Mercedes, a 97-year-old man in Peru, spent many decades laboring in the sugarcane fields.

It’s physically-punishing work: rigid, bamboo-like reeds of sugarcane are hacked down with machetes and stacked for transport over 12-hour shifts, during which workers drink very little and are covered with soot and sugar residue. This strenuous effort yields about one pound of sugar for every 100 pounds of sugarcane harvested.

The hard work has taken its toll on Mercedes’ body, as have the years. He can no longer walk or take care of himself.

Mercedes in Peru

When a team from our local distribution partner, Camino de Vida Church, fitted him with a new GEN_3 wheelchair, Mercedes saw it as the dawn of a new day. “Today I understand that if I continue living, it’s because God wants me to do more,” he declared. “Now with this wheelchair, I will visit my friends and tell them I am God’s beloved.”

Mercedes’ story shows us that it’s never too late to start anew, to have one’s hope renewed and find new purpose in life.

Thank you for all you do to offer new hope—and new life—through the gift of mobility.