First Baptist Church of Kenton, Kenton, OH

Mission Trips

March 2019 Missions Trip to Cameroon


Bryan and Craig teaching first day's lessons. 


Cameroon 2019 1



Dinner crew


Cameroon 2019 2



 John's day to teach


Cameroon 2019 3


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Bryan starting our teaching session #3. It is over 100 degrees with high humidity today. Prayers needed for Bryan and Craig as they teach in this heat.


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Even though it was hot, they went to the Rain Forest Academy to deliver volley balls they took over with them and also did the afternoon teaching session. Tomorrow they will go see Mama Pauline who takes care of orphan children. They will present her with the rest of the money the congregation gave at the Christmas Eve service.


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John: Today we were able to visit Mama Pauline and her ministry of taking young men off the streets and providing them with a place to live and most importantly teaching them about Christ. We were also able to deliver the donation from FBC to help Mama with her mission!


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The Saturday seminar on Worship - working through the book of Ephesians.


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 A number of the participants in the Saturday worship seminar - the boys in the striped shirts are from La Solution (Mama Pauline).


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2018 Missions Trip to Cameroon



Praying for God's blessing on the Cameroon team as they left this morning at 8 a.m. for the Chicago airport.  Many thanks to the First United Methodist Church for letting us rent their bus, to Michael Laubis and Jeff Gallant for driving, and to Pastor Craig for accompanying them to Chicago.  May the team grow in their love for God and His people, may many there be blessed by all that God allows in the trip and while in Cameroon.



2018 Mission trip



After getting Maddix’s bags searched, they have finally boarded for their flight to Paris.


2018 Cameroon trip Maddix



The Cameroon team "enjoying" the Paris airport at 4 a.m. our time - 9 a.m. Paris time.


2018 Mission trip Paris airport



Bryan MacPhail-Fausey sent a message at 3:44 that the team had arrived at the airport and he was waiting for them to come out of baggage claim. They found out that 5 bags did not arrive with them. Please be in earnest prayer that they get these as quickly as possible.

Here is the team waiting to pick up their luggage (the part that made it)


2018 Mission trip arrival




We have had a good first day with the team. They all seemed to sleep well after all the travels and we were off to the church around 9am to have a planning meeting for VBS. There are a few potential challenges as we await the luggage, but we are well set for the first day of VBS tomorrow and prayerfully watching for how many kids the Lord will bring the first day.

We headed into town for a quick lunch after the meeting and had a good time just talking about life and cultural differences in Cameroon. On the way back from lunch, we stopped at one of the supermarkets we frequent for the team to pick up some water and snacks, giving them a little view into an aspect of regular life here. I will warn you, Maddix Brien is very intrigued by life in Cameroon and is showing signs he may want to come live here.

We arrived back at the Wycliffe / SIL center where the team is staying a few minutes before the Biblical Counseling course was to begin. In true African fashion, things ran a little behind schedule, but we got off to a good start and completed the first session of counseling.  While part of the team was in Biblical Counseling, the rest got a bit adventurous and explored a bit of the local neighborhood.

We are all tired from a full day of activity and, as I left, the team was just settling in for their evening meal.

It appears the incoming Air France flight is running very late, so I am not sure we will hear news on the baggage tonight, but we will see what God will do.

Tomorrow we will start early and prayers are appreciated for a great start and "just the right amount" of children to kick off the VBS program. Prayers are also appreciated for day 2 of Biblical Counseling and for the voice / capability of the translator (me!).

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of personal pictures to share today as I was either translating or behind the wheel. I'm sure the team will be able to forward a few along!

Peace in Christ,

Bryan MacPhail-Fausey




What do we know? The team is missing 5 pieces of luggage, some of which contain VBS material (which started today). Nothing Bryan has done on his end or PC has done on this end is yielding any information.

But what do we KNOW?

1) We know that God, who is infinite in knowledge, knew this would happen before they went.

2) We know that a mission team is an arm of the army of God and Satan’s realizes this is a spiritual battle which he is trying to defeat.

I Peter 4:12-19 says we should not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come upon us for our testing…but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing…Those who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.


