John Phiri

John Phiri is Back on His Feet

John Phiri

Mzimba, Malawi … John Phiri lives in the nearby village of Malidade under the leadership of Tribal Leader Mpherembe. John is certainly one of the happiest and luckiest people you will meet. He has received a new mobility unit from Action for Progress.

Life is full of mysteries, and no one knows what the future holds, not for even the next minute. Seeing the future is only in the hands of God, and in recognizing this King Solomon stated that a man plans his ways, but Almighty God determines his steps. Just like a mystery, or a dream, a mobility unit traveled all the way from Indiana, in the United States, and found its way to Mzimba, in northern Malawi, and into the house of John Phiri.

John is in his late 50’s and has suffered from epilepsy. In spite of his problems he felt it important that he provide for his family, so he hunted for work in spite of his inability to walk. He looked and looked for work, for three weeks he found nothing. Then he found employment as a household watchman. He was happy that now he could provide for his family.

Hours turned into days, days into weeks, and weeks into months, and months into years as John worked at this particular house. One day during the rainy, cold season he arrived at work and decided to light a fire to keep himself warm on that cold night. That same fire almost became his deathtrap as it nearly killed him.

Late in the night, a member of the family smelled a strange smell. He woke the other members of the family and they discovered John had fallen on the fire during an epileptic seizure. His legs were burned. The family got him out of the fire and took him to the hospital where they had to amputate his legs. This meant he could no longer do the job of a watchman. In spite of his plight, his faith in God was strong and he continued to tell others about God’s goodness in his life.

John could not find the words to tell the team with the mobility unit how that changed his life, and the difficulties he faced. Even to go out to teach and preach left him with a near-impossible situation to even visit a public toilet. Yet he was quick to acknowledge that God does things for a reason and we must not question him.

But at this moment, he suddenly turned away from the sad story of his life. Action for Progress had brought him a new mobility unit and he knew this would change his life. He could visit his friends at church, and care for his small business. While those around him had been helpless to provide for him, people from across the ocean had stepped up to help this man whom they would never meet. Thanks to them John Phiri is now back on his feet. What a mystery life can be!

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