A great backdrop.    In typical Guatemalan fashion,   Grandpa WOULD NOT SMILE.

20140721_161113I had my arm around him for additional pics.    So as Annette took another photo,   I tickled his ribs.  He busted out laughing!

20140721_161129I can probably guarantee you  Abuelo had never had an American tickle him!

The project wrapped up, we dedicated the new home and prayed for the family,  and we were preparing to leave.     Prior to the trip, Taylor had bought a new pair of tennis shoes for the trip, with the intent of giving them away to someone.     With this being near the end of the trip, Taylor had resigned herself to the fact that she was probably not going to find a girl who could fit into her size 9’s.     God then laid it on us to get Grandpa some shoes.    But realizing that through the week we had given out all the shoes we had brought.   Guess which team member’s shoes were the perfect fit……Taylor!    The look on Grandpa’s face was priceless when he tried them on and they fit, perfectly!

20140721_161802We then had Chis explain to Abuelo Noe that if he would follow us down the trail to the van,  we would give him the shoes and Taylor would return to the hotel barefoot.   He was happy to oblige.

It was extremely touching to watch as Taylor removed her bright blue FILA shoes off her feet and stood in her socks on the road as she fit Grandpa with his new shoes.  It was a  beautiful gesture that I will never forget!   It reminded me of the humble act of the washing of feet in the Bible!!

20140721_163204John examined the old shoes.


They were homemade.  The soles were from an old pair of tennis shoes and the strap part of the flip-flops were made from car innertubes!     Note in the photo, the heels of the shoes.   Or lack thereof!    There was a hole in both shoes that a golf ball could pass through!   When asked,   Grandpa said he had worn these shoes for 10 years!   What a selfless guy.    When he needed new shoes,  he  opted to just keep his old ones and use the money for food for the family!

Photo time.   Just before leaving  we had Taylor and Abuelo Noe stand together with the new and old shoes and the sock feet.    Again,  in true Guatemalan fashion……stone faced….no smile!

20140721_163449I lowered my camera and said (in ENGLISH)   “Grandpa,  you better smile or I am going to tickle you again”.   I guarantee you he understood what I was saying based on his reaction!


20140721_163124Love that guy!

What a day.     I just love working with the people of Guatemala!

July 2014 container – Iowa

July 8, 2014 Container from Iowa


We gathered again to load the gathered equipment and Kids Against Hunger food on the latest container.

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10511330_790805460950897_6927033269264070473_nMany thanks to all those who helped collect,  transfer, inventory, load and Pray for the contents of this container!

Please join us in praying for a speedy transit to Guatemala where the contents are desperately needed.    If all goes perfectly,  it should be unloaded in 1 month.

Inventory – Another Perspective (guest post)

Although you may have already read about this past week’s evening of inventory, Taylor Fulton (Rick’s daughter) also wanted to share her perspective.

This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to help Mission: Mobility volunteers do inventory on a warehouse full of medical equipment. This coming week (on Tuesday, to be precise!) we will load that equipment onto a container so that it may begin the long journey to Guatemala.

Although labeling and sorting aren’t the most exciting of jobs, I was so excited to finally help out with this side of the ministry. The past four containers were loaded during the school year, when I was 8 hours from home, working on my Biology degree. Although Dad would send me frequent updates of Mission: Mobility progress, I couldn’t provide much help. This time, I got to join 18 volunteers from 9 different churches, sorting and wrapping and labeling and moving and stacking and arranging, preparing for this week’s loading process. With such good help, the entire process took less than two hours! In that time, we labeled and shrink-wrapped 76 wheelchairs, 88 walkers, 33 canes, 30 pairs of crutches, and more than 90 boxes of clothing and medical equipment. The Lord provided equipment, helping hands, and stamina, and His faithfulness continues to make itself evident!

When my family visited Guatemala in the summer of 2011, we got to help Bethel Ministries provide individuals with refurbished wheelchairs. Some of these people were getting replacement chairs, but many others were becoming independent for the very first time. For the recipients, as well as their families, this was a life-changing gift. Can you imagine carrying your child on your back for his entire life? Taking him with you as you work in the fields, carrying him as you run errands, feeling him grow heavier each day? Can you imagine being the child born with a disability, knowing that you will never be able to play like your friends, never be able to get a job or even move independently? Indeed, both the recipient and his family benefit when receiving a wheelchair from Bethel Ministries.


Not only does Bethel provide wheelchairs to the needy — they also provide jobs to some of the people they help. Upon arriving in Guatemala, each of the wheelchairs we marked will make its way to the Bethel Ministries workshop. There, Marcos, Chico, Carlos, and Cheni – all of whom are in wheelchairs themselves – will repair and refurbish the donated wheelchairs, so that someone else can receive the same help that they did. The Lord uses these wheelchairs for so much more than meets the eye! They provide independence, yes, but they also provide jobs for native Guatemalans, and give Bethel the opportunity to share the Gospel with recipients and their families.


