PERU – After Jesús outgrew his toddler wheelchair, his aging mother was forced to carry her 10-year-old son everywhere; it was the only way she could help Jesús move around their home and village. In developing nations like Peru, the need for pediatric wheelchairs is extremely high, but Jesús’ family witnessed God’s loving care when a perfectly fitted pediatric wheelchair became available for him at a Joni and Friends Wheels for the World outreach.
But at Family Retreat in Scotts Valley, California, Rob, Cheryl, Sam and Sam’s little brother, Toby, found “joy in the midst of our day-to-day stuff,” said Cheryl. “Joni and Friends helps me take God’s Word and put it into our family!”
Laura O’Beirne – Physical Therapy Intern:
“Yesterday this little ten-year-old boy Jesús came in and his mom was carrying him. And she told us he’s ten years old now. He had a wheelchair when he was three that they had been using since then. Ten-year-olds don’t fit in three-year-old’s wheelchairs.
“And she came to us and was desperate because she can’t carry him anymore. He’s gotten too big. We were looking at him and he was really just super tight and struggling to even lift his head up because he’d been carried all his life. We started off with some therapy to loosen him up and stretch him out. And he started looking around. And we were finally like, he needs a chair, he can’t be carried or he’ll spend his whole life basically looking down.”
Wheels for the World provides the gift of mobility and the hope of Jesus to people affected by disability worldwide.
The need for children’s pediatric chairs is extremely high in developing nations.
“It broke my heart when we realized that there wasn’t going to be a chair for him.”
“He really needed a chair and they sent a couple of people to come get wheelchairs from another location. They were only supposed to get one because there are so many children who needs chairs. And at the last minute someone said, “Why don’t you just bring two?” And that second chair, it was perfect for him. We put him in it and it fit and he was so happy and he was looking around…it was a God send. And the beauty of it is that chair can grow with him now. His life’s changed forever and that’s a miracle.”
“There’s no such thing as coincidence. It was God.”
“Thank you so much it was such a help and I feel so happy. Thanks for helping my little angel.”
“Once we had got him in the chair he started looking around. He was a completely different child to the one that first got carried in who couldn’t look around, wasn’t really smiling. He was laughing and he was squealing with happiness. He didn’t have words, but it was like he was seeing the world for the first time. Now in his chair he can see it all the time.”
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, Pediatric Wheelchair Transforms Life of Peruvian Boy Jesús
- Joni and Friends, Official Website