On December 18, my friend Earl Ratcliff sent me a message. He told me that he was in Bugiri, Uganda. with his S.W.I.M. chlorine clean water team and meet a lady. Topister had been crippled 18 years ago and has been walking on her knees since then. He sent me a picture of her dragging herself from church. Her family had abandoned her.
Earl knew I was going to Uganda this summer and asked me if I could bring her a P.E.T. cart, a personal wheelchair made to go over rough ground. Earl said he had a S.W.I.M. Representative in Uganda that would help us make contact with her.
I contacted my friend Pete Verhey, the founder of P.E.T. Intentional in Leighton, Iowa. I asked him if he had any P.E.T. carts close in Africa, but they did not. He said they would give us a wheelchair if we could get it there.
My wife Judy and I worked hard to figure out a way to get the wheelchair to Uganda. She made many calls to United Airlines to understand the airline rules. We repackaged the cart to meet the guidelines. Extra care was taken when packing it so it would not get damaged.
I can’t tell you what a joy it was when I saw the two boxes containing the wheelchair in the Entebbe Airport. When I told customs what was in the box and showed the officials a picture of Topister, they expressed gratitude that we were helping this person in Uganda.
Today we assembled the cart and Topister used it for the first time. This woman was so full of joy! It made the entire Mission Uganda Team cry with emotion.
We really made God smile and brought us so much joy!