1) That Satan’s attack leveled at our team will test each of their faiths. May it reveal to each of them any places in which they need to grow in their walk with God, putting away any sin.

2) That the Cameroons see how they respond to this test. As the team responds in trust and rejoicing, may it cause the Cameroons to know more about the power and joy of serving this infinite God.

3) That what Satan intended for evil, God would use for good. May VBS be even more powerful done in weakness that it could have been done in their strength.

4) That Satan would fall into the trap which he has set. May people be brought into the kingdom through this who could not have been reached without it.

5) That the team would be drawn closer to God, each other, and the Cameroon people.

6) That Bryan and Heather/family would be refreshed, and that the Cameroon church would grow and be strengthened by our team’s time there.



Praise to God! Luggage has been located! It was still in Chicago and is now enroute to Cameroon and should arrive in a few hours ❤️



The bags have been picked up at the Cameroon airport. PBJ and Bryan are headed back to the team with them. To God be the glory! He helped PC to contact the right lady at the airport to find out they were headed there earlier today.



Bon Soir, mes Amies! (Good afternoon, my friends). Today has been quite a day for us in Cameroon. We did our first day of VBS today with only a couple of the items we had prepared. Melissa and Lisa did a great job of improvising and the boys were a big help. Matthew, Scotty and Maddix all have somehow managed to communicate and make friends even though we know virtually nothing of the language. This afternoon John taught the Counseling Session and it was very good, most of the attendees were involved in a great discussion during Q & A time. We had 19 pastors and wives in the class today. It was very helpful as most all of them have either experienced tragedy or are dealing with others who currently are going through a difficult time. The evening was an amazing one as we had contacted PC to ask for help in recovering our 5 lost bags, since we had no luck from here. As you were praying and he was contacting Air France, we were invited by Pastor Emile to go to a small group bible study- but we would have to skip dinner because it is a long way off. John and I decided to go and as we were driving, we received word that the bags would be in tonight. Bryan said that is great timing because the study is 3/4 of the way to the airport!! So, we went to the study and were asked to share our testimony. It ended up that everyone shared how they accepted Christ-what an amazing time that was! It is so neat to see how God works throughout the world. The study went way late and we zipped over to the airport, hoping our bags were there. When we arrived, our bags were coming in and we only waited 5 minutes or so. And they ALL came!! We saw 3 aspects that were wonderful in this whole chain of events. 1. The effectiveness of prayer. 2. The incredible worth of the church (even at 5000 miles!!). 3. The national pastors got to see how God works for and through us as a body. Thank you to everyone who prayed. Thank you to PC for all his hard work for us. Thanks most of all to God, who demonstrated once again that He is Lord of All.


2018 Cameroon trip ping pong2018 Cameroon trip game time





















Day two of VBS went well with over 60 children in attendance. The team from Kenton, Ohio were able to interact with the children, especially during the craft activity and the games. The sketch is a big hit and the actors are doing an excellent job. The Ahala church is ready to take over tomorrow and run the sessions. It is exciting to watch God working and to see the planning meeting where our church members discussed who was going to facilitate each part of the program and which songs to use. They are excited and so are we.

The Biblical counseling training went very well with a lot of good interaction. Thank you for your prayers for this week, may God have the glory! - Heather MacPhail-Fausey


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Good day from Cameroon, today’s update is brought to you from Maddix and John. The group had another great day sharing. Today was the last day of our crew leading VBS, the Nationals have jumped right in and will be leading the last two days. Lisa & Melissa have done a fantastic job of demonstrating how to lead VBS and the young men have done great with games and crafts. The Biblical Counseling session was lead by Craig Houser and his topic lead to many questions and conversations. Supper was a little challenging but snacks back in the room saved the day!!! Maddix and Matthew participated in several energetic dance lessons from several young men. It continues to be amazing how well the young men have connected with the young men from Cameroon (who don't speak English). The traffic is amazing how total chaos works so well for everyone. Relationships and memories continued to be built while we are trying to strengthen the local church with God's word.




Bon Soir ! Good Evening.