At the end of our evening of inventory, we gathered around the wheelchairs and laid hands on them. Bowing our heads, we prayed over the chairs, asking the Lord to work in the life of each wheelchair recipient. Jehovah Jireh

This summer, my family will again travel to Guatemala with Bethel Ministries International. Helping with this inventory made our upcoming trip feel so much more real. Although we will arrive in Guatemala long before the container, seeing the wheelchairs and serving with friends helped me picture what some of our trip will be like. Similar to our trip in July 2011, we will spend one day in Guatemala distributing wheelchairs, and helping fit the recipients to their new possession.

Just as each person is unique, each chair is uniquely fitted to each person – the perfect combination of head rests, foot rests, support pillows, and type of wheelchair are found and secured before the person takes their chair home. It is sometimes a long process, but overall, when you see the look on the recipient’s face, and recognize the change that the Lord has allowed to happen, you realize that every effort was completely worth it. It is not we who should receive glory, but the Lord. He is the one who brought the different parts of that wheelchair together. He knew that the wheels would come from Omaha, and that they would fit perfectly with the chair from Montana. He knew that, though the cushions from Wisconsin were old, Chani in the Bethel workshop could sew them so they looked good as new. He knew that the footrests from Pennsylvania and the headrest from Kentucky would fit in with this great amalgam, so that one little girl could have a chair that fit perfectly. More than anything, the Lord knew and loved that little girl, and provided her with the opportunity to both receive a wheelchair and hear the Gospel through a Bethel Ministries event. Our God is great! It is a wonderful blessing, to be able to serve him through Mission: Mobility.



PS – Shameless plug here. If you’re not busy on Tuesday, come down to the Walker Seed Warehouse in Washington, to help us load the container! We would love to have you!


Inventory Day

Inventory Day

On His Path was originally planning to ship a 20 ft container with Kids Against Hunger food packets to Bethel.  They had sponsored a big packaging event at WACO High School in May.


The shipping costs for a 20 ft container are close to the cost of a 40 ft container, so it was decided to ship what wheelchair inventory we had.


Last Saturday we moved it all to the Walker Seed warehouse for eventual loading.

Last evening we had an inventory event.  It was great!  We really had no idea how many we would have help. I knew of 4 who said they would be there.  This was July 3 and there were some fireworks events that could have conflicted.

The cars started rolling in.  It was very humbling…..in the end, we had 18 willing volunteers to help catalog the inventory!  Wow!   Some were veterans of past inventory events.  Others were first time Mission: Mobility volunteers.   These volunteers came from 9 different churches.  Truly all working together as the Church (capital C) operates.  It was awesome.




Donated clothes were cataloged.


Walkers were sorted and cataloged.


Shoes sorted.


Wheelchairs cataloged.




We we all came together and prepared this load of BLESSINGS for the people in Guatemala that Bethel Ministries International  SERVES.  Wrapping up the evening, we prayed over the wheelchairs that they will be blessing that will truly TRANSFORM the lives of those who receive them!


Next Tuesday, July 8, we will load the container and send it on its way.

Thank you all for serving!




It seems like life is a series of connections.   As Believers, we truly UNDERSTAND that God makes these connections. It is amazing when you can see how some of these connections go full circle.    It’s almost like it “CLICKS” when it happens!

This is a very abbreviated version of a series of these connections as they relate to Mission: Mobility.

Brad Clark and his wife travelled to Iowa, from Kentucky, in 2006 for their daughter to receive clubfoot treatment with the Ponsetti Method.   Dr Ponsetti developed a non-surgical treatment, treating patients in Iowa City Iowa. While on this visit, the Clarks had the opportunity to meet John and Jean Mitchell.   John is the inventor of the Mitchell Brace, which is the foremost prescribed brace for clubfoot correction in the Ponsetti Method of treatment.

Fast forward a few years, 2009.   Brad was fundraising for a mission trip to Guatemala.  They sent out an email to help raise funds needed to build a home for a widow (Blanca)  and her children.  The Mitchell’s received this email, from someone who they remembered meeting briefly.   After researching the missionaries that Brad was working with, Bethel Ministries International (www.bethelministriesinternational.com), the Mitchell’s donated toward the home.   From that point on, On His Path (www.onhispath.com) became partners in support of Bethel’s efforts.  (On His Path is the Christian Non-Profit Organization that the Mitchells founded to benefit those in need, worldwide!)  The Mitchells were very impressed that Bethel had so many facets to serve the needy and disabled  in Guatemala, and that ALL these facets had ONE common goal….to spread the GOSPEL!                


