On our last day in Peru, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than in outreach to the citizens of Urubamba with special needs.
Earlier in the trip, we spent some time working at our feeding center and Child Sponsorship program in this same location. The poverty here is astonishing . . . and those who suffer from physical limitations struggle the most.
Working with our partner, Pastor David Chaves and his wife Duska, we have been able to develop a strategic program with another organization, Free Wheelchair Mission. Together, we are able to provide wheelchairs to people who have been immobile for most—if not all—of their lives.
Our team was able to distribute 21 wheelchairs to children, the elderly, and everyone in between . . . it was an amazing experience. We carried them into the church from the vehicles outside and had a short presentation of the Gospel. Along with a wheelchair, each person received their own copy of God’s Word. Many made the decision to give their lives to Christ . . . it was an incredibly moving moment.
Before receiving the wheelchair, these people relied on the help of others to do everything. Now they can go outside without the help of a caretaker. They can help with household duties, and some may even be able to work. The impact is tremendous—for the recipients, for their caretakers, for entire families.
For many, these two gifts were the first they’d ever received in their lives. What an incredible representation of freedom, hope, and the chance for a brand new beginning: The gift of physical freedom through a wheelchair; and the opportunity for spiritual freedom through the gift of the Gospel.
I’ll never be able to forget one woman we met named Nieves (which means “snow”). She is 65 years old and has been unable to walk since the age of 3. When the vans pulled up outside, she wasted no time—she literally crawled out of the van and made her way into the church without any help. Her strength and determination was unbelievable. I learned that Nieves spends every day working in the salt mines to help earn a living. This woman is fearless! I was so thrilled to see her in her new wheelchair . . . realizing that this simple gift alone would change her life forever.
Eight-year-old Marina was also there to receive her wheelchair. She has never been able to walk and suffers from a brain tumor. My heart broke when I thought of my own grandchildren who love to play sports and are constantly on the move . . . how would I feel if they couldn’t walk? It’s incredible how something as simple as a wheelchair—a common piece of equipment found in local stores throughout the U.S.—can make such a tremendous difference in someone’s life.
I’m so excited to continue this outreach to the least of these in the Urubamba community . . . what a perfect picture of what it looks like to be Jesus on the ground.
It has been such a privilege to be a part of what God is doing here in Peru. Our team has been overwhelmed by the opportunities we’ve had to impact people with the love of Jesus.
I pray that you’ll be inspired to join us in continuing to bring help and hope to the people of Peru. I can promise you this: it’s an investment that will outlive you and last for eternity!
Ways To Get Involved in Peru
WHEELCHAIRS: Being disabled in rural Peru means much more than a life of immobility. It means a life of utter confinement. But we’re working to change that. Simple wheelchairs give impoverished individuals the mobility they could only dream about . . . and with that comes entirely new standards of development. Help us provide wheelchairs and foster independence for those bound by disability. GIVE TO SEND WHEELCHAIRS >>
CHURCH PLANTING: We believe one of the most effective ways of sharing the Gospel is by empowering nationals to reach their peers. Our model is simple: Equip native church planters and Christian leaders with the tools they need to reach into the very heart of their countries. Support a church planter today and help him carry the Word of God further than ever. SUPPORT CHURCH PLANTING >>