Our group had another exciting day today at our 3rd official day of VBS. Today's official count was 65 children. It was exciting to see the Nationals take over the VBS with such enthusiasm. With a little bit of training they jumped right on board introducing their own ideas, songs, and games. Truly it was encouraging to them to have so many fun crafts and illustrations from our Bible school packet. Again, praise the Lord our suitcases arrived. We overheard one of the Cameroonian teachers say how appreciative they were of the VBS materials and that they had no way of getting them otherwise.

The men's counseling went well with lots of deep questions from the attenders. Please continue to pray that the translation between the English/French will make sense to all especially with such difficult concepts. Bryan has had his work cut out for him as he translates from English-French for our guys and then French-English when attendees ask questions. It is quite a daunting task! The young men were able to join in today's session as well.

Melissa and I had a chance to sit down and chat with Heather and her daughters, Rebecca and Phoebe, being a listening ear and refreshment to them.


Lisa Thomsen


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Tres Bien! It is very good! Today we finished up both the VBS and the Counseling training. The VBS program had 56 children in the final session. It was exciting to see how the local church members worked together and improvised to overcome problems. Even with difficulties with the sound system for music time, they led an energetic song time. The Gospel was clearly presented by the teaching team. The pastor's wife asked if we could please come back again next year. Afterwards we had a large celebration meal and gave each kid a toy. They were thrilled!! For some it was the first toy they ever received.

The counseling program also finished well. We had 17 in the finishing session due to 2 men having to leave because of a death in the church family. We had much interaction and some very deep questions asked. More exciting was the final review where we asked them to do a test case and the results were right on point. Most of today was impromptu and Bryan did a masterful job of translating our figures of speech. More to follow on that....

Tomorrow the team travels to a local animal rescue center and will have a dinner with all the local pastoral leaders, featuring a smorgasbord of Cameroonian delicacies. Sunday we will be going to Baptist Bible Church of Ahala and pastor BJ has been asked to give the message. The service will be a bit longer than what we are used to.


2018 Cameroon trip plate of food

Update from John Brien:

I finally got in front of a computer so I thought I would send a quick note. Maddix and I are doing great. Maddix has quickly bonded to a lot of the kids really quick. He even showed him how to do the Macaroon line dance !!!! We have really nice apartment we are sharing with Craig and Scotty (kind of reminds me of a cheap clean hotel). The food has been 90% good with only one meal that we could not get down. The counseling session have gone extremely well with 15-20 people there every day. The vacation Bible school has been controlled chaos with 60+ kids running around in a building slightly bigger than our garage! Weather has been great with overcast weather with mild temps but the humidity has been a little high.

Our luggage came just in time, Maddix was running really short on food and we were going to have to get creative to feed him the next day. Thank goodness we packed so much to carry with us on the plane. This trip has been a slower paced trip so we should not come home real tired.

Maddix is having a great time and I hope this is creating life long memories.

Hope all is well at home and everything seems to be on course for a timely return but none of us are excited about getting on the plane. We traveled for 32 hours straight on the way here and have that to look forward to on the way home.




Today we had a great day seeing some of Cameroon and having a wonderful time of fellowship with the church leaders. It was decided to have a dinner with some Cameroonian delicacies. The food was good but the real treat was the fellowship. Meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ who love God and want to see Him lifted up was very special and very encouraging.

It is hard to believe in 24 hours we will be over northern Africa on our way home! The time went quickly with such a full schedule. We have one more event- church tomorrow, where we get to experience worship here and to speak to the church. Pray that this time will one of sweet fellowship and spurring one another on to love and good deeds.

Please pray for us as we return - for our health, for smooth travels and on-time flights. We all are feeling the effect of lots of travel and time zone differences.



On the ground in Paris 3 hours ago, they have Starbucks!


2018 Cameroon trip Paris



The return flight home for our Cameroon team is running 1 1/2 - 2 hours behind, so will be landing Chicago about 2:00 (3:00 our time) this afternoon.


The team is aboard the bus and headed home!


