As I was preparing for the Wheelchair Giveaway in San Lorenzo, Valle I was tired, hot, lethargic and ready to go home to cooler Tegucigalpa. Following three days of intensive, exhausting eye brigades, I wondered, “Should I have done this on a different day?” I wondered to myself if anyone really appreciated the free wheelchairs or if it was “just another handout” and I wondered if people took them for granted or if they really had an appreciation for what many people gave in order to get these chairs into their hands.
I breathed a prayer and I said, “God, you know that I do what I do for you. You know that I commit all my ways to you. I know that you appreciate the fact that I am helping people, so I will hold my chin up no matter how tired I am and I will put a smile on my face and get these chairs given to the people that need them.” I really felt drained from the heat.
A woman came up to speak to me and called me by name. “Terasita,” she said, “I heard that you were giving away more wheelchairs today and I wanted to come and talk to you.” I figured she wanted a chair, but I was wrong! She came to say, “THANK YOU!” On February 14th, Dia de Amor y Amistad (Valentines Day) I had a wheelchair giveaway IN CHOLUTECA 40 miles away. Her invalid father came and received a chair that day.
She informed me that her father is now a confirmed VAGABOND. He had been bedridden since October 16, 2008 when he fell and fractured his hip. He had spiraled into a deep depression and was not really interested in receiving a wheelchair, but once he received it, he had a new found freedom. She told me that he leaves the house in the morning and rolls himself to friends’ houses and visits. He rolls himself down the road to the bank, pays bills, goes to the market, watches people at the park and is very mobile now. He comes home for lunch SOMETIMES and sometimes he arrives later around dinner time. She says that the wheelchair has totally changed his life.
I was so thankful to receive this news at just the right time! When I needed to hear it.