Our last day in Peru was doing the wheelchair distributions. We started off at the location where we put them together the day before, and one by one, took them down the two flights of stairs, and across the street to a soccer field.
Jenny was awesome. Initially we were all trying to get across the traffic by the skin of our teeth. Leave it to Jenny to walk out to the middle of the traffic, and stop it every time one of us needed to cross. Believe it or not, they all stopped!
We got most of the wheelchairs over when we were told we had to move them all onto the grassy field. lol That was totally ok because we were there just to help! After we had gotten them moved, I realized they had a large band there playing songs. Before the distribution, they sang the national anthem. Turns out it was about 5 minutes long. HA!
People started showing up, and the ones who needed assistance were carried in on plastic chairs. At this point, Fred's back was shot, but he continued to carry in person after person.
The process for getting a wheelchair is, they have to start off with the legal paperwork. The government is involved to make sure things are legit. From there, they hear the gospel, and then they are given a wheelchair.
The wheelchairs are fitted to each person so that they're comfortable. Here, Denny is adjusting it for Jesus (14). It was so cute and tender to watch the interaction. The children I think believed he was Santa (Papa Noel). In the 3rd frame below, he's touching Denny's beard.
He is paralyzed, but I'm not sure why. He lives with his grandma because his mom abandoned him. She's living in the jungle because she couldn't deal with his disability. Jesus goes to a special school. He can hear, but can't speak.
Paige gave us the task of getting stories from some of the people we were serving. Pastor Trent said, "Ok, pick who we're going to talk to." I saw this little girl, and he dove right in! The little girl below is Donna. She is 5 yrs old. Back in June she had an accident. While playing she touched an electrical outlet, and was electrocuted. She no longer had muscle coordination. Her mom said that she had been an active little girl, and was in school. The reason they were there to get a wheelchair was so she could get to therapy.
If you notice the first picture of the lady being carried in, this is who we spoke to next. She was such a sweetheart, and just cried and cried when we spoke to her. I don't remember her name, but she was 74, and had terrible knees. She was in a lot of pain, and her medication wasn't helping. Thankfully, her daughter lives with her, and helps take care of her.
Next we came across the cutest little baby, Matias! He had a Goofy helmet on because his head had a flat spot, but thankfully he wasn't in need of a wheelchair. He was there with his mom, who was there to help her 67 yr old mom get a wheelchair. She was on dialysis, and the wheelchair will help her get to her appointments.
Last photo (but not my last story) is 5 yr old Brisa, and her mom, Oliva. When she was 3 months old, she started having convulsions which have progressively gotten worse. She's an only child, and has to be carried everywhere. Olivia is a single mom living with her parents high in the mountains. They have no money to take her to therapy. She needs an eye exam badly. Her mom sells corn, and leaves Brisa with her mom.
I'd say the stories were overwhelming, and they were, but I just had so much joy in my heart for these people who were being loved on, and helped. I was thankful we were able to spend the day getting to pray for these families.
While we were chilling out, Pastor Trent showed me where we were serving. We were about an hour away from Lima. I had no idea the name of the town.
We weren't able to finish distributing all of the wheelchairs because we had to go back to Pastor Danny's to get all of our stuff, and head to the airport. Before we left, we were able to eat a delicious lunch! Moises went around and told each of us how we had touched his life. It was very thoughtful. I wish I had video taped it to remember his words.
When we got back to Pastor Danny's I took a picture with Denise as a farewell photo. I just really came to love this lady so much throughout the week!
And we couldn't thank Toby enough for the time and care he took with driving us everywhere. Such a pleasant guy! We were thankful to know that since the last time we'd been down two years ago, he had come to know the Lord!
We'll be back again next October! I can't wait.