EL SALVADOR — People living with disabilities worldwide have been hardest by the pandemic. Still suffering from isolation, inadequate healthcare, and job loss, they are desperate for the hope of Jesus. Joni & Friends provided the life-changing perfect gift of a wheelchair for young Levi in one of the toughest parts of San Salvador in El Salvador.
Jason Holden – VP Global Operation Joni & Friends:
I’m in El Salvador, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly one in ten people are living with a disability. That’s 600,000 people in such a small country. And the challenges of living with a disability are exacerbated by unemployment, lack of services, poverty and crime. For families like Levi’s getting access to medical care and a wheelchair is nearly impossible.
Lilian Cordova – San Salvador, El Salvador:
My son Levi is a special boy. He’s a boy with a great will to live. His disability is cerebral atrophy and chronic kidney disease.
Ludwin Corvoda – Levi’s Father:
We’ve been struggling with his disease for 8 years. He developed kidney disease because of two cardiac arrests.
He doesn’t walk, he only crawls. He can only move one hand. I’m with him the whole time. I bathe him, he can’t do it by himself. I clean him because he can’t. My faith when I was diagnosed with cancer in one of my breasts, I felt frustrated, scared… Maybe not for the process I was about to go through, but the fact I wasn’t going to be with my kids. Because I know I am the one who spend 100% of my time with him.
‘God why am I living through all of this?’
And I remember I told God.
‘You have give me this test, but You will give me the victory.’
And I told Him, ‘You know You’ve given me a special child and You know he needs me 100%.’
Watching her desperate crying. I’ve found her crying hopeless. Seeing that situation is tough.
I understand my husband when he says; ‘I don’t know what to do or think…’ and I told him ‘The Lord won’t leave us behind the Lord will always provide.’
At Joni & Friends our Biblical commission comes from Luke 14, which tells us to go out into the streets and alleys and find people living with disability and that’s what we’re here to do today.
To find Levi’s home we traveled to a part of San Salvador that is impoverished and over run with gang activity. Levi’s family greeted our team warmly and welcomed us into their home. It was so much fun getting to meet Levi. For someone who is non-verbal he communicated so much joy. Levi’s home in the side of a ravine was a simple two rooms much of it unfinished. All four family members shared a single bedroom and the plumbing was less than modern. But despite these challenges, I was struck by the family’s joy, hospitality and faith in God. Ludwin shared with us how caring for Levi has impacted his employment.
‘Putting my son first has affected me in my job a lot. Because the health of my son is more important and spending time with him no matter how many jobs I may lose. God has the last word and only He know how much time He will lend to me.
Each Joni & Friends wheelchair is custom fitted to the recipient. Seating therapists ensure a proper fit to prevent injuries and maximize the chair’s benefit. Once we had Levi’s measurements we were ready to get him in the best possible wheelchair for his needs.
Joni & Friends Wheels For The World provides a wheelchair for those in need where it’s otherwise unaffordable or unavailable. Following God’s command to go out and find the disabled, we do this by sharing the Good News of Jesus. For families like Levi’s, this is life-changing.
About Joni and Friends
For 40 years, Joni and Friends has provided the hope of the Gospel and practical resources to people affected by disability around the globe. Ministry programs include Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, the Christian Institute on Disability, and church ministry training. Joni and Friends also delivers inspirational media such as the Joni and Friends radio program and podcasts. To find out more, please visit www.joniandfriends.org.
- Global News Alliance, Levi’s Family in El Salvador Receives Life-Changing Gift of a Wheelchair
- Joni and Friends, Official Website