Most people can only guess what a person is thinking who has a mobility issue and wants so badly to move around freely. Then they read about Jesus and dream of this happening to them.
“The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Matthew 11:5
“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” John 5:8
Most of the people gathered at the site that day had probably heard these Bible stories over and over. For them, the stories were intensely personal. However, the idea that they might be able to move about unhindered was probably not their expectation. They only knew Wilson and Griven were from Action for Progress. (AfP is the Malawi partner of the Malawi Project) and they had come at the encouragement of the Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) who have teamed up with AfP to help the physically challenged in Malawi. For these people, the files on their cases had been closed. They would never walk again. That was final, end of story.
There was 15-year-old Mark, the only boy in attendance that day. Quiet and a little withdrawn, Mark sat at a distance from the others. Mark came from Naseta, a small village near Lilongwe, and had suffered an illness that left him paralyzed. While the parents wanted young Mark to pursue his education, the school was just too far away. He closed up emotionally and spent his time close to a family member. He was unable to get around and had no expectation that anything would change.
Then came AfP and a mobility unit. His grandfather, Mkupala, a farmer by trade, reflected on the unit with his grandson, “I’m sure this mobility unit will be going to the farm field, as we both make the trip together.” Mark was also given a brand, new Bible in which he could now read about others who were given the ability to get around again. His dream of independent mobility had come true, just as it had in a different way for them.
It was a day like every other day when Lizu started off toward Salima to obtain fresh fish. Then suddenly came the terrible accident. Lizu could not remember what had taken place but knew he was thankful to God to be alive. Now, like the others, 41-year-old Lizu had come to the meeting through the help of his younger brother. Always there to help, Lizu was thankful for his brother, and for God who he said had never let him down. In spite of his plight he confirmed, “Our God is a loving God and surely He will not abandon us.”
That day he was given a brand-new mobility unit and an equally brand-new Bible. Lizu proudly announced he could now preach in the marketplace where he can now spend time with his business associates. In spite of his struggles, Lizu sees God in every action in his life. “This is indeed an indication that God wants me to continue preaching,” he announced.
“Now,” he says, “my younger brother can focus his efforts on other income-generating activities, and I can do my own business. We can both combine our incomes. It should be enough for us as a family to survive,” Lizu said with a confident smile. It was obvious his life has been changed forever.
Continued next week.