A Chinese Boy and His Chair

  • Feb. 27, 2008
  • #6738

Joni shares about Hei, a little boy who has dreams after startign life with a wheelchair given to him by a Wheels for the World team in 2005.

My friend, Cindy, was in China with our Wheels for the World team.  She talked about how she walked down this one twisted, dark, dusty alley deep in the inner heart of Jiao Zhou City.  Cindy couldn't help but stare at the sagging little mud houses, their floors filthy with dirt, garbage, dogs, children, neighbors and hoodlums following her as she headed deeper into the labrynth of this poverty-ridden slum.  Her destination was the home of 15-year-old Hei Zhenkang, who received his first wheelchair in 2003 on a different Wheels for the World distribution in that city. 

Hei was born with the same genetic disease as his mother; a disease that softened their bones and stunted their growth.  As my friend, Cindy, entered the mud archway leading into their home, Hei's father greeted her.  She turned to see Hei wheel out of the darkness of the mud house in a perfectly fitted wheelchair, a big smile splashed across his face.  "Hello!" he said in perfect English, surprising Cindy.  "Thank you for your coming!", he said.  Before he had received that wheelchair in 2003, Hei had never been to school.  He had grown fast as a child, and his dad found it was getting more difficult to carry his son around.  His dad sighed and said in Chinese, "It made us all very sad back then.  For although Hei could not walk, he has very clever brain." 

But then in 2003, sadness turned to joy with the miraculous gift of a wheelchair.  Ever since, Hei's new wheelchair has taken him to Primary School, where he has learned to read, and write, and speak English and become a computer whiz.  "I love music and history!" he said with a grin, "and my teachers and classmates treat me so nicely!  I would like to become a doctor to help others like me - I am certain I can do it!" 

That's when Cindy noticed Hei's father's eyes widen, and fill with tears.  Hei's daddy is a bicycle repairman with no education.  He has never had the luxury of a dream, yet today he heard for the first time that his brilliant, disabled son dares to imagine such a thing as being a doctor... a doctor to help other children like him.  Hei's father whispered "I am very, very happy to hear my son's words. This wheelchair is giving us so many dreams.... the Wheels for the World team also gave us a Bible and explained it to us.  Now I see that hope is real. My son dreams to be a doctor ... how do I say thank you?"

There's no need to do that, because amidst this mind-numbing poverty, the tears, proud smiles, and joy of that family spoke of riches beyond measure.  The gift of a wheelchair had elevated this family's hopes, catapulted a disabled boy into a place of honor, and opened the future wider than their dreams could ever span.  "I wish you happy every day," says Hei to Cindy, with a huge grin.  And "thank the lady who told you to find me," he said.  I guess that's me, Joni.  And I give to Hei, Romans 15:13 where it says, "May the God of hope fill that young boy with all joy and peace as he trust in the Lord, so that Hei may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

 ©  Joni and Friends

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