Dateline Tanzania: PET Climbs To Top of 19,340′ Mt. Kilimanjaro.

(That is using the term “PET” broadly–it was a hand cranked vehicle.)

   The story is that leg-handicapped Chris Waddell wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, and needed a hand-cranked vehicle. In five days Rodney Miner of Darby, MT, created that vehicle. It is a four wheeled hand-cranked unit called the Bomba. On September 30 Chris made it to the top as a part of a climbing team. They used the summit event to get out the word that persons who do not have functional legs can still be high achievers. Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain on earth. (See attached)

   Rodney Miner is the son of PET designer, Earl Miner. Rodney helped design the PET and built many of the earlier ones to ship to Larry Hills in Zaire.

*** Our shipment to Guatemala has been delayed until October 21. We still need kitchenware if you can get it to us before then–pots, pans, skillets, plastic tableware, spoons, knives, etc.. Mark Richard is helping homeless families settle into simple dwellings.

*** The top bidders on the motorhome were Bonita and David Maze, of Ohio. He will restore it and make good use of it. He will be a part of a group of families who each have a similar unit. David is a PET promoter.


“The road to excellence is always under construction.”

Mel West

PET is finding its way into a couple of universities here in an unusual way.

Tomorrow I will teach a 75 minute class at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. Next month I will do the same at a class here at the U. of MO. It seems that the business colleges of both these schools are teaching about not-for-profit NGO’s, and have decided to go for one class to such an organization near them. I have been on the boards of about 10 NGO’s, so know my way around in that world. PET will be a focus at both.

    (Over the years different groups at MU, University of MO at Columbia, have worked on projects or raised funds.  Earlier this year the Student Occupational Therapy Association raised $1,000 to go beyond their studies.  See attached pictures of Mel receiving the ceremonial large sized check and with the group.  This summer two graduate business teams worked on distribution for PET International and marketing/fundraising for PET MO-Columbia.  They presented their findings to PET reps and their teacher as part of their grade.)

*** An inspiring story:  A father in California died of cancer and scleroderma when his daughter was six. He left her a trust. In order to teach her to make the world a better place his instructions were for her to donate on her birthday a certain amount from the trust to the charities of her choice. She recently had her eighth birthday and sent PET a nice check.  Her proud grandmother more than matched her check.


“You never get enough of what you really don’t need.” Eric Hoffer


Mel West

We had a good morning here.

We loaded out 169 boxed PETs, 2 pallets of sewing machines (#48) with supplies, 123 boxes of bed linens, and 11 boxes of hospital/medical supplies onto a semi to go to The Orphan Grain Train mission in Norfolk, NE. They supply mission stations around the world, and have become one of our PET Partners in distribution.

Roger Hofmeister and I made a trip there last fall to establish a personal contact with them.

  *** We had to replace a printer here in the office, and ended up with 5 new/unused printer cartridges, No. 15. If someone out there can use them, send us a contribution to PET and we will send them to you. First come, first served.

*** Bed linens available: We have an ongoing supply of good, useable bed linens available and are looking for a place for them. Otherwise they will go into the landfill. The mission we had been supplying needs no more for a while.

   These linens (sheets, blankets, towels, washcloths, etc.) are from a large local hospital. They change linens by the calendar. They are freshly laundered and sterilized, folded, and we box them. Recipients will have to pick them up here or pay transportation.

*** For sale:  1978 GMC Motorhome. Air conditioned, good tires, 53,000 miles, Onboard generator. Runs good.. We are accepting sealed bids until noon, Sept. 29. We reserve the right to reject any or all bids.

May be seen on PET parking lot, 1908 Heriford, Columbia, MO .


“When you give, take to yourself no credit for generosity, unless you deny yourself something in order to give.” -H. Taylor


Mel West

The pay our volunteers receive is in the reports from the field, telling how their work made a life-changing difference in the lives of some of God’s “least of these.”

I send one of those “paychecks” as today’s update, This past spring a container of PETs was sent to the Luke Commission in Swaziland, Africa. The container arrived in July. We received a grateful e-mail then, and this past week received this e-mail. I will copy it in full as this week’s UPDATE.

  “We just cannot say in words what the PETs have done to this ministry and the country of Swaziland. It has been absolutely amazing to see how God has used them. So many people say they will be able to go to church now. We want you to know how thankful we are. The PULL PETs are almost all gone now. You cannot imagine how many children and teenagers with cerebral palsy we are fitting into the PULL PETs. They have been confined to their homes and never taken out because the grandmothers–who traditionally do all the care for the family– are too weak to carry them on their backs after a certain age.

   “The traditional  PETs are so amazing and people are thankful for their independence.One elderly man this week that was fitted surprised us. After evaluating the patients, which may take several hours to decide who qualifies, we put this older man in a PULL, because he was very elderly and seemed weak. We were so excited when he begged for a crank PET. We loved his desire to be independent.

   “Just a few minutes later a very old granny was brought to us on a blanket. You see, God provided her with a PULL PET, the one the older man had not taken. So amazing it is to see how God works! It is like putting these patients on a throne. You can see their self worth grow in leaps and bounds when they mount their PET. We are wondering what might be a schedule for another container of PETs. We would like to start planning. We probably need to request that half the container be PULLs.  We praise God daily and thank Him for the piece of the puzzle you have played in delivering effective physical and spiritual assistance to the people of Swaziland.” 

   “P.S.- We are receiving many reports about PET sightings all over the country.”

— Harry, Echo and the boys.


— The PULL PETs to which she refers were made in two places–in Michigan by the group headed by Duane Relitz and Ed Noll, and here in Columbia by Ray McKenzie.


“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”

Mel West

I must start with sad news.

A son of Mr. & Mrs. Dallas Andrew died August 11. Dallas and Tom Andrew are the rear frame makers for us here at PET MO-Columbia, and for many others. They raise the funds, buy metal, cut, weld, punch holes, and powder paint. They are one of the foundation blocks of PET Intl. As I recall they passed the 10,000 number on the amount of frames made sometime in mid-summer.

   You may send notes of sympathy to Mr. & Mrs. Dallas Andew, 109 E. School St., Napoleon, OH 43545

If you wish you may send a memorial check to Dallas, made out to the Florida United Methodist Church, and marked for frames. Barbara and I did that.

*** Four boxes of axles came in this week from Fred Fischer and the Webberville United Methodist Men.

*** Our shop here will be closed next week-Labor Day week. The office will be kept open all week, except Labor Day.

*** Bidding will close at noon on Sept. 29 on the 28′ GMC Motor Home that has been donated to PET. It is a 1978 model, with 53,000 miles on it. Anyone interested can see it on our parking lot.  See attached picture and details.  If you are interested in bidding, we can also send another attachment with interior pictures.


“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Mel West