Catalyst Project

Catalyst Project

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

Thank you to Dr. Peter Saunders and iCMDA for opening doors! Dr. Saunders commented about the iCMDA seminars, "We have had 100-300 people from over 40 countries at most of the 31 webinars so far. Thus far most have been on COVID related themes but we are now broadening out. Most of those coming are Christian doctors and dentists, but from all over the world and many from Africa and Asia.”

This is at 2:00 pm in London, which is 7:00 am here! Appreciate prayers!! Especially that people are benefited.

One Christmas, just after my mom died, I spent hours sitting by the Christmas tree in the dark except for Christmas lights. That year I learned why Christmas comes near the darkest day of the year. In a cold and lifeless time, Romans lit bonfires to call back the light. Christians saw the symbolism and chose that day to celebrate the birth of the tiny baby who is the light of the world. Since then, I love lighting candles at Christmas - small defiant lights, speaking of our sure hope in darkness.

This crazy Covid year has emphasized that sometimes God decides to give something back in an unexpected way here on earth. He really does give and take away in interesting patterns! But with so much love..

Enjoyment graph

I’ve felt several times that something I loved was irrevocably lost to me. Maybe you’ve felt that too. I’ve realized that God holds who we are in his hand, including things we love that seem lost. (Check out CS Lewis “Great Divorce” for insights on how God redeems that which we love.)

bridges1.jpg  

Good news! You've enabled a cascade of wheelchairs (see below)

We need your help to make a bridge between the wheelchairs and the children who need them

Covid isn't easy! All of us have struggled. It's always so good to say thanks and give back. Here’s a great opportunity to do just that.

BethanyKids normally asks that families pay $35 for a rehab assessment before wheelchair fitting. (This isn’t to pay for a wheelchair at all. The cost with shipping - for most pediatric supportive chairs is around $500. Funds are raised for these other ways. Check out the cascade below!!). During Covid, families have had a hard time economically. On top of that, with Covid restrictions, it been hard for therapists to see children who need wheelchairs, so it’s been hard to keep paying staff!! With proper Covid protocols, doors are opening to help kids who need wheelchairs. But it’s a puzzle how to pay for that since many families are now in much reduced financial situations.

Map of South America with Colombia, Equador, Peru and Brazil circledIt’s interesting how God’s plans are so different than ours. We thought this year would mean travel and in person meetings. I thought that I was pretty much done with research and just finishing the last few papers for the research tools we had developed. Instead, this year I’m working from home, and research has gone in a new direction. At their request, I’ve been working with teams in Peru, Columbia and Ecuador to translate our research tools into Spanish. Not a simple task!! It meant to forward translations, a professional translator doing a back translation, consensus on a final translation and using it in the field. We’ve sent in four conference papers and i'm working with the teams on three research papers! Now I’ve just been approached by other researchers in Brazil that want to translate into Portuguese! All along my prayer has been that these research tools will improve the lives of people using wheelchairs by giving them and the therapists who care for them a voice. It looks like it’s happening. God seems to have a good sense of humour, smiling as our plans change and he works things for his glory.

Blessings
Karen

Drawing of mountains and a flag

Isaiah 30:17b "So few of you will be left that you will be like a flagpole on top of a mountain. You will be like only one banner on a hill."

Thanks for praying about my Zoom meetings with Jeff and Bart from Clinton Health Initiative. Kerri at CLASP was kind enough to share my name. As I understand it, they've been tasked with facilitating the effective use of funds for wheelchair provision in low-resource areas. I enjoyed interacting and they seemed to really listen when I described the advantages of working with faith-based initiatives like BethanyKids and mission hospitals. It was great to be able to open doors for meetings directly with BethanyKids leaders.

Good news! Our focus on facilitating local initiatives is working well during Covid.Thanks for praying and partnering to make this possible! There are three containers of wheelchairs arriving in Kenya. The one from CLASP is now in port! The one coming through Samaritans Purse, and the one from Hoggi are in transit.

This is happening just in time! Wheelchair services are reopening in Kenya with a big backlog. Moses Zeen, one of the team members with BethanyKids in Kenya, just shared some photos and asked for prayer for strength and stamina. Let's keep praying!

Working on-line has had some interesting benefits. For one thing it’s made us slow down and think through priorities carefully, praying through each goal. Amazing how God answers! For example, the work with the Spanish translation team for our outcomes tools has led to clarity and benefit for the English language versions of the questionnaires as well. On top of that, it has tied into one of the videos that Phil and I have been working on, and it has led to ways to improve our website. We’ve also had conversations online and by phone with many key players. I’m now wondering if this quieter pace may actually be a bit like the Aesop’s tortoise and hare story. Going in a slow steady way may be faster in the end.

Beauty in nature is good for us!  But some of us don’t bother, and some of us couldn’t if we wanted to. Some live where the earth is covered with pavement and concrete.  Some have disabilities and limited mobility.  There’s even been a new term coined, “Nature Deficit Disorder”.  Might want to Google it!  Fascinating stuff!! It’s not just social media chatter. Here are links to a few scientific articles about the benefits of nature. There’s hard evidence!! Time in nature leads to lower levels of stress depression and anxiety, Prescribing time in nature to effectively treat ADHD, Nature time improves the health of children and helps them do better in school. This isn’t only physical and mental wellness.  Many people, even secular academics, feel strongly that there are ties to spiritual wellness