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  • 标题:The Little Red Wheelchair - US parents donate wheelchair to child in Peru after their daughter dies - Brief Article
  • 作者:Joni Eareckson Tada
  • 期刊名称:Accent on Living
  • 印刷版ISSN:0001-4508
  • 出版年度:2001
  • 卷号:Spring 2001
  • 出版社:Cheever Publishing, Inc.

The Little Red Wheelchair - US parents donate wheelchair to child in Peru after their daughter dies - Brief Article

Joni Eareckson Tada

It's always hard when a parent loses a child. The overwhelming sense of loss seems unbearable. That's how Kim and Jay felt when Lindy, their eight-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, died after a bad seizure in 1998. All Kim and Jay had left was Lindy's wheelchair -- a little red Quickie with a seatbelt, shoulder belts and foot straps which had supported their little girl. Lindy needed those straps and supports when she rode her school bus down the rutted dirt roads of Alaska which were full of potholes.

Jay and Kim had something else left, too. A deep desire to honor little Lindy by personally taking her small wheelchair on a Wheels for the World trip. They very much wanted to give it to another disabled child. That's how Jay and Kim ended up going with our team to Peru last year. As they flew to South America they wondered about and they prayed for the child who would be receiving Lindy's little red wheelchair.

Around the same time. another mother and father were wondering about a wheelchair.

Gladys and Ruben Suarez live in Peru up in the little mountain village of Pichus, 80 miles east of the city of Lima. The Suarez family is very poor. There are many needs in the family which includes six children, one of whom is eleven-year-old Christian, with cerebral palsy.

Christian cannot walk or crawl so his parents carry him everywhere he needs to go.

His mother pulls him along in a laundry cart as she makes her rounds through the village, picking up clothes to wash to help support the family. Without a wheelchair, Christian has never had the opportunity to attend school. This is what Gladys and Ruben have been praying about. They need a child-sized wheelchair for their son -- the kind of wheelchair they could never afford, one with side supports and shoulder and foot straps, the kind of wheelchair that Christian needs on the rutted dirt roads around their village. Roads with lots of potholes.

Jay and Kim from Alaska ... Gladys and Ruben from the mountains of Peru. Little wonder that on the day of the Wheels for the World distribution in downtown Lima, Gladys and Ruben thought nothing of traveling by bus for four hours holding their son on their lap. They were coming with high hopes. So were Jay and Kim.

Neither family realized that, within hours, their hopes would be fulfilled. Both sets of families had their dreams focused on a child-sized wheelchair with shoulder and foot straps. Halfway through the distribution, Jay and Kim met Ruben, Gladys and eleven-year-old Christian. Immediately their hearts melted when they saw Christian's smile. No one knew the other's language, but that didn't matter. The smiles and embraces, the "oohs and aahs" said it all as the little red wheelchair was wheeled into their midst.

The Wheels for the World physical therapist placed Christian into Lindy's old chair. It fit perfectly. Christian was beaming. And perhaps the Lord, Himself, was looking down on the small circle of new friends that day, with His arm around Lindy. Surely, His Spirit was there providing help and hope and dreams fulfilled.

Through Kim and Jay, He was giving little Christian a new lease on life, a brand new way to get around the village. A chair with shoulder belts and foot straps to wheel on those rutted dirt roads. A chair so that Christian might have his first chance to go to school.

Who would have thought it could all happen because of a little red wheelchair.

Joni Eareckson Tada, who has been a quadriplegic since 1967 from a diving accident, is president of JAF Ministries which she founded in 1979. If you would like to learn about one of JAF's national retreats, visit their website.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Cheever Publishing, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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