Author Archives: bclarkmission

Patience and Perseverance

From Brad:

God never ceases to show me His power and authority.  At the same time…He shows me my weakness.  Yesterday was a perfect example of all of it in one situation.

To make a very long story short, the container was delayed 5 hours.  The driver had a blowout, waited 3 hours for someone to change it, then ran out of duty time so he was not legal to continue.  He was only 73 miles away when all of it happened.  So close, yet so far away.

When I got the news, I was standing in line at Krispy Kreme doughnuts (I like to keep the volunteers well fed and happy).  I had to take a deep breath because I could feel myself getting worked up inside.  This always happens.  Why can’t it go right just one time!!!  I called the dispatcher back and was as kind as I could muster at that moment.  I don’t think I did very well.

I think Rick’s and my greatest concern is not the fact the container is late, but the effect it has on the volunteers.  People have set time aside.  Everything is coordinated.  I feel bad for changing plans on them.  That is what gets me going.  I tell myself every time that God is in control. Yet, I always feel I fail at trusting Him in the midst of it.

In the end, it worked exactly the way God wanted it to work.  It actually gave me time to go get more organized at the storage facility, have some quality time talking with a friend who helped load supplies, it gave other volunteers time to get things done with their families and eventually have a relaxed pace of loading the container.


Nine volunteers were there.  One drove from 2 hours away just to help.  We had time to talk and grow closer as a group.  We had the opportunity to pray and acknowledge that God’s ways are not our ways.  It all worked out well.  Even better than I would have expected.  If the container worked the way I wanted it, everyone would have showed up last minute, loaded the container and went their separate ways.  In God’s timing, we were able to share fellowship and enjoyed each others company.  It was much more meaningful.

I stopped for lunch at Dairy Queen and the cashier asked me about my Mission Mobility shirt.  She has a mom who has many chairs and pieces of equipment.  Turns out, the cashier has two degrees and is working towards her PhD to teach.  She needed a job to help fill in her time that would not require a lot of effort.  Yet, there she was, in God’s provision.  Another conversation with a person I would not have had otherwise.

Lastly, there was the driver.  His name was Andy.  He is German-Hungarian who is from Romania. He appeared to have physical disabilities.  He was a kind man.  I offered him money to buy dinner on the way home.  He refused.  He said, “If you want to give me anything…find me a good woman”.  I asked him what kind of woman.  He just wanted one who would accept him for who he was.  I asked him if he was a follower of Jesus.  He said he went to church sometimes but believes he just needs to help people, which he does by volunteering in his Romanian group in his home town.  I told him I would do something better.  I would pray that God would bring the woman He wants Andy to have.  Andy’s eyes got big.  I don’t think he was expecting that.  It opened a conversation about why Jesus came, and how our service to others is ultimately meaningless without the Holy Spirit and allowing ourselves to be used for God’s purposes…not ours.

Which brings me back to myself.  I struggle to get my pride and plans out of the way and allow myself to be used in the way God wants.  Friday was a reminder that God is sovereign and that He knows better in ALL circumstances.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

God is Good!

Western Kentucky

Greetings from the west side of Kentucky,

As another year begins, we start it off with gathering new and old members to form three teams that will be once again blessed to serve alongside Bethel Ministries International in Guatemala. Our teams usually go in June or July, so this is when we also start our fundraising. There is no better way to start off the year right than by gathering a group of people, who are not all familiar with one another, that will share the love of Christ in many ways with one another, donors, family, friends, and the wonderful people of Guatemala. There are so many aspects in being able to do a short term mission trip, and every one of those is just an avenue to share how God is working in your life.

