Life in Guatemala: Wheelchair Distribution Day

Knowing that the following day would be a big one, both emotionally and work wise, I immediately unplugged the TV in my room. The outlet was much more useful to me as a charging station. I got my GoPro connected, and then my DSLR.

Since we would be meeting at 7 a.m. for breakfast, I set my alarm for 6 a.m. sharp and headed to the bathroom.

That’s when the reality of being so privileged in North America only began to sink in. Whether you’re doing the number 1 or the #2, your toilet paper cannot go in the toilet. You’ll likely clog the toilet, because their plumbing cannot handle the tissue. That was a tough habit to break!

After flushing, I washed my hands in the sink. And while I could use the water externally, the faucet water is not drinkable water. In order to brush my teeth, I had to crack open a bottled water, pour a little over my toothbrush and brush away. When I was done brushing, I had to use the bottled water to swig and spit out the remaining toothpaste. To clean the toothbrush, I had to pour more water over the brush. First world luxuries we don’t even THINK about!!!

I washed my face, careful not to get the water in my mouth, dried off and headed to bed.

6 a.m. came quickly. Luckily I was able to sleep the night through with little disturbance. Our group met in the lobby of Hotel Soleil and all eagerly entered the hotel restaurant to see what was on their breakfast menu.

Guatemalan breakfast did not disappoint!! Scrambled eggs, black beans with cream, a meat and the most superb fresh fruit I’ve tasted: grapes the size of ping pong balls, fresh and juicy watermelon, mango, papaya, strawberries, and even fried plantains.

Now that we were all fueled up, our group was ready to conquer the day! We met at the Bethel Ministries vehicles and paused for reflection & prayer; then loaded up and were on our way to Chimaitenango!

Upon arrival at the Bethel Ministries church in Chimaitenango, we were met by over 100 Guatemalans inside. More than 60 of the people seated, or being held, were there to receive a wheelchair from us today! The rest of the people sitting were family who had to make the trek all the way to the church to get their family member here. Women, who had carried their child for over an hour in her arms just to get their child help. Fathers, daughters, brothers and sisters who endured so much just to help their family member in need.

I knew it was going to be an emotional day already.

We unwrapped the wheelchairs and Chris gave us a walk through on how to properly fit each person to an appropriate wheelchair. He then headed to the front of the crowd, and as only he could, captured the entire rooms attention. In words I could barely understand, (my Spanish is weak from 8 years off) he thanked the people for coming and thanked the Lord for providing our working hands and the wheelchairs these people needed so badly.

Our group split into three, and each team starting working through the list of people needing wheelchairs. I rushed around wanting to capture so much in these moments. I wanted to remember each person that was helped that day forever. I wanted to capture their faces, their reaction of pure gratitude and thanks to God for providing for them. I wanted to capture the weight, both physical and mental, as it was lifted from the mother as she released her child from her arms and into the wheelchair for the first time. And I wanted to capture Mission Mobility using our hands to fulfill Gods work with these wonderful people.

Tears welled in my eyes as I watched a mother cry tears of thanks and joy that she could finally set her 14 year old down. That she could leave her house again now, and wouldn’t have to carry her teenage child for miles at a time in her arms. And the tears continued to well up as family after family was overcome with thanks and joy in the wheelchairs.

63 wheelchairs and a few hours later, we were finished!

But the day wasn’t over! We walked next door to the BM warehouse and after a quick tour, started loading up house building supplies in preparation for the next day. It had started raining, which made loading up the sheet metal a little more dangerous. The men jumped right in, and we quickly had all the material necessary for the first build loaded and ready.

What a day it was! I was definitely ready for bed when we returned to our hotel in Antigua. As I lay in bed that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much of a blessing it was to be in the presence of the people we helped earlier that day. What inspiring people they were, a walking lesson of humility and gratitude. To have nothing and be more thankful for the nothingness they have, than I am with the abundance I’ve been blessed with. I thanked God for the blessing and lesson and was fast asleep.

Luke Mitchell, with Mission Mobility and On His Path helping adjust a wheelchair for a 14 year old Guatemalan boy while his mother watches over at Bethel Ministries church in Chimaitenango, Guatemala.
This man became an amputee simply because it took too long to travel to a hospital to seek treatment for a lasceration on his leg. Some are forced to travel up to three hours to get to a hospital.
A grandmother is lifted into her new wheelchair by her daughter and granddaughter, while an employee of Mission Mobility helps steady the wheelchair.
A grandmother is lifted into her new wheelchair by her daughter and granddaughter, while an employee of Mission Mobility helps steady the wheelchair.
John Mitchell, founder of On His Path which works with Mission Mobility, making adjustments to the wheelchair for a Guatemalan woman in need.
John Mitchell, founder of On His Path which works with Mission Mobility, making adjustments to the wheelchair for a Guatemalan woman in need.

???? ~ @lifeofmalware

2 Replies to “Life in Guatemala: Wheelchair Distribution Day”

  1. Thanks in support of sharing such a good opinion, paragraph is nice, thats why i have read it fully|

    1. madebymallory says: Reply

      Thank you Kurtis!

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