Chair Corps

  • Nov. 14, 2017
  • #9272

Guido, a paraplegic due to an accident, eagerly volunteered in Africa with the Wheels for the World team.

Chair Corps and Guido

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and do you know what?

You are never too disabled or too injured to serve. I was reminded of that when I heard Guido’s story. He was just an all-around guy who liked to listen to Christian radio which, of course, is how he learned about our ministry. He told me, “Joni, I heard the peace in your voice and I wanted that same peace. I kept thinking, How can Joni have so much joy when she deals with quadriplegia and chronic pain daily? Well, Guido discovered the answer when, shortly thereafter, he had a motorcycle accident and became a paraplegic. Because Guido had been listening to "Joni and Friends", he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that joy was possible, even if you have a paralyzing accident. And part of that joy (he learned from listening) was to experience God's love by giving it away, by serving others!

That’s when he happened to spot a Wheels for the World trailer filled with donated wheelchairs. It was a visible reminder of the work Joni and Friends does among people with disabilities. Guido saw that trailer filled with wheelchairs as God's nudge to serve as he continued to heal. So he went on-line and discovered that we needed help collecting more wheelchairs—wheelchairs that we would then ship to prisons where inmates restore them. Guido wasted no time, and signed up as a Chair Corps volunteer. He started collecting wheelchairs right away, all around his community. It gave this paraplegic great joy to know that, yes, he was doing something that could really show the love of Christ and would benefit kids with disabilities in developing nations. And so, he thought: Why not take this serving thing to the next level? So, he signed up for a Wheels for the World trip! His first outreach trip was with Wheels for the World to West Africa. Guido brought his tools and served as the seating mechanic on that Wheels team. When he came back so excited, he wrote, “Joni, it was then that I began to see the complete picture for my life, and how my motorcycle accident, and all the pain and suffering had led me to service.” I think Guido was tremendously moved because he saw, for the first time, how much suffering and need there really is among the disabled in places like Africa. And you know what? This young man is now all about putting the love of Christ in action, even if he’s doing it from a wheelchair!

One quick PS: Since that first Wheels trip, Guido has been back to Africa twice, and he’s served with Wheels for the World in Haiti, Brazil, and Romania. Also, an unexpected blessing happened on a recent trip. Guido met his future wife, Jenna. They stayed in touch after the trip, and got married last year! Hey, you have to see a photo of Guido at work, as well as a brief, wonderful video on our amazing Chair Corps who volunteer by collecting wheelchairs around the country. It’s all there for you to see today at joniandfriends.org/radio.

Finally, do you have a desire to go serve? Well, if Jesus came to serve, as it says of Him in Matthew Chapter 20, then He’s given you quite an example. Besides, Guido told me to tell you, “Go! Go! Your life will be transformed. God can use anybody.” He said: “If He can use me, a paraplegic and I’m in a wheelchair, then He can use you, too!” Well that is great advice from this young man in his wheelchair. So, don’t forget to stop by joniandfriends.org/radio to watch this amazing little video about serving as a Chair Corps volunteer and helping us collect wheelchairs all around the country. And also, while you are there, you will see that wonderful photo of Guido doing what he does best, serving the Lord by helping us at Wheels for the World!

© Joni and Friends

 

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