For some of us, who have served with Mooney family, one week just doesn’t seem like enough time. Their love, compassion, and energy witnessed firsthand is something that stays with you and changes everyone for the better. After returning back to the states, we look for something to stay connected and help them. This is why Mission Mobility is so important to not only BMI, but to us as well. Of course, the most important need that MM fulfills is the gift of mobility. It also allows us to help BMI, even though we are thousands of miles away. It helps us stay connected to those we served with on our mission trip. We also connect with others from different cities and states that have served. MM gives a purpose to those who just want to help. For volunteers who want to be able to an impact globally and in their own community, MM is a great ministry to be a part of.

God has opened many doors for us here in our area. We have been able to make some really good contacts with local hospitals and medical equipment companies that have been generous enough to include MM at the top of their donation lists. One hospital has three non-profits that they donate to, and that list is in this order: 1. MM 2. Habitat for Humanity 3. Salvation Army. The donations are increasing little by little. The more these places see us around and see who the chairs are going to, we believe we will continue to be shown favor. We have been able to take several trips to see Brad in Louisville with trucks and trailers full of wheelchairs, and we’ve even caught Rick passing through and loaded his truck.

This past Christmas, we were honored to have Saul and Hannah Chopen from BMI, and their children Joshua and Havilah, visit us for a few days. While visiting in Madisonville, we were giving them a tour of the local hospital warehouse, where we receive and store our donations. As we were walking Hannah noticed there was a hyperbaric chamber stored amongst many other equipment and office items that were to be donations. She informed us that BMI has plans for the near future to open a pressure sore clinic. The clinic is a tremendous need in Guatemala due to the fact that so many people suffer or pass away from pressure sores. The hyperbaric chamber would be able to help speed the process of recovery of the pressure sores and help save many lives. If she hadn’t informed us of all this, we wouldn’t have known that it was a need, let alone what a hyperbaric chamber was. We are happy to say, MM now has a hyperbaric chamber, and when BMI is ready for it, with God’s guidance, we will figure out a way to get it to the new clinic.

We would like to encourage those who volunteer with MM to keep up the good work. We are blessed to be a part of this ministry and look forward to continuing serving alongside you. For those who have donated, thank you for giving someone a chance for a new life. With Him, all things are possible.


Murray/Madisonville, KY Mission Mobility Volunteers

New Connections!

I had a good surprise today! God is always throwing fun curve-balls in this game, just to keep it interesting!

We received an unexpected monetary donation today.   Totally out of the blue…from a total stranger…a guy in Maine! Cool! His donation included a phone number, email and a note saying he had 2 wheelchairs he wanted to donate! Wow!
First thought through my mind (After “COOL”) was, “HOW FAR AWAY IS MAINE?” Google says 1434 miles!

MARK 10:27: With God, ALL things are possible!

I emailed him, after which, I received a phone call.
Our new friend saw a PSA (public service announcement) we did on a Christian hunting show – Final Descent Outdoors He went to our website and decided to donate!

Now for logistics….. Long story short, he said he would work out a way through some contacts he has to get them to our friends in Vermont. He said, “if I can’t get that done, maybe I will just deliver them to you in Iowa next fall when I go to South Dakota to pheasant hunt! So if you see a suburban pull in, it’s me!”

Its stuff like that, and all of you who collect, and the stories you relay to me that makes this whole thing so fun!

Dumpster Diving with Dori!

If you are like me, when you hear the name Dori, you immediately think of the Disney movie where the little fish said, “Hi, my name is Dori!”.  Well, this has nothing to do with Disney…or a fish.

The other day, I stopped at a gas station to get a Gatorade and bottle of water.  I was wearing my Mission Mobility t-shirt that says, “Got wheelchairs?”  Well, it had the desired effect.  I heard a woman ask, “What does your t-shirt mean?”  I turned around and saw a woman pointing at my shirt.  I introduced myself, and she said her name was Dori.  When I explained that I collected wheelchairs for Guatemala, she enthusiastically said, “I can help!  I’m a dumpster diver!!!”  She asked if I had a card.  She said she had another friend who dumpster dives all the time and finds wheelchairs and walkers, and always wonders if there is a better thing to do with them than throw them away.  I gave her one of my Mission Mobility cards I had made and she was excited.

