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.