2018 Cameroon trip headed home




2015 Missions Trip to Romania


Romania Pre-trip Warm-up

8/3/2015 - We are getting ready to go! Four more days...... Our donors have overwhelmed us with 26 balls for soccer, volleyball, basketball and tetherball games. It is quite an encouragement. Pray for us as we finish up all the last minute details (see family, finish work, get pets taken care of and prepare to go). Especially pray for us that we may have boldness to share the Gospel, during travel as well as in-country. We are asking the Father to transform us through this experience to be more like Christ, which is not always comfortable. Your prayers are the fuel for this trip and we need every one! - PBJ


From PBJ: Detroit Airport

We are here!! Our first connection was just over an hour and it looked bleak. However, the captain came on before takeoff and said, " since this is going to be a short flight....". We had a big tailwind and arrived an hour early, what an answer to prayer! The next two flights were both on schedule and we arrived with no problems, your prayers are being answered. On the way to our apartments Dave took us by the church and it was something else. They have to drive over a quarter of a mile up a hill (mountain in our eyes) following a small stream. Yes, drive in a river. In winter they park at the bottom and walk the entire way!! When asked how often that cancels they said almost never. What a challenge to us. Tomorrow we will be ministering in church there and in Osorhei. If you remember, Osorhei is where we raised money to finish the roof of the church. We will be taking pictures.





From John: We arrived in our apartment at 6:00 PM local time, 11:00 am your time. Preston and I could not sleep on the flight so we have not slept since Thursday night our time!!! What an experience. Preston is doing great, he has shown no signs of stress and has taken everything in great stride. We made all of our connections without any issues and we got a lot more stamps in our passport book! We visited the church it is really nice and where we are staying is quite comfy. To be coompletely honest I am having a hard time believing we are in Romania. With the nonstop travel and all it may take a day or two to sink in where we are. I hope all is going okay at home. We are getting ready to eat pizza and go to bed!!! We will be involved in 2 church services tomorrow, so here we go. This is definitely something that will stay with Preston for quite some time.






Sunday, August 9th, 2015, BobbiJo and Lisa:

We spent the day at two church services: this morning we were at Luncsoara. This is the church of Ruth and Dave Kimmel. Let us be in prayer for endurance, that the missionaries not be discouraged for low church attendance, and gentleness in dealing with the nationals when disciplining. Also pray that they walk worthy of God's calling 1Thess 2:1-12. We had 27 children in our children's church this morning that all the ladies helped teach.

The second church we attended was at Osorhei where we got to worship with Pastor Yosef. Pastor BJ spoke, interpreted by Dave, and Jim and Lena gave their testmonies. Just to know that we are 5,000 miles away from each other we are worshiping the same God and praising HIS name.

It has been wonderful to see the culture and interesting sights; we even were able to see a real shepherd in his field with his sheep. It truly brought the Bible to life. We thank you for your prayers for us. Please pray for us as we will be working outside tomorrow. The temperature has been unually the 90's and even humid. We have an upcoming teen night Friday, a rather large event that draws in many young believers. The ladies will be teaching a lesson and crafts.

We love you all, again thank you for your prayers.































Update on the Mission Trip: We just finished day one of our work day and boy was it hot. Temperatures were in the low 90's with high humidity. Romania has been experiencing unusually high temperatures and are really dry. One crew started working on replacing the soffit that had been blown off, another crew started weeding around the church and The crew Preston and I were on started working on the soccer field. We dug holes, started leveling the field and filled 3 tires with concrete for volleyball nets and tether ball. It was really sunny and really sweaty but we all got along great. More of the same tomorrow. It has been really great to get to know Dave and Ruth in their environment and see what they deal with everyday. Preston saw an example today that no matter where you are in the world people act the same and treat people who are "different" not very nicely. Winding down for the night getting ready for another day. Dave's ministry partner Luke Warner will be joining us tomorrow!

John Brien



My name is Preston Brien. I am really enjoying my trip to Romania. Today we have been working hard on preparing a soccer field, putting up soffit, and pulling weeds. Brady, John(Dad), Mr.Jim and myself worked on the soccer field. Mr.Tom, Bobbijo,and PBJ worked on soffit, while Mrs.Lisa and Mrs. Melissa worked on weeding. While we were digging holes for the soccer field a teenager named Donnie came from the village and helped us clean out the holes. He brought great joy to us although we did not understand him we could still communicate a little with him. We had a great time.


