“In November 2005 I, Alice contacted Dawn Clark, the disability ministry director at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, to see if she knew anyone who could try [our first lowrider prototype] the trike.
‘I don’t know if I can think of anyone,’ she said. ‘But I have another idea. My son, Jeremy, is in North Africa. He is looking for some type of disability ministry, and this may be a perfect project for him. Could you bring the trike by tomorrow?’
When we met with Dawn the next day, Kevin and I learned she was a physical therapist who had spent many years on the mission field in Papua, New Guinea. She went on to say, ‘We are leaving in less than a month to visit Jeremy and his family for Christmas. Could we take drawings and pictures of the trike to show him? He doesn’t know how to weld, but he has always wanted to learn. Could you teach him how to build a trike and possibly send one back with him if he is interested?’
By the end of 2005 our trike design was heading to Africa, and the God-sized dream of HWI kept unfolding. ”*
*Excerpt from, Teisan, Alice Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall OFF, (2012), 103-104.
“As 2006 began,…Dawn Clark … informed me that her son Jeremy was interested in partnering with HWI to explore a trike-building project. Our next step was for Kevin to send Jeremy a list of materials required for building the trikes. That way Jeremy could find out what was available in the local communities. Part of our goal for setting up small factories was to rely on supplies available in that country. We wanted to be careful not to create dependency by using supplies that had to be sent from the United States.”*
*Excerpt from, Teisan, Alice Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall OFF, (2012), 106.
“In July 2006, when Jeremy returned to Wheaton, he and Kevin met. They first discussed the specifications needed for a trike that would go to North Africa. Then they customized the design for that part of the world.
One change from the original was to use wheelbarrow wheels, since they were available in that region of Africa. Also, since Jeremy would need to show the North African Department of Health the trike before beginning such a project, he suggested building a break-down model. If it fit into two boxes, it could go as extra luggage on an overseas flight.
Three months later Jeremy had learned how to weld and build a trike. By then he was ready to return to North Africa, and he took the prototype with him. In addition, we sent some welding helmets to replace the piece of sunglasses material the welders there used for protection. We also sent small tools and three sets of hard-to-find parts. And God even intervened so that the airlines allowed it to fly free.
We’d tried to anticipate all the problems Jeremy might encounter in manufacturing the trike. One thing we never considered was that he’d have problems inflating the tubeless wheelbarrow tires. As it turned out, the pressure from the compressor wasn’t strong enough.”*
*Excerpt from, Teisan, Alice Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall OFF, (2012), 116-117.
In September another trike will fly with Jeremy to North Africa. This trike was a first generation Dual Offset Tube Trike (DOTT).
Trike Building Workshop, North Africa,
In 2005 we dreamed of one day building HWI trikes outside the US. Today, in North Africa, our dream is a reality. Jeremy officially started his trike workshop. He reports having some good men to work with him. They are busy getting parts, welding and working out the technical issues.
Jeremy writes, “My welder is modifying our tube bender.
Hopefully we will be ready to start on the main chassis this week. I have found a guy that should be able to supply wheels for the first ten trikes, which is my first production goal. We praise the Lord for this opportunity to give dignity to those who are physically disabled.
I am encouraged at the progress, and thankful for all HWI’s efforts in getting me this far.”
This trike project is financed in North Africa by the proceeds from another for profit venture.
Pray for Jeremy and the men involved with this trike workshop.
“We built the first seat back on Friday.” Jeremy Clark wrote.
First Manufacturing Fixture Prototype sent with Wheaton College Football Coaches.
From Senegal some of the football team went on to visit Jeremy in another part of North Africa. They delivered chassis jig fixture parts to Jeremy along with a paper schematic of where to place the fixture pieces as he welded them onto a metal frame. In addition they delivered a tube notcher.
About a month later Jeremy wrote, “My jig is up and running, and the tube notcher is saving me big time on blood pressure and time!…I want to have twenty trikes built by summer…This project is the best one I have ever worked on, and most of that is due to your wonderful support. It is a great pleasure partnering with HWI.”
Distribution of the First Six Manufactured Trikes
By 2008 four North African nationals and the humanitarian worker, Jeremy, distributed six of the 20 trikes they planned to build there. A church in Oklahoma partnered with them buying the six trikes. Jeremy reported that “All six recipients came dragging themselves through the filthy sand on their hands, but they left in a ‘flashy’ fast trike, The trikes provided dignity and hope in a unique way.”
“Jeremy was finishing the remaining fourteen trikes at the beginning of 2010, a representative of the Tunisian Embassy who had been a client at the fitness center he ran there saw him assembling trikes and started asking questions. Jeremy said, “He expressed some interest in the trikes and then came back to me a day or two later. He said he would like to purchase ten of them to be given away at a future charitable event to be held by the Tunisian Embassy. I only had eight left, but I sold them all to him.”* (p. 163)
*Excerpt from, Teisan, Alice Riding on Faith: Keeping Your Balance When the Wheels Fall OFF, (2012).