Greetings and happy
I received a great story recently from Bill Rice, a participant on one of our distribution trips to Ecuador, and I wanted to share it with you as we go into the weekend. I hope it is as inspiring to you as it was for me:
You could tell just by looking that Roberto was a proud man. He was last in line at the distribution, but he sat kicking his feet back and forth, almost as if he were riding a bike, and it was easy to see he was anxious to receive his wheelchair. I learned that several years ago Roberto had injured his back and couldn’t walk anymore. When it was finally Roberto’s turn, we helped him into his new wheelchair. His eyes welled up with tears—as I bent over to talk to him, he raised his fist in triumph: “I’m back,” it seemed to cheer. Roberto’s family and their entire village were there to celebrate as he received his wheelchair. As I spoke with him afterwards, I learned more about Roberto. It turns out Roberto had been a well-known athlete in the village where he lived, both playing soccer and running marathons—he kicked his feet as a way of trying to explain how he used to run. I raised my fist in solidarity with Roberto and his eyes filled with tears of joy again—everyone began swarming us to thank Free Wheelchair Mission for helping.
Every time someone receives a wheelchair, they can say “I’m back.” For some it means celebrating a return to school, others to work, and still others back to into their communities. In Roberto’s case, it meant he had the freedom to enjoy mobility again and both he and everyone around him shared in that celebration. Every time someone receives a wheelchair, it is a victory as we continue to move forward in providing wheelchairs to people who need them. Thank you for joining us on this mission—and for sharing with us in every victory.
What an awesome week it was! 2,750 wheelchairs arrived in three different ports this week. 550 wheelchairs arrived in Zambia, 1,100 arrived in Honduras and 1,100 arrived in Vietnam!
Greetings, and happy
I love bringing you these stories every week and letting you know that your partnership with us means the world to the people we serve—an average of 198 wheelchairs are given outevery day thanks to you. This week I want you to meet Nanay in the Philippines—she’s quite the story-teller herself.
Nanay is known for never running out of stories to tell. Having worked for 47 years in the home for the local mayor, she’s certainly had her fair share of excitement. Ms. Nanay was a cook and renowned for her adobong manok—a Filipino Adobo dish made with chicken. Now 63, Nanay fondly recalls the memories of harvesting seasons and vibrant parties she cooked for. It’s in this house she met her husband and raised their eight children. Three years ago Nanay suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed. Although the family she served took her in and cared for her, she was unable to get the wheelchair she needed. When Operation Blessing visited Nanay to tell her she would receive a new wheelchair from Free Wheelchair Mission, her eyes welled up with tears. She was so grateful for the gift and couldn’t stop expressing thanks for the blessing she received. When asked where she would go in her wheelchair, Nanay grinned and said, “the sea. I will go to the sea with my youngest son, Franco.
I want to feel the sand under my feet again.”
Nanay loves to tell stories, and so do I, but this one is only possible because you helped write it.
Thank you for allowing Nanay to visit the sea again with her son. Thank you for letting her feel the sand under her feet again. Thank you for giving Nanay mobility.
No wheelchairs are arriving this week but 7,700 are aboard ship and on their way to people who need them right now! Thanks for your support!
Greetings and happy
This week our story comes from our partners in Nicaragua, ANF. Francisco was climbing a tree near his home one day when a fall left him with a broken pelvis and back. Already struggling to make ends meet on an income earned working on a coffee farm, the situation was desperate. He tells us:
From the hospital in Ocotal they took me to Managua, and I was there for 8 days. They told me I needed an operation, but it cost $300 and I could not afford it. Then they were going to put me in a cast, but they never did and in the end they just sent me home. My wife and I had to beg just to have bus fare to get home. Thank you Free Wheelchair Mission and ANF, for your compassion and efforts to help the poor and disabled like me—I’m hoping to find a way to earn a living with my wheelchair. Now I can go to church which I haven’t been able to since the accident and to the health center to have my bandages changed. I can even visit my mom. May God bless all those who helped me.
Although Francisco still has a road of recovery ahead of him, he can look forward knowing that his community stands with him—and that his wheelchair will help him along. Thank you for giving Francisco his mobility back, and hope for a better tomorrow.
2,200 wheelchairs arrived into four different countries this week! 550 to Nigeria, 550 for Kenya, 550 for Vietnam and 550 for India! That is awesome!
We weren’t in the office yesterday in honor of Memorial Day, so your Monday Recap is coming a day late.
Greetings, and happy
Sometimes life changes in an instant. We aren’t always sure how or why, but one minute everything is one way, and the next it’s upside down. N’Mahwa’s tale, from Guinea, is one such story.
We don’t really know what happened to me. One day, when I was three years old, my family and I were sleeping. I was okay when I went to sleep, but my parents tell me that when they woke up, they found that I couldn’t walk anymore. Now I am twenty-five years old and life has been very hard for me—I wanted to work but could not, I could only beg. I didn’t have anyone to help me move around and so I was left to crawl on my own. Even going to the hospital when I felt sick was nearly impossible—having to be on the ground all the time meant I was always dirty and I think I will feel better now that I am off the ground. I never dreamed I would have a wheelchair, especially one that was given to me for free. Now I don’t have to crawl on the ground anymore. I have always believed that God was watching over me and when I pray to Him, I always ask him to bless the people who gave me this chair.
Life changes in an instant. One minute, N’Mahwa could walk around and the next, she couldn’t. But then life changed in an instant again—one minute N’Mahwa was crawling on the ground, and the next she was lifted into a wheelchair of her own. Out of the dirt, and into a wheelchair. I don’t know why one minute N’Mahwa could walk and the next she couldn’t, but I do know why one minute she was on the ground and the next she wasn’t—you. You made this moment possible. Thank You.