Pastor Diaz

  • Oct. 17, 2018
  • #9513

A mission trip with ‘Wheels for the World’ changes the lives of a pastor and a disabled teen.

I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and something wonderful just happened in Peru.

It began when on a hot, dusty Sunday afternoon; Pastor Miguel Diaz paid a visit to an elderly gentleman who lived about an hour away up in the high mountains. The pastor's goal was to invite the old man to come and receive a cane at our ‘Wheels for the World’ distribution in Arequipa, just two hours down the mountainside, but what Pastor Diaz discovered changed the course of his ministry.

He climbed that mountain and entered the humble little home of this elderly man and found a small plastic chair in the corner where he sat down. Pastor Diaz said that, "During our visit, I heard a sound from the back room in the little home." That's when the elderly man explained, 'That he has a 17-year-old grandson named Jorge. He is all twisted,’ the old man said, ‘but would you like to see him?'” Well, Pastor Diaz got up and went into the little back room; profoundly disabled he was. Jorge's frail body was laying there on a makeshift bed in a dark, windowless room. Jorge could not move and so he lived his entire life within those dark mud walls with no windows, more isolated than any prison cell, and more hopeless than any life sentence.

When Pastor Diaz saw this teenager, all twisted, by himself, lying in the dark, it broke his heart. Immediately, he made arrangements for Jorge to be lifted out of bed, taken out of that house, brought down the mountainside and carried to our ‘Wheels for the World’ distribution. Hours of meticulous measurements by our physical therapist followed. Jorge, lying on a mat and watching was astounded. Never in his young life had he experienced anything like this. Finally, at six in the evening Jorge was lifted into his customized wheelchair. The Wheels team gathered in a circle and Pastor Diaz was asked to pray. Everyone’s tears were flowing, because Pastor Diaz was witnessing the results of his mission to rescue Jorge. But it was not the end.

While everyone was still in a circle around Jorge and his new wheelchair, Pastor Diaz said, "Now that we have found this young man, we will do whatever it takes. If the family cannot come to church, we will go to them. We will study the Bible in their home together. God has now been made visible through the wheelchairs given from Joni and Friends." It was an amazing commitment that this pastor had made in front of everybody. But how could he do any less? How could he relegate this young man back into that dark bedroom? It was clear that Jorge was thriving in the love he had been shown, and Pastor Diaz just had to follow through.

As Jorge was wheeled out into the evening sunset, a holy hush descended upon everybody. We all knew we had witnessed a miracle: one more life snatched from the clutches of darkness and brought, with joy, into the brilliance of His marvelous light; a future and a hope birthed by obedience to the cry of the Good Shepherd to "go out into the streets [and even up into the mountains] and compel them to come in." And for Pastor Diaz, a new ministry was born that day because he asked. "How many more like Jorge await us out there?" And that day, this pastor purposed that he would go and find them.

Oh, friend that is exactly what we are doing this month as ‘Wheels for the World’ teams take Bibles and wheelchairs to Brazil, Cuba, El Salvador, Peru and India. Please would you help us reach disabled kids like Jorge? Pray for us, would you, because there are so many "Jorge's" out there, injured and maimed, lying in dark back bedrooms; all of them needing to be brought out into the light, into the fold of fellowship of Christ. Let’s pray together to show them the love of Jesus.

© Joni and Friends



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