Erick's Story

  • March 30, 2012
  • #7805

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada with a great story to tell.

If you’re a regular listener, you know that I love telling stories about kids with disabilities that we help when we deliver wheelchairs and Bibles overseas. And I'm going to tell you today about 6-year-old Erick who lives in Peru (and make a note, you just have to go to my radio page today to see this kid’s awesome smile)… he’s so cute… Well, anyway, Erick’s father, Feliciano, brought his little boy to our Wheels for the World outreach in Peru explaining that his little son spent all his time in bed. In fact, Feliciano told us, “Erick wanted so badly to go outside and see the trees and the sky and the birds and be free from the walls of our home… and the only time Erick does that is when I carry him outside.” This child wasn’t even able to go to school because they wouldn’t accept a disabled child unless he had a suitable wheelchair.

Well, when Feliciano brought 6-year-old Erick to our distribution, our Wheels for the World physical therapist named Dan did an assessment on this boy. He recognized that Erick’s problem was related to a mild kind of cerebral palsy – the boy’s cognitive skills were just fine, but the CP had so tightened and shortened his leg muscles that he could barely bend them. Dan got down on his knees and began stretching little Erick’s heels and ankles and after some time, the stiff muscles began to loosen.

Finally, Dan decided to try something extraordinary. He lifted Erick and tried standing him up on his wobbly legs. He let the child get his balance as Feliciano stood back somewhat surprised. Then, after long moments, and with lots of support, Erick lifted his one little foot and moved it in front of the other. Dan had to hold him carefully and assist, but within time, this child moved across the entire room, walking – slowly, to be sure, but at least he reached the other wall. That’s when Dan turned to Feliciano and told him that he was convinced Erick, with proper stretching and strengthening of his muscles, would be able to someday walk. Oh, my, Erick’s Dad was absolutely overjoyed and gladly took down notes as Dan gave instructions for Erick’s physical therapy to be done at home. Feliciano wrote down every word, nodding with excitement he could hardly contain.

Needless to say, this little boy and his daddy opened their hearts in a BIG WAY to receive Jesus that day, and they were even introduced to a local pastor who was there at our Wheels for the World distribution to help us share the Gospel. The pastor was more than happy to invite Feliciano and Erick to his church.

Friend, I hope you can see why I love this story. I mean, we go thinking we’re going to give children a wheelchair, and end up opening up horizons for them and showing them that sometimes they can even walk! So God bless our Wheels for the World team members for thinking outside the box… and God bless the parents and pastors in these developing nations who don’t reject these children with disabilities, but learn to embrace them. Luke chapter 18 says that “Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” I like that Jesus called them – He sought them out, He looked for them, He searched for them. And so do we at Wheels for the World. Hey friends, stop by our radio page today at joniandfriends.org and take a look at little Erick smiling from his wheelchair, then walking – and while you’re visiting, don’t forget to ask for your free copy of Max Lucado’s book Resurrection Morning – a great read what with Easter coming up. So we’ll see you later at joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

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