Special Needs Peruvian Girl Placed in a Seat of Dignity

Modesta and her 22-year-old special needs daughter spent the past 2 decades in the tiny back bedroom of a dilapidated building in Lima, Peru

LIMA, PERU — Modesta and her 22-year-old special needs daughter, Elva, spent the past two decades in the tiny back bedroom of a dilapidated building in Lima, Peru. “It’s been 22 years of struggling,” explained Modesta with a heavy heart. She considered giving up many times, but knew she had to keep fighting for her daughter. Modesta didn’t even know it yet, but she desperately needed to hear about the love of Jesus.

Modesta gave birth to Elva while all the doctors in her community were on strike. Her labor was wrought with unimaginable complications and as a result, Elva was born with severe disabilities.

She thought she was the only person on the planet who cared about her daughter, but when our Wheels for the World team came to their door with a wheelchair and God’s promises from his Word, Modesta learned that others care about Elva – and care about her, too! God made his love for Modesta and Elva real that day in visible and tangible ways!

Modesta Apaza Salas:

“My name is Modesta Apaza Salas. My daughter’s name is Elva. Her birth was very dramatic. I got in. Everything was fine but the doctors were on strike and there was no medical attention for me. So I was held for three days while I was dilated, but I couldn’t give birth. The doctors held on to me and the other two put their hands inside of me and squashed and pulled out the baby.

“In that moment I felt something burst and I passed out. I woke up the next day and had internal bleeding. I wasn’t able to speak and no one was able to visit me. An old lady from social services came. She said to me ‘you have to have surgery in this moment, because the baby is reacting.’ I thought ‘God give me life so I can keep fighting for my daughter.’ But I didn’t think my girl was going to have this condition forever. I thought with therapy she might be able to heal from it. But she hasn’t and it’s been 22 years of struggling. I’m unemployed right now. I can’t go out either. Who is going to take care of her if I go out to work?

“I have to change the diapers. I have to feed her breakfast, lunch, dinner. I can’t leave her alone. Anything could happen to her.”

Joni & Friends is committed to sharing the Gospel in the most desperate circumstances. Thanks to their in country partner sweet and Elva was custom fitted and placed in a seat of dignity. By first meeting their family’s physical needs God opened a door to meet their spiritual needs. The local pastor sat down to share the Gospel with Modesta and she gave her life to Jesus that same day.

‘Dear God. I believe in you and although I’m learning to know you today I ask your forgiveness. God help me to understand that what I’m living through serves a purpose for my life so I can understand your love. Because the same way I love my daughter you also love me with all my flaws.’


Read more news on Disability, Medical Ministry and Humanitarian Services.


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.


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