Vol. 4, 2016-2017
In July, I was blessed with being a part of the American Wheelchair Mission with Chris Lewis and his team to deliver wheelchairs at one of their CRIT (Centro de Rehabilitacion e inclusion Infantil) or child rehabilitation centers in Tampico, Mexico.Supreme Director and Past State Deputy Terry Simonton and his wife Estelle, and Brad Myers and his daughter Morgan also participated in the trip.We were all given a tour of the CRIT center and saw all the wonderful things they have available to help children with disabilities.Following the tour, we gathered with all the families and the children who were selected to receive a wheelchair.One after another, Terry and Estelle, Brad and Morgan, and myself, each presented a child with their new wheelchair.For some, it was their first wheelchair to have; for others, it was replacing a worn out unusable wheelchair.Whether we physically carried that child and put them in their chair or assisted the mother, it was a remarkable feeling.
The next day, we made home visits, bringing wheelchairs to those children who were not able to travel to the CRIT center.We traveled to homes that were obviously a sign of extreme poverty.Some barely had a roof over their heads and others were lucky to have any furniture.One six year old child with Brittle Bone Disease has not been allowed to attend school because she did not have her own wheelchair.When we presented her with her new wheelchair, she was so excited that she could now attend school with her friends.
I found that the toughest part on this trip was trying to communicate with these children and their parents.I know each one of us wanted to let them know that we were happy to be able to help them out and that God had blessed them with a beautiful child.Time after time, the mother would tell us, “Eres la respuesta a nuestras orciones”.I was later told that translated it means, “you are the answer to our prayers.”That was very powerful. Although I couldn’t communicate with the child or the parent, seeing the smile on the child’s face or the tears of gratitude in the mother’s eyes, it didn’t matter what the language was, I knew they were very thankful for the gift. I didn’t go on the trip to be “an answered prayer” but to do what we all should do – help others.
You too can experience this incredible feeling.Participate in a wheelchair distribution, either in your community, your diocese, or join Chris Lewis on one of his worldwide trips.You’ll be glad you did.
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