Greetings , and happy Friday!

In July of this year Free Wheelchair Mission sent a team of sixteen volunteers to Peru to distribute wheelchairs with our partner, Camino de Vida. While on the trip the group met a man named Freddy and below is an excerpt of his story written by one of those precious volunteers, Mary Wheeler.

Last April, 30 year old Freddy was employed in a Lima Peru law firm and living life like most of us do, expecting to wake the next morning, eat breakfast and get on with daily routines. But for Freddy, his tomorrow brought quite the contrast. He woke up paralyzed from the waist down, in tremendous pain, unable to move his legs, unable to dress himself and unable to make sense of what had happened overnight to his body. Scared and stunned, Freddy’s life turned upside down and inside out. Overnight he went from a life of purpose and independence to a purposeless life of dependence. 

On July 8, Lily from Camino de Vida escorted sixteen of us to deliver our first wheelchair. Carrying the Gen 2, we trudged up the steep hand-hewed stairs in Manchay. Halfway up the stairs we came to Freddy’s house too small for all of us, so half of our group waited outside while the other half crowded in his living area. 111513-0

Freddy was carried in by his brothers who leaned against the newspaper covered walls wearing dark glasses, brushing away tears. When asked if he would like to feel the sun on his face, Freddy lit up and we all squished together on his front porch. It was the first time he had been outside in four months. His transformation was visceral. With the sun up above, we circled around, laid hands on him and Lily offered up the longest, most powerful prayer to God in Spanish. Over and again we heard the phrase “Dios tey bendiga” (God bless you), which for us non-Spanish speakers became the three word phrase we repeated over and over again. 111513-1

God is alive and at work in Peru as well as all over the world. Freddy’s story is one of hundreds that were written last week across the globe. And YOU were the reason they could be written. Please know I am so thankful to each of you for your support –THANK YOU and Que Dios los bendiga!


Don Schoendorfer


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