Mary Esther’s 2012 Year End Report

Top 3 Highlights of 2012 

Short Version:

  1. Celebrated 10 years since sending our first wheelchair overseas, and sending wheelchair #1,000.
  2. First Japanese volunteer baptized.
  3. Transition of leadership to Japanese Director on December 31, 2012.

Longer Version:

 1.  In 2002 we sent our first wheelchair to China.  A coworker personally traveled and delivered two wheelchairs to workers we knew there.  In 2012 we sent wheelchair #1,000.  This wheelchair was shipped in a container with 124 other chairs to Philrads (Philippine Relief and Development Services). We are excited to see how God has allowed us to forge partnerships and relationships throughout Asia.

2.  Ms. Kanemoto’s words when she spoke before being  baptized:  “I live by myself and my hands and feet take me places trying to find what I lack.  A friend suggested I volunteer at Wheelchairs of Hope.  Being alone with no one to talk to, with my heart falling lower daily, I decided to go to the church and help prepare wheelchairs for those in Asia who needed them.  I was curious and wondered what else they did inside a church and found out they also sang.  I was invited and joined a group practicing to sing the Messiah.  One day after practice I told the pastor that my life was too difficult, my memories bitter, I had run out of strength, I could not go on.  The pastor shocked me when he said no one can live by themselves, we’re not made to live life alone.  I learned that Jesus opened the door, that God loves me, and that Jesus’ salvation continues.  I believe in Jesus as my Savior and want to be baptized.  I think every one of you should too!”

Please continue to pray for Ms. Kanemoto and also for the many volunteers who come who don’t believe in Jesus yet.

3. When I started Wheelchairs of Hope, there were just a few of us, but as more people got involved, we created a Board of Directors in 2006 and then registered as an NPO in Japan in 2008.  My goal was always to have the project entirely under Japanese leadership.  Since becoming an NPO the legal documentation has become increasingly more complex, as have the negotiations with various corporations we partner with.  The growing complexity and the provision of a Japanese business leader (Mr. Tani) on the board who is well equipped to handle administration and bureaucracy made this a good time to begin the transition to a new director to handle the project management and day to day logistics.  We’ve been working on the transition process since May, and as of December 31 I am no longer directing the project. I will continue to work closely with Mr. Tani until the end of this May.  Please pray for him.  He works for a major Japanese corporation and was president of one of their subsidiaries in Bangkok for many years.  I thank God for sending a wonderful Christian Japanese businessman to lead the project.  I am excited to have more time to invest in working with the volunteers and building community at Wheelchairs of Hope.
Thank you for your partnership and your prayers.


About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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One Response to Mary Esther’s 2012 Year End Report

  1. Lorna says:

    Mary E
    This is an answer to our prayers. We have been praying for this to happen!
    This week I will be finishing up getting moms apartment cleaned out and making decisions on what to keep and what to sell. We are having a estate sale Saturday at the apartment that we are doing ourselves. Pray for things to sell and all to go well. I don’t even do garage sales but Carla and her sister helped last week to price some things. More of that to do this week. Carla and Carol are True blessings!
    It is stressful but praying the Holy Spirit goes before me to lead and guide.

    Pray for good transition for mom to where she is living now.
    We gave money to you before Christmas through church.
    Wish we could have tea together and just sit and visit.

    Psalm 91:1-2
    Love, Lorna

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