Unique wheelchairs transform lives

By June 22, 2009

Zambia (MNN) — A contraption
similar to a large tricycle with a wagon on the back has been transforming the
lives of people who cannot walk. 

Tamlyn
Collins wth
The Mission Society recently distributed a number of PETs, or Personal Energy
Transportation vehicles, in Zambia. 

"It's like seeing someone walk
out of the darkness into light," she said. 
"When we bring these PETs to people, some of them crawl across the
dust to get into their PETs, and others are carried by their friends and by
their family. And when they get into
that PET, their faces light up, and they just take off in all directions. It's an incredible sight."

About 100,000 disabled people in
Zambia alone are currently on a waiting list to receive a PET. 

"This is due to the fact that
many people have lost limbs due to the war in Congo," Collins explained. "And also the problem of polio is affecting
the people. They still have lost their ability to walk due to polio, even
though we are trying to eradicate that right now."

The PETs enable people to do
things they would not otherwise be able to do, often things that are very
valuable and important. One man told
Collins that he would be able to attend church for the first time the following
Sunday. Another girl planned to get her education. 

"She had never been able to
attend school," Collins related. "She was the oldest child in her family, and her family had great hopes for her
because she had a lot of natural intelligence. When she received her PET, she told me that she was starting classes
right away. And her family was saying
that she hoped then to be able to influence her brothers and her sisters to go
to school as well."

Each recipient of a PET also had
the opportunity to hear the Gospel. 

"It is my great joy to be able to
pray with individuals who receive PETs, and to be able to tell them that their
Christian brothers and sisters in the U.S. and literally all over the world care
enough about them to give them a PET," Collins said. "When they receive this prayer, they
understand that God has not forgotten them, that they are important to God,
that they are precious to God, and that they are precious to other Christian
brothers and sisters as well."

It costs $250 to assemble a PET
in Africa. You can help

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