Update (27th November 2020):
We're overjoyed to say that the target to buy a replacement minibus for Happy Wheels has been achieved within a few days.
Thank you to everyone who donated so generously.
But as we’ve seen the great value of this work, we would like to expand the project, and give others the opportunity to partner in the work. So we would like to continue our appeal for Help for Happy Wheels, and use the funds to buy other equipment needed by the Happy Wheels team. Depending on the amount raised, this money could be used for ramps, wheelchairs, and other necessities such as winter tyres.
But we're also exploring the exciting possibility of enabling a sensory room to be created in Grace Church to help with their ministry to children with disabilities. Please be assured that 100% of the money received* will be passed through to the Happy Wheels Initiative in Ukraine.
* a small % is taken by Paypal for the cost of online transactions.”
The Happy Wheels Initiative is run by a group of Christian volunteers, led by EMF missionary Volodia Kostyshyn, to provide transportation to people with disabilities in Ternopil. The vision for this important and inspiring ministry came out of Volodia and Oksana’s personal experience. Their eldest son, Zechariah (15), was born with severe (physical & learning) disabilities, and requires 24-hour care, which can only be provided by his parents. They have developed a real passion to help other Ukrainian families with children who are disabled, and in 2015 the Happy Wheels Initiative commenced.
This ministry is vital as social care within Ukraine is very poor indeed. Back in Soviet times people with disabilities would be locked away in institutions out of sight. Even today, Ukrainian society often views disability as something to be ashamed of, even as a curse on a family for past sins. In fact, until four years ago, there were no transportation facilities for people with disabilities in the whole of the Ternopil region - which has 1.4 million people!
However, through this wonderful initiative the church has been able to vividly demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ to some of the neediest people in Ternopil. This has led in turn to many great opportunities to share the life-changing message of the gospel.
The current minibus being used is now over 19 years old and realistically will not last much longer. So, we are endeavouring to raise £15,000 to purchase a replacement vehicle. It would be a used minibus, in good condition, and would be specially equipped to accommodate people with a range of disabilities. With this new vehicle the amazing Happy Wheels ministry can keep on going.
Why not consider contributing towards this fabulous project? You could even encourage family and friends to make a donation as a Christmas gift on your behalf. It couldn’t be easier to help – simply visit our website at europeanmission.org/happy-wheels, select the method of payment which suits best and reference your gift ‘Happy Wheels’. (Further details on this project can be seen on this page)