Tuesday Work - August 11th

Hello from Romania! Today was another very hot day here in this beautiful country. We have had a wonderful time serving and fellowshiping with the Kimmels. They have taken very good care of us making sure we each drink lots and lots of water and feeding us incredible and large Romanian meals. The soffit work is coming along very well. Tom has taught several of our crew including PBJ, Brady, and Preston how to cut and fit all the pieces. They are hoping to get the whole building finished. The women have been weeding, weeding, and weeding. Oh! And also moving a whole lotta stone for the landscaping. We rock! Jim has spent hours leveling the soccer field and helping with the hand mixing and pouring the footers for the soccer goals. The kids, Brady, Preston, and Amber Kimmel, have loved getting the water for the cement from the old fashioned well. John is an all around guy. He has been heading the cement team, painting gates, and moving stone. All the women have been able to go up behind the church to the Roma village and meet some of the people.This morning we got to visit a veterinary clinic and health food store in Alesd. Tomorrow we will get to see a few more specialty stores while we look for paint for a small mural in the Sunday school room. Each day we have had a visitor to the church property. A young man named Donny is from the Roma (gypsy) village. We don't know how old he is but he is a special needs young man. He is a joy to have around and a very hard and willing worker. He loves to show us his muscles :-) With all the hard work we are doing, we are learning to have a joy-filled servant's heart. We are having lots of fun sweating together, growing together, and experiencing the Romanian culture. We appreciate your prayers and are so glad we have so many prayer warriors back in the States.

Lots of Love,

Lena and Melissa

























Update from John Brien:

Finished day two if anyone ever tells you that 95 degrees and a dry heat is different than 95 and high humidity they are wrong, it is still HOT. We had a good day, we worked on our soccer field again and painted a fence along with a few other projects. Preston kept very busy running errands for everyone.



Wednesday night, August 12th:

A great day of work today and also a very hot one. It was sunny and got up to 97 degrees, with no air conditioning. Whew. One job is done as we have finished the soccer goals, volleyball goals and tetherball goal. Three other jobs we are working on are making benches for people to sit on, finishing repairs on the soffits and painting the new gate posts. Pray for us as we finish these jobs up, both for safety and strength. Everyone is really tired from the heat. Today we had a great time also talking with our hosts here, learning more about their family. Additionally, an old gentleman from the village near the church came with fresh pears from his "garden". He is an alcoholic but was sober today. Please pray for us - for boldness in speaking and understanding people's needs as we come in contact with them. We know these meetings are no accident and want to be an encouragement to the people and the church. Thursday is another church day and we will be ministering to a church the Finks started in Cheriu. On Friday, we will be holding a teen service with up to 40 teens. Please pray for that too. As you can see, we need a lot of prayer. As a matter of fact, your prayers are the fuel that drives our ministry. Thank you for each and every one!!! PBJ

 Romania 1







Update from John this morning: We are done working for the day
and are getting ready to go to church this evening. We went to an
open air market. Preston got to see some of the meteor shower
(the same one Kriss, Aunt Ty and David saw during their run this
morning) but it was limited.













Thursday, August 13th

Thursday, we start the day off with John's gourmet cooking and get the day started with bible study. We get picked up about 8:00 and head to the church. After arriving at the church our friend Donnie comes over from the community to help, he's a very hard worker and fun to be around, makes you smile, very good day we got alot accomplished throughout this week so far, VERY WARM here but God is good all the time. Went to open market this AM (fun) service this evening was great paster yosief preached tonight out of Matthew on how powerful God is. We got to meet Niku tonight at service and he is so thankful for all of our prayers back home, He called us his spiritual parents because we sent the Finks and have been praying for him like parents do. It has been a joy getting to know the Kimmels and there family, continue to keep us in prayer, tomorrow night is teen night and we will get to use the soccer field for the first time. - Tom



The guys with Nicu (center, under the cross). He is so grateful for all our prayers through the years. He said he is going to pray for us as a son for his parents. This is at the church at Cheriu.





