Joey grew up in Thailand as a missionary kid, arriving in Chiang Mai in 1998. His father founded the Rajanagarindra Wheelchair Project with a Thai doctor in 2000. Joey grew up serving people with disabilities in Thailand through the Project. During this time God grew in him a love of Thailand and the Thai people. All through highschool he volunteered with the Wheelchair Project, becoming adept at wheelchair fitting and mechanics. He came on as a full time volunteer in 2007. Jasmine grew up in Arizona and entered the world of disability as soon as she was born, due to an older sister with a disability. Her parents eventually adopted seven children with varying special needs and Jasmine felt God calling her to disability ministry from a young age. As a teenager she began volunteering with Joni and Friends in the US and internationally. After several Wheels for the World trips Jasmine met Joey in Thailand and they instantly hit it off. They have been married since 2010 and serving together in Thailand since the day after their wedding.
Joey is now the Manager of the RICD Wheelchair Project and oversees the day to day functions of our growing ministry. Our team has distributed more than 10,000 wheelchairs, and each year surpasses the last. The Project runs in a unique model as it has the patronage of the Thai royal family, and the ability to import dozens of containers of equipment each year, free of taxes or import fees. A multitude of international donors ship used and refurbished equipment which is given new life and in turn gives new life. At each distribution the local Thai church is invited to come and share the gospel. This model of Thai to Thai evangelism hasbhad an incredible impact. The Wheelchair Project provides Bibles and other materials, and then the local church does follow up with each patient. The Wheelchair Project is expanding at an incredible rate and distributions have now been held in Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos. The goal is to equip even more nationals in wheelchair mechanics and fitting and we are developing training materials to this end. People with disabilities are incredibly marginalized, and access to a wheelchair is nearly impossible without the Wheelchair Project. With newfound mobility our patients can finally attend school, find employment, and be part of their community. Most of all though, they are able to hear the Gospel message.
The Tells also work with their church in Thailand, the First Church of Chiang Mai, to host Family Retreats for families affected by disability in Chiang Mai and surrounding regions. Since 2013 they have hosted 7 Family Retreats and seen the passion for Disability Ministry blossom at their church.
Jasmine also serves on a birth team providing labor support as a doula. She serves both missionary and expat families. She also runs a summer internship program in partnership with Joni and Friends Cause 4 Life, and loves pouring into young people as they pursue disability ministry and God's call on their life!
Joey and Jasmine have four daughters, Ilyria, Nikolina, Cordelia and Sophia. Ilyria, Cordelia & Sophia were born in Chiang Mai, and Nikolina was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she was adopted from in 2015.