Catalyst Project

Catalyst Project

Facilitating wheelchair services through faith-based hospitals in low-resource countries.

It's been a busy and rather amazing month. God has opened doors for new collaborations! Jonathan Biggers is now onboard with Ideas and working closely with me. At the Ideas conference, we met Gabrielle, the new CEO. She's opening some great doors!!. Other Ideas associates are collaborating now. Bill Merrifield, who oversees the Ideas education sector, is planning to be at the MedSend Summit conference with us at the end of August. He and Jonathan are exploring cross cultural collaborative spiritual training for the chaplains at mission hospitals. We're planning a trip to work with Soddo Hospital in Ethiopia in November. Today, the medical director at Soddo opened doors for Jonathan to begin to interact with three of the chaplains a Soddo in preparation for our trip. That's so important because many families and individuals dealing with disabilities are considered to have done something shameful. So difficult and isolating!! Christine, another Ideas associate with expertise in community health education is collaborating about ways to work with families and their communities to open doors for inclusion.

Make a Wheel Difference September 24th

So good! We saw and encouraged over 50 wheelchair users and their families. We were encouraged by them, and especially by the BeeLine team. Data to improve design was collected by the great University of Oklahoma team. Medical help was given by our team and local nurses, doctors and dentists. Wheelchair repair and modification was a done by a team of locals and those with us. Plans were made and are in the works for sustained work to enable local and global excellence. So rewarding to be part of such a collaborative effort! It's great that the benefit is already spreading to countries in Africa.

  • Hive Camp children gathered together

Check out some of our team members here

The Hive Camp is happening!! In Guatemala, June 19 – 26.

It’s a collaborative effort of AT Catalyst, BethanyKids, Invigorate, and BeeLine. We thought we had things in place but realized the camp location we had been planning to use wouldn’t be adequate!By God’s grace, Elizabeth and Esther found one that seems perfect. However it’s suddenly adding several thousand dollars to the cost! There isn’t much time. Please consider helping this happen!!The participants are booked and planning to arrive and there is so much need. More info below.

Logos: Bethany Kids, Invigorate, Catalyst, BeeLine, Wheel Difference, The Hive Camp with verse, "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Unless clinics and hospitals have a reliable supply of appropriate wheelchairs, it's impossible to provide quality care to those who cannot walk. In many countries, there is no reliable supply of pediatric chairs. We've tried many times unsuccessfully to find options for pediatric chairs. Now, thanks to Josh Smith and Invigorate, new doors are opening. It's a privilege to collaborate with him!! It would be great if you could consider supporting this! Starting with children throughout East Africa, Ethiopia and Guatemala this plan has huge global potential. Please consider supporting Josh and Invigorate as this initiative raises start-up funds. It's exciting to be part of this! Together we can initiate this reliable and sustainable local supply of wheelchairs for the children waiting in isolation. 

Daniel is seven years old and never had a wheelchair. Because of your help with a shipment from Hoggi in Germany, he was able to get one from the great BethanyKids team. So fun to see his smile!

Daniel's story also illustrates difficulties

The rather unexpected trip to Guatemala was amazing. It was lovely to see Josh, Luke, Joab, Mark and Jeff planning together. While we were there we did the first planning steps for a research trip and family camp in June. We even met the Guatemalan minister of health thanks to Esther and Mark. Just to make things more dramatic, there was a small earthquake while we were there.

It’s winter here. So cold!! It’s been around 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit for a week (right around -30 C). I took the fence picture on a really cold morning walk. And we have months of this ahead of us.
During this cold dark time when we have had plans disrupted over and over, I have found it very easy to lose motivation. Especially if that motivation was aimed at completing a specific task or achieving a goal. Why even try anymore? What’s the use and what hope is there anyway?

Blog December 17th, 2021

As I was growing up my father frequently talked about what he would be doing when he retired. He didn’t like his trade (he was a stone mason and a brick layer) and he didn’t like Edmonton, the city he grew up in. His retirement dream was moving to and building a house in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. From there he expected to make trips to Golf Courses in the area on what sounded like a daily basis. I wonder if even Tiger Woods plays golf every day.

Good news! Check out the flags - we're having encouraging interactions with these countries.

flags small

  • Unexpected interactions with dedicated people in Turkey and Macedonia were so fun! Rewarding to link them to resources they hadn't known about, and I'm learning from them!
  • Encouraging news - two rehab people are planning to visit our partners in Aswan.
  • The bigger news has to do with serious goup zoom meetings with leaders in Angola and Uganda. These are major new initiates. It's excited to be able to be involved in facilitating! It was fun to link OM in Angola with ShonaQuip and listen to subseqeunt planning.  It was also exciting to connect staff with BethanyKids Uganda with Florence and the Mukisa foundation.
  • More big news. Serious conversations are going forward regarding taking steps toward making a BeeLine facility in Kenya to address the chronic need for pediatric chairs.  Pray especially that Josh, David, Luke, Mark, Solomon and Skip will keep moving forward to make this possible.

 

I think it was nine years ago Marci Dittmer came with her daughter Melanie to check out LeTourneau University where I was working as Associate Professor of Biology.  Melanie came to LeTourneau, then traveled to Kenya with me doing research on wheelchair function (she stayed some extra weeks to work with a study on predators).  Now Melanie is graduating as a veterinarian - congrats Melanie!!  Marci is taking a graduate writing course. One assignment was to do a profile article. She asked me for an interview. Her article got published!  Congratulations Marci!!  I thought you all might enjoy seeing Marci's work.

Marci's story in Light Magazine

River