Mario (66) has long been familiar with the impact that disabilities can have.
After serving faithfully as the pastor of a small church in Nicaragua for over 40 years, he was forced to retire when complications from diabetes led to infections and the amputation of both legs. He has also been losing his eyesight.
Now, his wife Selina makes a meager living selling groceries out of their modest home in order to support the family.
Their five children, ages 30 to 45, depend on them. They were all born with developmental disabilities, with the youngest two unable to walk.
Despite life's many challenges, Mario and Selina have remained steadfast in their faith and their love for others.For the past four decades, they have experienced firsthand the stigma of having five children with disabilities.
Local superstition holds that disability is a divine punishment for wrongdoings. Therefore, Mario and Selina's family has been shunned by some. They have felt the derision. They have heard unkind words. Yet, they stand firm in their commitment to serve God and the community.
That's why, when Mario and his two youngest daughters were fitted with new wheelchairs for the first time, he wasn't just grateful for the help his own family received.He was thinking of others who must contend with disability.
“There are many things that I can still do, and there are others that I can no longer do,” said Mario to Metanoia Missions, our distribution partner in Nicaragua. “But there is much we can do for these people,” referring to others living with disabilities.
There is indeed much we can do.
An estimated 75 million people living with disabilities around the world still need a wheelchair but cannot get one on their own.You can help make a difference.
Would you consider giving the gift of mobility to someone today?