In May we wrote about our friend Alexander (Sasha), who for the majority of the last ten years has been confined to his bed. After graduating from school, Sasha and his friends decided to go swimming. Sasha dove into shallow waters and hurt his spine. Today he can use his hands very minimally—he is able to type a little bit on a keyboard, and turn the pages of a book. Sasha’s mother, a Believer who did not want to send him away to a ‘Home for the Disabled,’ took it upon herself to be Sasha’s main caregiver. At one point, Sasha had an electric wheelchair, but it has been many years since it has been operational. Sasha is already 30, and he has spent a large part of his life in his bed.
Our prayers were answered and many people reached out to us after having read Sasha’s story. Upon arrival in Belarus this summer, we had the necessary funds to purchase a new (or at least a working) electric wheelchair for Sasha. Unfortunately, we discovered that locating a good wheelchair in Belarus was not going to be an easy task. We located various scooters, but all were of very poor quality, and Sasha would not have been able to use one of them due to the nature of his paralysis. We found ourselves in a seemingly helpless situation: we had the desire to help and the funds, but not the ability to do so. We asked ourselves what were we to tell people what had become of their donations?
But God is a God of mercy, and he was merciful towards us, and towards Sasha. Help came from where we least expected it: from another invalid. This Brother’s name is Yuriy, and he too uses a wheelchair to get around, as he is missing both of his legs. He is a man full of energy and love for those who, like him, are disabled. Yuriy has been ministering to the disabled of Belarus for a long time already, and when he heard of our need, he decided to help us out.
“I know where we can find a wheelchair. In fact,” he told us, “consider it already yours.” The only catch was that it was in Germany. Germany? We told him we just did not have the means for such a trip, nor the Visas necessary to return to Belarus once we left, nor the time. Yuriy made several phone calls, trying to come up with a solution in order to get a wheelchair for Sasha. To make a long story short: he traveled to Germany himself to pick up the wheelchair. He returned tired, unshaven, but happy to have located the very type of wheelchair we had been searching for (and manufactured in Germany, to boot)!
We were able to bring the wheelchair to Sasha only a few days before leaving Belarus. We’d like to include part of one of the messages Sasha has sent us since:
“Hello! Everything is going well with the wheelchair—I have figured out how it works and am already using it! I like it very much. It’s been an adjustment, having to get used to it after spending so many years in bed… Thank you so much for this gift. I ride out almost every day, and have ridden through almost the entire village. The battery and the engine work really well. All in all, it works exceptionally well, and I am very pleased. Another thank you!…”
A part of the donations meant for Sasha’s wheelchair remain. With your blessing, we’d like to use them to help other invalids.