These children making kites have been past recipients of the wheelchair distribution campaigns in China.  (File photo)

China wheelchair distribution

By Dr. Wrede Vogel

"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds." — Psalm 73:28

The political circumstances in China have changed, making it more difficult for Christian ministries to function. New laws and rules have placed restrictions on foreign organizations attempting to work in China.

While complicating our ability to support our ministry partner in China, it has had much more impact on organizations which use U.S. citizens directly in their work. Since we are not a sending organization and don’t directly manage our ministry partners, we can keep a low profile and are able to continue our encouragement, financial and prayer support.

For the Luke Society director in China – his name and identity protected for safety reasons –  the most dramatic result of these new rules is the decision to discontinue hosting wheelchair distribution groups from the United States. The organization with which he has partnered to supply wheelchairs in the past will only do so if they can send teams from the U.S. For that reason, the director has been led to the difficult decision to discontinue accepting that help.

He has found the wheelchair distribution to be one of his effective methods for evangelism. The mobilization provided by a wheelchair can be such a dramatic, life-changing tool for the disabled and it leads to great opportunities to share the Gospel.

The director recently shared a story which helps us understand the impact of his wheelchair distribution program. The names and places have been changed to protect the parties involved.

I met Tan at a wheelchair distribution site. His dull eyes could not find a trace of vitality, and his mouth had a bunch of small red blisters. I also noticed that his old rubber shoes were broken with several holes.

I drove my wheelchair closer to him and greeted him with a big smile. “Hey, who told you to apply for a wheelchair?” It seemed that my disability helped start the conversation and he did not want to sidestep me.

“It was my neighbor, Sister Mina,” he replied slowly. “She wanted to take me to church, but my home is too far away for me to walk there and we don’t have money for a taxi.”

Then he asked me, “Is it true that we really don’t need to pay for the wheelchair?

“No, no money,” I answered with a firm tone. “It’s the gift from God. What you only need to do is pray for those loving donors.”

Through the waiting time, Tan’s heart has been full of doubts and anxieties. However, he finally came to see the faithfulness of God. This wheelchair truly helped him feel the love and took away all his doubts.

Although this ministry director has appreciated work teams coming from the United States, he has a staff fully capable of fitting and distributing the wheelchairs. Consistent with our philosophy, the Luke Society enthusiastically supports his plan to use his own staff to distribute locally manufactured wheelchairs.

To do so, however, requires $10,000-$15,000 of additional funds for this year.

I have been in contact with another Christian mission organization which has a mission focus to provide wheelchairs for the disabled in developing countries. They may be willing to fund this need in future years without sending teams from the United States. But I am now asking our donors to provide funds for this immediate need. Please help us provide this support for this director’s ministry.

Project Donations:

China wheelchair distribution

You may donate online to the China wheelchair distribution by clicking on the button below. All Luke Society donations are accepted through a secure third-party site. 


General Donations:

All other donations may be submitted by using the primary Network for Good site accessed through the button below. All online donations are accepted through a secured site.


Mailing Donations:

If you would like to make a contribution through the mail, identify a project or general donation and send to:

      Luke Society
      3409 S. Gateway Blvd
      Sioux Falls, SD 57106