Thursday was a really busy day! I love the opportunity to build wheelchairs. This year we were only building and delivering 4 wheelchairs over the course of 2 days. Having built them before, I wanted to be sure to let the other three people have their hand at it.
Here's a little insight into me. I'm a doer. I have to be in the mood, but I'm a doer. I'd rather do things than have others do them. I would've been pleased as punch to just get in there and build the wheelchairs because I knew what I was doing. Lickety split, I'd be done. I had to be intentional to step back and guide people on building them. To be intentional about gentleness and patience in building them. There wasn't a rush to get them built, but I'm a doer, remember. Here move out of my way, and let me do it. And please understand that I'm not saying they couldn't do it or that they didn't do it. They built the first two perfectly! I just love getting my hands dirty. lol
We headed first to visit Sosimo. Sosimo is stuck in his bed. He's an older man in his 80s. Moises (sounds like "moy zes") was our interpreter and took care of the business side of distributing the wheelchairs. We don't just show up at someone's home, drop the wheelchair off, and say, "see ya, have a great day." No, it's a lot more than that.
Moises takes time to get to know the person receiving the wheelchair. He talks with the family and begins to build the relationship. He finds out about their faith or if they even have a faith. This is the most important part of delivering these wheelchairs. Sharing God's love for each of them. Moises explains to the family how the wheelchair works. Then he gets them to fill out paperwork for the government, and he gets their fingerprints. Next he shows them exercises they need to do to stay as healthy as possible. The last thing we do is we pray with the family and leave them with a Bible.
I felt so bad for Sosimo because we always try to get the person receiving the chair to get into the chair so we can adjust the footrests. We wanted to get him into the chair, but I guess he'd hurt his foot somehow? He was in excruciating pain, and there was nothing we could do for him. Fabiana, who I think was his daughter said that he drove fifteen hours two years ago to move there. He was fine one day, and then all of a sudden he wasn't well. I don't think they have any answers still.
We left and I had a heavy heart for dear, Sosimo.
After we left, we had to meet someone from La Victoria who was bringing us our lunch from Alcance. We pulled up next to what I think was a college. Toby parked the van, and we all started to unload. This man had been sitting in a plastic lawn chair, he got up and came to talk to us. I think he was maybe an honorary guard? lol I mean, he's probably in his late 60s early 70s? I'm going with early 70s. He wanted to know what we were up to. Moises stepped in and told him we needed to use the bathroom. His name was Nestor. Turns out he was a Christian. We were all smiles, but had to go to the bathroom. That's when he asked us to pray. The thing was, he wanted to pray for us!! How amazing is that? I just wanted to hug him and sit with him for the rest of the day. He was so adorable.
When lunch was finished we headed to our next location. This was another long drive. I honestly have NO clue how Peruvian people figure things out, but they've got a communication system we'd be hard pressed to duplicate here. We're driving along when out of the blue we pull over alongside a busy road and pick up Frank, his mom, and two sisters. HOW in the world did they know to be there at that time? lol There was no timeline, as there isn't with most things in Peru. It's amazing is all I have to say. Two men got into a truck and put Frank's old wheelchair in the back.
Along the way, we gave them Airheads and other snacks to break the ice. The littlest, Solange, was probably 4 yrs old? She wouldn't say a word. She was happy to shove the candy into her mouth though. Her older sister, Marjorie, was such a beautiful little girl in her school uniform. She was breaking off small pieces of the Airheads and feeding them to Frank. I think he was 15 yrs old and pleased as punch!
We ended up at a gated community. This isn't like a Beverly Hills gated community. I actually have no clue as to why it was gated. I didn't even think to ask. At the gate, we all piled out of the van. Frank's mom hoisted him over her shoulder and hiked up this incredibly steep hill. No sidewalk. No stairs until you got about 3/4 of the way up. Just a path up the hill.
About halfway up to her home, one of the men we'd me with her, took Frank from her arms and carried him the rest of the way. When we got to the top, we had to clear this tiny little path to their rooms. So, this just dawned on me. As Maressa and I were clearing the path, we looked into one of the rooms that was probably the family bedroom. There was a little boy there who was probably 7? His name was Derrick. He looked like he was sick. I think he was recovering (hopefully) from either the chicken pox or something else. What I just realized was, he was there by himself. No one watching over him. It didn't even dan on me while we were there. lol We tried to talk to him, but he didn't have much to say.
While everyone else was taking care of Frank and his mom, who was so overwhelmed with emotion, Maressa and I were playing with Solange and I tried to connect with Marjorie. At one point, Solange came around with the cutest little puppy. Yep, another puppy! They had what I would call a "yard" next to their "home". I put them in quotes because in our privileged world, we'd never consider those words appropriate. To them, I'm sure it's everything!
This trip was very different for me. I'm not even sure I've figured out how or why. Well, I know a piece of the "why" and it's something I'm working on with the Lord. I was very thoughtful of having everyone else experiencing what I've had the blessing of having before. I wanted to sort of remain on the outskirts. I felt more like a guide than a participant this time? I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. Maybe it's neither. I just new it was different. I wanted to give my attention to Marjorie. Everyone else was giving it where it was needed, with Frank and his mom. I was drawn to Marjorie.
I showed her pictures of my youngest, who's the same age a her. Eh eh matchmaking in Peru. HA! Showed her pictures of our dog, Peru. Talked in terrible Spanish, and tried to connect with her. I found a couple of kittens and a few of their older dogs, including the mama of the puppy. Their names were Pongo, Cutu, and Marca. They hadn't named the puppy yet. lol
They got the seat all set with Frank, prayed with him, and we were ready to make our trek back down the hill. The whole time people had tried to get Solange to take a picture with them or just by herself. She wanted no part of it. lol She was a feisty little girl! I was the last one to head down the slope, and her mom told her to walk down with me. She grabbed my hand and slowly walked me down the steps. I did NOT want to let that little girl's hand go. Not because I was worried about going down, but because this was the closest any of us had gotten to her. She was so precious.
When we got to the end of the steps, I let her hand go and she climbed back up to her mama. As she was going, Maressa called her name. She turned around, and waved to us. We melted like you have no idea!
We headed back to go to Thurs night church at San Miguel. We had been in San Juan de Miraflores. When we got back it was nighttime, and they were ready for church. There was a woman speaker from the States to speak to the women after we were all together for worship. When we got there, it turned out the girls from Grace House we there sitting in the two rows behind us. Olivia and the other ladies started talking to them, and I started chatting with Kennedy, our other host/guide. She didn't have room to sit with us, so she was going to find somewhere else to sit. I offered to sit with her so
she wouldn't be by herself. lol I totally ditched my team. What can I say, I'm a rebel.
Oh, and when we first got to church, I heard the voice of some guy behind me speaking in American, and I turned to see who it was. It was our first host/guide, Adam. Well, my first year down he was. It was so great to see him. A year or two ago he started getting into woodwork to supplement his income. If I could fill my home with his pieces, I would. I'm working on a plan though. I had messaged him before we went down to see if he could make me a serving tray out of Peruvian wood and my daughter a cribbage board. I was SO elated to see them completed. What blew me away was that on the tray he had engraved the outline of Peru. Sigh...it was wonderful. The cribbage board he made for my daughter was absolutely stunning! The pieces made me only want to buy more! Next time...next time!
After church we headed out to dinner at a restaurant called San Antonio. Oh my word, I had the BEST club sandwich I've ever had. The pictures don't do it justice. Not kidding. It was a delicious way to end a fabulous day!