           (Brad’s 2009 team in front of Blanca’ new home)

July 2011 my family and the Mitchell family travelled to Guatemala to serve with Bethel on a mission trip.    This was truely life changing for my family, opening our eyes to missions.   We were humbled while helping the needy with food distributions, clothing distributions, home building and the wheelchair distribution! While on a visit to one family, Chris was telling us about building this home for Blanca and her kids.  Jean realized at that moment THIS was the home they donated to (that Brads team built) which was the original connection for them with Bethel!  God made the connection.   “CLICK!”


(2011 family mission trip with the Mitchells)

  Time passed….  August 2012, God presented us with the opportunity to collect equipment to help Bethel’s wheelchair ministry.   (This would develop and grow into Mission: Mobility in February 2014). This collection ministry is generously supported by On His Path.

November 2012,  I “met” Brad through many phone conversations to transport equipment he had collected to Iowa for loading on the first Iowa  container.  Resulting from that, Brad invited me along on his January J127  (http://www.j127.org/blog) men’s mission trip to serve with Bethel.  John Mitchell joined me on the trip.  This was a tremendous blessing,  it was especially great to have John, Brad and Bethel connected together!    “CLICK!”  


(Chris [Bethel Ministries] & John)


(The 2013 J127 team)

An especially impactful moment was when Brad shared with us how when his daughter was younger and they realized the complexity of her special needs.  He recalled praying (often) that SOMEHOW God could use her unique gifts to reach people for Christ.   Sitting in the van that day in Tecpan Guatemala,  God truly revealed to Brad how through her special needs and the clubfoot treatment,  Bethel is now receives support by the Mitchell’s and On HIs PATH and many are receiving the Gospel.  PRAYERS ANSWERED!!   “CLICK!”


(The  January 2013   J127 team)

    We return home and continue with life.   We also keep collecting.   God then reveals how the collection ministry is much more far reaching than originally expected!   Thus, Mission: Mobility is born!   Brad and I become great friends and stay in regular communication as we develop this new mission.  I am very thankful for his input and ideas, and for his excellent work in designing our website!  He is a  HUGE blessing to Mission: Mobility!  He is a HUGE Blessing to me!

This weekend more connections were made.   The Mitchell’s son, Matt, got married in Louisville Kentucky.  We were so excited to celebrate the marriage of our good friend Matt.   It was an AWESOME, PowerfuL weekend of events!   All so Christ centered!   It was an amazing weekend.  Matt and Olivia will be a fantastic couple who God will use in amazing ways!  Of this, I am sure!    I was equally excited to finally visit Brad at his home and meet his family, and share my family with him. There are people you meet in life that you rarely see, or meet for the first  time and it is like you have always known them.   You just connect!   That was our experience with the Clarks!   What an awesome family!   What a great connection!  “CLICK!”


  (Brad & Holly Clark,  Taylor, Annette & Rick Fulton)

It was great to visit with Brad about his collection efforts.  We also visited his storage location and saw the trailer he uses when collecting equipment.


The Clark’s joined us at the wedding and reception.  It was a joy to reconnect the Clark’s with the Mitchell’s!   “CLICK!”  (I am sorry I neglected to get a photo of the Mitchells and the Clarks together!)

This summer my family is scheduled to spend a week serving with Bethel again!  We are excited to return to GUATEMALA !!!   Especially, to return as a family.  And, we will be returning with the Mitchell family.  It will be nearly the same group from our first experience.    We are excited to return to serve in the many ways Bethel serves the people of Guatemala.   I am especially excited to distribute wheelchairs collected by the many volunteers of Mission: Mobility!   I am excited to see what connections God will make!  

Thank you for your support!  


Meet Brad Clark……   Brad is a long time Bethel Ministries friend.   His first mission trip was in 2009.    He has served with Bethel  a total of 6 times.     He has lead the January J127 men’s mission team for the past 5 years!  (link) This group continues to return to Tecpan, Guatemala and serve the people of Juan Macario’s church.   I have had the awesome privilege to be a part of two of these trips.      They are very amazing, because of the RECONNECTION with the people who have been helped in previous years!  “CLICK!”

 Brad is a pilot for UPS.    He has an amazing heart for SERVING, especially to support Bethel Ministries and all they do.    He is an integral part of Mission: Mobility, always there to help in any way needed.    Brad also has another connection to Guatemala.   He and his wife Holly have 3 adopted daughters.   2 from China, and one from Guatemala!    Thank you for all you do Brad!

I am thankful for that prayer Brad and Holly said over their daughter many years ago!   As a roundabout result, I am now a part of Mission: Mobility, and helping answer that prayer by providing the equipment that helps Bethel Spread the Gospel!    “CLICK!”

Dios te Bendiga!!!!