News Release

Following in His Footsteps…Latter-day Saint Charities donates wheelchairs to Murang’a County.

When Jesus Christ walked among men, He healed the sick, made the lame to walk and promised, “I will not leave you comfortless.” John 14:18.

In May of 2018, the Latter-day Saint Wheelchair Initiatives donated 284 wheelchairs as well as crutches, canes and walkers to Murang’a County recipients, but the service didn’t stop there!  Elder and Sister Dow, Program Specialists with the Wheelchair Initiative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are under the mandate to return to the donation site within one to six months.  At this time they visit recipients in their homes to see how they are and how the chairs are performing. Last week they came back to Kenya to evaluate the comfort, fit and condition of the donated chairs.  If adjustments needed to be made, they made the necessary arrangements.


 “The people who have chairs are now able to move and are very happy,” remarked Honorable Joseph N.Mbai of Murang’a  County’s Health and Sanitation Department,  an LDS Charities partner.

The Dow’s next stop was the Kenyatta Referral Hospital in Nairobi. Previously, LDS Charities donated 275 wheelchairs to recipients there.  One of those who received a follow-up visit was Faith Mweni, pictured here with John and Marcia Dow. Faith was paralyzed in a car accident, which occurred while traveling between her wedding ceremony and her reception venue.  She is a patient at the Spinal Injury Hospital with a positive outlook and self-reliant hopes of starting a childcare center in the future.  Good luck to Faith with that worthy ambition.


Scientific research has shown that wheelchairs have to be custom fit to 1) the disability of the recipient, 2) the region in which he or she lives, and 3) the use for which the chair is intended, otherwise, an ill-fitting chair can cause irreparable damage.  To ensure a proper fit, Elder and Sister Dow also oversee the specialized training of local professionals regarding these techniques.

One Moshi, Tanzanian schoolboy is a good example. Denis Faustin Shirima, who was affected at birth, received a custom-fit Moti-Go children’s wheelchair complete with special lumbar support and a removable tray table.  With this chair, Denis can participate in school activities with his classmates in comfort.


When asked his favorite part of his assignment, Elder Dow responded, “Well, it’s always gratifying to see the beneficiary’s joy at receiving a chair but my favorite part is seeing the enthusiasm of the clinicians and technicians become dedicated to fitting the patient properly.”

The scripture in John 14:18 aptly applies to LDS Charities and Elder and Sister Dow as they serve in the Savior’s way:

 “I will not leave you comfortless”

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