Joni and Friends Blog
People with Disabilities are Neglected and Discriminated Against
People with disabilities are even more neglected in El Salvador than here in the United States. They are rejected by their villages and discriminated against by medical professionals. Sadly, children and adults living with disability are isolated and ignored – denied help and hope and marginalized on the sidelines of life. They have nothing in every sense of the word.
But during our recent Wheels for the World outreach, each person who came to our wheelchair distribution site was treated with the utmost respect and given personal, one-on-one attention. Our team made sure that every family member was treated with dignity as one of God’s special possessions.
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9
No wonder everyone was so excited as they waited their turn to meet with our physical therapists and wheelchair mechanics! For most of the families there that day, it was the very first time they were cared for as fearfully and wonderfully made individuals created in God’s image.
There were smiles on the faces of everyone there that day, but one of the biggest smiles of all was seen on the face of eight-year-old Helena, who has cerebral palsy.
Helena’s father, Samuel, brought her to our distribution site where she received her first wheelchair, and they both heard the Good News about Jesus. It took almost all day to ensure that Helena’s wheelchair fit her perfectly, but her excitement never waned. Now, because of her new custom-fitted wheelchair, Helena can go to school and church. She has a whole new outlook on life, and her father beamed with pride as he saw his little girl being treated as the princess God created her to be. To be sure, Helena and Samuel felt God’s love in new and powerful ways that day.
Our Wheels for the World mechanics and therapists take great care in fitting each wheelchair properly. An inappropriate fit can lead to pressure sores that if left untreated can prove to be lethal. Joni and Friends isn’t interested in short-term, quick fixes. We’re dedicated to providing top-notch care to the people we serve that results in long-term transformation – here on earth and forever in eternity.
That’s why we not only go above and beyond in meeting the physical needs of people with disabilities, but we’re also committed to sharing the Gospel with each wheelchair recipient and their families – just like Helena and Samuel. That way, they can experience true life transformation that lasts!
Helena and her father left our Wheels for the World outreach with entirely new perspectives. They have new hope in Jesus, and Helena now has opportunities she never could have imagined before.
With every single wheelchair we provide, we declare to the world that Jesus is our Savior, our Deliverer, and our ever-present help in times of suffering and trouble. And when you partner with us, God uses your prayers and support to miraculously transform “the least of these” from having nothing to having everything in Christ Jesus!
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”Psalm 46:1
Today, you can help other children suffering under the strain of disability and poverty like Helena. Your prayers and gifts will send God’s love and a custom-fitted wheelchair to those waiting on the sidelines of life for help and hope in Jesus. Thank you for letting God use you to change hearts, lives, and entire futures for his glory!
There are millions of people worldwide who are in desperate need of a wheelchair. Will you help us bring the gift of mobility and the hope of Jesus to thousands of people impacted by disability?