As I was leaving the store, she came up to me and told me here story of how she got to Louisville.  Emotionally, it was a hard story to hear, as she has had a very difficult life.  I felt like I was in Guatemala hearing one of the many family stories we hear when we visit.  I asked her if she wanted my new bottle of water.  She said she definitely would love it since she was really thirsty.

As I walked away, she said, “Hey, do you ever contact scrap yards?  They probably get a lot of wheelchairs.”  That was a great idea.  Actually, I have been told that by Rick Fulton.  Must be good advice…Dori agreed with him! 🙂

Even in the midst of her difficult life, Dori was trying to find a way to help other people.  I am thankful God brought her into my path.  It all happened because I was wearing a t-shirt that asked a simple question…”Got wheelchairs?”  Maybe we should wear these every day!!!

Dios te Bendiga,


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,


Jason’s Gift

Jason’s Gift

I recently received a phone call from a man in Indiana named Gary. He had gotten my phone number from Riley Hospital in Indianapolis. Riley has been very generous to us in our collection efforts. Gary and his wife Jacqueline had some chairs and equipment their son used. They wanted to ensure it went to a good cause, and wanted to find out more about our efforts at Mission:Mobility. I would like to spend a moment telling you about their son Jason, and how amazing of a young man he must have been.

Jason Jason had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which is a life threatening disease. His dad Gary told me about how Jason chose not to focus on the negative of his condition, remain positive, and enjoy life to the fullest. He served as the Indiana State Goodwill Ambassador of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, graduated from Greenfield Central High School where he was the manager for the football team for 4 years, basketball team for 3 years, and the baseball team for 2 years. He was also a member of student council his freshman year. Jason obtained an Associate Degree in web design from Penn Foster, and worked for EA Sports as a video game consultant for a while. He loved to travel and never let his condition limit his life. We can all learn so much from someone like Jason.

In memory of Jason, the family began the Casto Muscle Foundation, which is intended to honor Jason’s mission and legacy for helping others. Their services include providing an annual scholarship for students with disabilities, assisting with needed medical equipment and/or the funding of medical payments to defer cost for patients and families. You can read more on their Facebook page.

JasonsFamilyMy daughter and I drove up to Indy to pick up the chairs and supplies. It was a blessing meeting his parents. I truly appreciate them allowing us to be the stewards for ensuring his supplies continue to bless others in this world. The wheelchairs will soon be on their way to Guatemala where Bethel Ministries International will make sure they are connected to a deserving individual.

It is amazing how God connects us all in our efforts. I pray that we have the opportunity to meet other wonderful people like the Casto family. Their son Jason has truly blessed us, and we thank them all for this gift.

Dios te Bendiga,


“Serving in Different Ways”

In the beginning of our wheelchair collecting efforts, there were only a few of us trying to help Bethel Ministries find some wheelchairs to help fulfill the need. That was August 2012. By God’s Grace, we have seen the effort blossom into a Nationwide Medical Equipment Collection MINISTRY. Many thanks to “On His Path” for their support!

Through all this, we have seen many people across the country serving in different ways. Most recently, our friend Tim in Louisville offered his mechanical abilities to help dismantle old power chairs (as noted in the last post).

 Tim’s offering of his talent reminded me of a blog post from the j127 blog. It was written about an experience from August 2012. The couple mentioned in the article donated the very first equipment that I collected in Iowa in our efforts.

“Serving in different ways”. (January 2013)

God uses us all in different ways to serve. He allows us to use the abilities and talents we have to serve. For the seven of us flying to Guatemala for a mission trip, we are getting on a plane and physically providing our time and muscle and hearts to the Bethel Ministries team to help the people of Guatemala. Others have their own unique ways to serve.

