Wheelchair ministry brings new life

By February 15, 2010

Chad (MNN) — Longstanding conflict between Sudan and Chad has killed, injured and displaced. In the past, war wounds in Chad have been bad enough to merit several backup surgeons from the American Red Cross.

One result of war injuries has been disablement. Many have been stripped of their ability to walk after receiving wounds from bombings or fighting at the hands of Sudanese rebels. Without high access to wheelchairs, the disabled are left without opportunity or hope to do much more than beg in the future.

A Pioneers missionary, with the help of PET International, has been providing wheelchairs for the people of eastern Chad for the last two and a half years.

The work is not easy. Wheelchairs need to be fitted to the region in which they'll be used since the terrain is often sandy or rough. Moving chairs across the desert also makes for slow and difficult distribution. But when the chairs are finally given away, the experience is irreproducible.

"I remember one young man. He was missing his leg after his village had been bombed by the Janjaweed [a militant group in Sudan and Chad], and he was unable to go to school," says the Pioneers missionary. "Then he sits in this chair, and immediately it's like you've changed his future."

The missionary, whose name has been withheld for security reasons, says offering these life-changing gifts has opened the door for the Gospel.

"It's been a great opportunity to be able to minister to tangible needs, and yet also openly do that in the name of Christ. We're thankful to be able to say that this is through donations of the church, and in the name of Jesus we want to bless them and serve them through these gifts."

This ministry has opened doors all across eastern Chad. So far, nearly 300 chairs have been distributed.

This missionary is also working on bringing wells to some of the poorest communities in the region. He and his team have been speaking with International Aid services as well as the governor about installing 25 wells in the next 12 to 18 months. This endeavor will be one more great expression of Christ's love to the war-torn people of Chad.

If you would like to help with either of these projects specifically, click here to contact Pioneers, or call them at 1.800.755.7284.

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