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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This story puts life into perspective. May God bless all those who have been a part of this trip to Haiti. They have "done it unto Him" It moves me to prayer and a greater desire to walk in thankfulness and joy. I hope you are feeling strong and well Joni.
  • Feb. 23, 2011
  • 6:28 p.m.
  • Theresa Schwartz
I will continue in prayer for this vital mission work. My heart is overwhelmed by what you are experiancing and have shared. May the presence of Jesus and the power of His love shine through the work and words and touch of you all. In Him, Kathleen
  • Feb. 23, 2011
  • 2:47 p.m.
  • Kathleen Knoblock
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