In the process of the wheelchair collection, I connected with a nice couple in my area. Don and Jackie Wells.

jackieThey donated some medical equipment that Jackie had needed in the past. A wheelchair, a walker and a few canes. When I picked up the equipment, they asked where the equipment was going. I told them in detail about Bethel Ministries and then gave them the website:

Once the container was loaded and on its way, I called Jackie to give her an update. I felt they deserved a report, because they were the first ones to donate equipment.

Jackie told me she had looked at the Bethel site and was touched by the compassion and generosity that the Bethel team showed toward the widows, orphans, poor and disabled in Guatemala. She wanted to help, more. She started her project.

Jackie is around 80 years old and has a heart the size of Guatemala. Jackie’s hands remind me of my Grandma Lucy, afflicted with arthritis. It amazes me that her hands could do fine work.

Last week, I picked up her project. Gifts for the people that Bethel Ministries serve.

Jackie has made beautiful, 4 inch crocheted crosses.

crossesEach cross is stapled on a card, tied with a ribbon and has a label “Vaya Con Dios”, meaning “Go with God.”

All are then neatly wrapped in plastic and placed in boxes.

boxCrosses337 crocheted crosses! Each one takes her 45 minutes to make. That is 252.75 hours of crocheting!

She enthusiastically said, “if they like these, I will get to work right away to make more for the next group going down.

jackieFamilyMany thanks to Jackie, Don and their family for the many hours of lovingly making these gifts for our friends in Guatemala.

As she crafted each of the crosses, Jackie said she would say prayers for the people that would receive these!

What an AWESOME way to SERVE!

We look forward to taking these on our mission trip to bless the people of Tecpan, Guatemala!

Dios te Bendiga Jackie!


 Thank you all who have joined us.   We all have different talents.   Whether it is a physical talent in our efforts, or simply praying,  every talent is greatly appreciated.   They all will be a Blessing to someone in need!

Different Talents

“Different Talents”

I have realized many things over the years about myself (some more profound than others).  One that has become very apparent to me is, “I can’t do everything”.  We have all been given different skills and talents.  Some people are very artistic, some are analytical.  I am an organizer and connector.  One thing I cannot do is anything “mechanical”.  I freely admit it.  I’m not ashamed.  I have simply not been gifted with the skill of working on, and repairing complex equipment.

With this truth in mind, I have been at a loss over the past five years of collecting wheelchairs how best to handle chairs that are in very bad condition.  Power chairs are very heavy.  They also take up a lot of space on a shipping container.  In many cases, the best thing we can do is take all of the valuable pieces such as controllers, computers, hardware, etc and send them down to Guatemala so that those pieces can be used on other power chairs.  But, you have to be very careful so you don’t damage the electrical components in the process.  This is where I get really shaky!!!  I just don’t have that talent.  I have been praying for help for a very long time.

Tim helpingA couple of weeks ago, several of us were eating lunch and talking about life.  I mentioned that we had many power chairs that needed to have the controls taken off, but I felt unable to do it properly.  One of my friends sitting there was Tim, from Louisville.  Tim went to Guatemala with our group two years ago.  Tim just retired from working as a machinist.  Where I am weak in skill, Tim has a wealth of talent.  Tim looked at me with a big smile and said, “Brad, I’d love to work on those power chairs.  Bring a couple by my garage, and I’ll dismantle them.”  This is where you would hear the “Halleluiah Chorus” singing in the background!  I was so excited!!!

I immediately took Tim up on his offer.  I just dropped two chairs off at Tim’s house this weekend.  Knowing him, he probably has jumped in and already begun the process.

This reaffirms for me that we all have to work together to make this thing happen.  God has designed us to rely on each other.  We each play a part.  No one is better or more important than the other.  I am so thankful Tim volunteered.

If you know someone like this who has a talent, ask them to help.  Tell everyone you know about our needs.  Over time, our team will grow, and we will be much more effective in our connection and collection effort.

Dios Te Bendiga,