BRAZIL — Six-year-old Miguel has spina bifida and lives with his grandparents in a tiny home, far from everything in a remote village in Brazil. Unable to afford a wheelchair, Miguel’s only means of transportation through the dirty paths of his village is a rusty wheelbarrow. In poverty and desperation, their family cried out to God for help; for someone to care. When the Joni and Friends Wheels for the World ministry gave Miguel a brand-new wheelchair and message of the Gospel, Miguel and his family learned that Jesus was never far away.
Maria da Paz, Miguel’s grandmother and his caregiver:
I’m here to tell you Miguel’s story. When his mom was pregnant with him we didn’t know about his condition. But it was a high risk pregnancy. When he was born his back was open and there was a hole in it. The doctor sent him to a specialized hospital where he received back surgery. Because of that Miguel only has a disability from his waist down. He tries to walk around the house but it’s hard for him. He limps and he falls down sometimes.
Ze Bezerra, Miguel’s Grandfather:
It was very difficult when we took custody of him. We had no money to raise him when he was born or to take care of the problems with his foot. He would drag his foot on the floor and it became an abscess on his joint.
We used to go to church and put him in a wheelbarrow so he could listen to God’s word because he really likes church.
To take him to school we would also use the wheelbarrow. We would go the same way on the wheelbarrow in the mud when it was raining a lot. It was very hard looking for the best place to go through so he wouldn’t fall in the mud. After a long time nothing had improved so I prayed to Jesus again. I kneeled on the floor. I asked Him to solve our situation. It was very difficult indeed until the day Jesus sent us this wonderful gift.
In order to make Miguel’s life better we needed a wheelchair and how here it is the blessing that Jesus sent us his wheelchair.
I want to thank the people that did this wonderful work. Miguel was very welcomed. It helped him a lot and it is helping us a lot as well. A group like this can only be sent by Jesus. Because we live in a place that’s difficult to access far away from everything. But Jesus knows it all. He sends people at the right time. We pray and He sends. I thank you all wonderful people.
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, Wheelchair Gives Brazilian Boy Mobility, Opportunity, and Access
- Joni and Friends, Official Website