Ken in Cuba

  • July 14, 2016
  • #8924

Ken went on a Wheels for the World trip to Cuba, distributing wheelchairs and sharing the name of Jesus.

Ken in Cuba

Joni: Hi, everybody! Welcome to Joni and Friends. I just bet you love that music in the background, a little Hispanic, a little mariachi, a little Cuban – how about Cuba! I think it sounds like Cuba. In fact I have in the studio today my husband Ken who recently came back from Cuba serving on our Wheels for The World team. Welcome, Ken!

Ken: Thank you, Joni.

Joni: It was quite a time there, wasn’t it?

Ken: Oh, boy. You know it was a lot different than when we were there a few years ago, you and I.

Joni: Yeah, pretty difficult to get into Cuba these days. You have to charter a special airline; you have to go through customs; it’s going to take hours, but once you were in country tell us a little bit about the wheelchair distribution.

Ken: The needs there are just tremendous and that showed up very much in our wheelchair distribution to the folks there. It never ceases to amaze me that when we can give folks the gift of mobility it’s like watching how Jesus must have healed the paralytic. You know, to give them that gift of mobility is life-changing.

Joni: One of the photographs you sent me on your I-Phone from Cuba was a line of pediatric wheelchairs; there must have been 20 or 30 of them. I couldn’t believe it. Mostly children with disabilities needing that gift of mobility you were talking about. You worked on some of the wheelchairs, right?

Ken: Yes. Actually the chairs that you are describing are the Regency chairs. The uniqueness about that pediatric chair is that you can adjust them. These wheelchairs allow that child to grow and the chair grows with them.

Joni: There was this one photo you sent. A little boy in a wheelchair; (you were kneeling next to him and his brand new Regency pediatric wheelchair) was so cute, his smile was so big. Who was that kid?

Ken: His name was Samuel and you know, what you didn’t see in that picture was his mother’s face.

Joni: Really?

Ken: Yeah. The little boy had cerebral palsy and the mother was crying. I mean, she had brought him in—carrying this little boy. She was crying because his life is going to be changed forever.

Joni: He will be able to go to school…

Ken: …go to school, go to church, join in family activities.

Joni: Mainstream of life. No wonder she was in tears. Well, Ken I can’t think of a better way for you as my husband, to spend your time than to serve in a Wheels for the World team.  You know, some guys might be listening and they might not know tiddlywinks about wheelchairs, but they might be good with a hacksaw or a screwdriver; they might be good with a wrench. What would you encourage them about Wheels for the World?

Ken: Well, if they like to get involved with Wheels for the World they should contact the ministry. There are a lot of different areas in which they can qualify. They don’t necessarily have to be a mechanic, but if they have never worked on a wheelchair before and they have skills with their hands they can be put to work; there can be administrative ways they can be involved, we’ll find a place for them. You know, Joni as powerful as it is for a child to get a wheelchair and have that gift of mobility it is equally as powerful for the one who is working on that wheelchair. You know, we get a lot of mechanics and physical therapists and occupational therapists who come back year after year and the reason is because they have been blessed. And that blessing is huge. I feel that every time I go on one of these trips.

Joni: Absolutely. And you know not only do people receive the gift of mobility, they receive the gift of having the chance to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, just like that little boy you described and his mother.

Ken: A chair is only a vehicle and the vehicle is to share the name of Jesus.

Joni: Absolutely. Well, Ken thanks so much for being here.

Ken: Thank you, Joni.

Joni: Oh, friend, it is so powerful. You just have to see the photograph of Ken kneeling by Samuel and his new little pediatric wheelchair. Just come by my radio page today at and take a look at that photo and while you are there sign up for a Wheels for the World team in the months to come.

© Joni and Friends


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