The children love to see themselves in the picture! They enjoyed learning how to say my name. Never heard it here before. Bobbijo






Cat's eyes- a Romanian delicacy






Friday, August 14th

Finished up the day and boy was it a good one. We started a little slow due to being a little tired. But we started to split wood for the Kimmels and it was much cooler today at 94 degrees! We also had children/teen night tonight. We had a puppet show and the ladies put together a fantastic program for the teens and then we finished the night playing soccer on our new field. Preston had a blast. We played old people versus the young ones, the old men prevailed! The Kimmels are taking us on a surprise trip tomorrow.


























What a wonderful day it has been today! The men began the day by finishing up a project at the church and helping Dave chop wood in our backyard, while the ladies worked on a project for Ruth. In the evening the team assisted Ruth during the children's class and, to the delight of the young children, performed a puppet skit on the Parable of the Sower. The children especially loved it when Preston tossed up sequins to represent the sower's seeds. smile emoticon Then the teenage youth group met and had a wonderful time with the team. The team taught the lesson on Eph 4's "putting offs" and "putting ons", which resonated well with the Roma teens. They loved the games and the t-shirt craft, but the best part was playing soccer together on our new field after the meeting. Everyone loved it and the men on the team especially enjoyed using the field which they had worked on all week. Thanks again to the team and to those back home who are praying for them! - Dave & Ruth Kimmel





Saturday, August 15th

Salina Turda - salt mine 175 yards underground. Open since the Roman Empire!




















From Bobbijo: Has been a long week, but have met many lovely people on this journey. The team have shared and cared for each other. Hard, hard working group from the youngest to the more mature, they just never gave up! In about 3 hours we will be going to the airport to come home, pray for the group, we have one that has not been feeling well. God speed!! THANK YOU ALL for your prayers, we could feel from more then 50,000 miles away !! This was a gift from our renters! GOD IS GOOD!







Leaving Cluj. (PBJ)












Photos from 2014 Summer Camp in the Dominican Republic

Summer camp in the Dominican Republic was great this year!

Our Missions Board was a sponsor in 2014 and helped fund camp so every child in COTN's care was able to enjoy games, Bible lessons, crafts, and other fun activities organized by the Venture Team that came to put on the camp.

DR summer camp

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DR summer camp3DR summer camp4









Dominican Republic Venture Trip

July 5-12, 2014



Venture Trip Update

The 2014 Kenton First Baptist Venture Trip to the Barahona district of the Dominican Republic is in the pages of our history now. But it is not just an historic event, it along with everything we do to further the Kingdom of God is of eternal weight.  Here is a recap of what we did:

-Helped the Sponsorship Coordinator, Edwin Feliz update sponsor profiles in the Dominican neighborhood of Don Bosco in the city of Barahona.
-Also worked with Edwin in the Haitian-Dominican batey of Algodon to help the sponsor children write letters to their sponsors.
-Scraped and painted the school and skill center in Pueblo Nuevo, also a Dominican neighborhood situated in the poorest part of Barahona.
-Hosted an 8th Grade Graduation for 68 students at Casa Betesda.
-Delivered gifts to our sponsored children in the batey of Los Robles, which is also our "partner village" and played a little wiffle ball while we were there.

As you can tell our team of 11 were spread out and kept busy!  We are glad to have had the opportunity to serve in other villages and in other aspects of the ministry of Children of the Nations.  




Why do we go?


     1.  We go because we are commanded (Matthew 28:18-20)

     2.  We go because Jesus was the first missionary from heaven to earth (Matt. 1:23)

     3.  We go because our brothers and sisters need our help (James 2:14-17)




Mission to Uganda (August 13-27, 2013)

Craig Houser traveled to Uganda in August of 2013 with Wheels for the World through the ministry of Joni and Friends.

Wheels for the World provides a free wheelchair, along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to children and adults affected by disability worldwide.

Since 1994, our Wheels for the World ministry has presented the Gospel by delivering wheelchairs and Bibles in developing countries. But Wheels for the World is not simply about “dropping off a wheelchair.” It’s about changing the hearts, minds, and lives of people. It’s about transforming societies, village by village, person by person.

Wheels for the World shares the love of Jesus Christ, extended through the gift of mobility, bringing hope, joy, and salvation to children and adults with disabilities around the world.