On Saturday October 17, 2015, Catherine and I were invited to be part of a TEAMworks missions team in the remote village of Santo Domingo Los Ocotes. The team was made up of therapists who specialize in working with special needs kids. They brought all kinds of specialty therapy tools designed to assist each patient’s care giver in caring for them and improving their quality of life. However, they didn’t bring any wheelchairs for this village because they were only able to bring them for specific people that they had met on a previous trip. We had two used, donated wheelchairs in storage that I had previously tried to give away on several occasions, but they were always the wrong size or not the proper design to fit the needs of the would be recipients. For the last couple of years, I no longer carried them with me on outreaches. I just kept my eyes and ears opened, knowing that God would provide the right opportunity in HIS timing. Well that exact opportunity finally came to fruition write after we got off the bus in Santo Domingo Los Ocotes! A local leader had all the families in a circle waiting for the group when we arrived. As we started to work with our very first patient, the therapist Paige asked for one of the wheelchairs we had brought to be put together to see if it would work for this sweet young lady named Monica. Monica had a high fever as a six month old baby that we were told caused a “seizure” that left her severely handicapped. Also, her mother passed away about eight years ago with cancer. So she was overdue for a bit of good news when she was brought there on this specific day by her grandmother and two aunts tied down to an old, broken down, standard wheelchair. Well we all knew that it was no coincidence when they switched her over to the chair we had brought that it was a perfect fit! God’s plan and timing never fails, and once again HE taught us that lesson of faith!
And guess what, HE taught us the same thing twice on the same day! The other wheelchair was also perfect for a young man who began to lose strength and motor skills at eight years of age. The therapists suspect that he has MD, but many miles away from an official diagnosis, they turned to improving his quality of life. That included adapting they tray, that was needed for Monica’s chair, to his wheelchair so that it will be easier for him to reach his mouth for eating. They also taught his mother about nutrition and gave her tips for helping him gain some strength. What a tremendous blessing it was to see him in this chair. It is very hard to imagine, his tiny, little mother carrying him around for all these years.
For me, it was great to get back to my roots as a Spanish interpreter and just being part of the team was a nice change of pace from being in charge of the group or coordinating the logistics. This was also a double blessing because I was able to get credit in my online university Spanish class as a volunteer service project. Praise the Lord for this wonderful day.
Check out some more picks of the outreach, we hope that you enjoy them!