Doug Mazza Reports from Haiti with Wheels for the World...

  • By: Doug Mazza
  • Feb. 22, 2011
  • Wheels For The World

Since we arrived on Saturday nearly 400 children have died of malnutrition. And that doesn't count cholera, infection and other disease. The population of Port au Prince has an unemployment rate of 90%. The disabled have it worse. It makes me think how blessed Ryan, my own disabled son back in the States, is. But here in Haiti, there are no residential facilities like Ryan lives in; no regional centers run by the county. Just an incredible will to survive.

Doug Mazza helping fit a boy with a wheelchairYesterday a little boy came with his parents, a handsome Creole couple. Their son had been hit by a truck and had broken both legs. One leg, broken in three places. The doctor didn't have enough plaster to make two casts. So the right leg was cast up to the hip; the other... just bandaged with gauze. The family was told to come back after the leg healed – if by then there was still no material to cast the bandaged leg, they would carefully remove the existing cast and use it for the other leg. It will, of course, be too late. That little boy will live his life among the country's lame and crippled. Our Wheels for the World team was able to give him a great-fitting wheelchair, and a Bible in Creole. The whole family then had a chance to hear about the hope of Christ. May God's mercy sustain that little boy.

Later, as I walked into our Wheels wheelchair fitting area in the compound, I heard my son Ryan's voice loud and clear... the exact tone and sound. I spun around to see a 12-year-old boy name Jeudi, (although much smaller for his age, just like my Ryan). Jeudi is developmentally disabled, a stroke survivor, unable to speak, but thankfully is able to see. He was NOT happy as he sat with his sister who brought him for a wheelchair. I walked over to him and reached for his face and he cradled his cheek in my hand. He quieted then smiled and began to laugh... the same laugh as Ryan! ‘Wow, you've got the touch!’ our Wheels physical therapist said. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘I know from experience that Jeudi sees things we don't see. What do you see Jeudi? Is Jesus standing behind me? Someday you must tell me, what is it that you see?’

And so it went all day long. Jesus said in Luke 14:21 and 23, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor the lame and the blind.’ Then he said, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in so that my house will be full.’ We can't fix Haiti in two weeks, but with the support of your prayers, we can fill His house... one wheelchair, one Jeudi at a time.


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  • May 8, 2012
  • 3:44 a.m.
  • Anne
Joni Dear...Our town of Burbank, Ill. is thrilled to host the NDP..for the 19th year we've done this day, small crowds but ever growing groups. Our Mayor was with us at City Hall each year; last year 2010 we moved to a more spacious venue on State Road, where we expect greater numbers to join us on May 5, 2011. God answers prayer!
  • March 6, 2011
  • 7:49 p.m.
I was there in 2010 with WFTW and with Dr. J. So glad he went back, the people of Haiti can use all the help they can get, God Bless you and the 2011 WFTW Haiti Team
  • March 4, 2011
  • 6:17 a.m.
  • Ron McKnight
Thank you for sharing your heart Doug. Steams of tears flowed as I pictured myself doing the same thing. Jesus was definitely with you.
  • March 1, 2011
  • 2:06 p.m.
  • Billy D
Thanks for sharing this story, Doug. It's great to hear what Joni and Friends, and the Wheels program, is doing in Haiti. Shalom!
  • Feb. 28, 2011
  • 5:56 a.m.
  • Chip Tol
I'm the mother of a developmentally delayed adult daughter. We had a difficult day! Then I read this & am convicted because I was feeling sorry for myself! My challenges & inconveniences are so minor compared to what they have to deal with everyday. From the heart break of not being able to get treatment for their child to not being able to provide for their basic needs! Their in my prayers! Lord have mercy on them & forgive me, your grace Is sufficient!
  • Feb. 27, 2011
  • 3:57 p.m.
  • Pam Burtness
God is so good, we love you all.
  • Feb. 26, 2011
  • 4:50 p.m.
Beautiful story. Good work there, Rachel and team!! :)
  • Feb. 25, 2011
  • 9:29 p.m.
  • Amber S
Good to see you made it back safely. Yet good as well to see that you visited this devastated country. You've got it right - the need is so massive the only way to attack it is one person at a time. God bless you. Dan'l
  • Feb. 25, 2011
  • 2:24 p.m.
  • Dan'l Markham
Praying for this mission trip - indeed, one small step at a time! Praising the Lord for the work that you all are doing. Blessings to you!
  • Feb. 25, 2011
  • 11:27 a.m.
  • Kathy Roeth
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