Giving Legs to Faith in Uruguay

July 10, 2013

Most of us don´t think about the importance of crutches, a wheelchair, or other mobility devices–until we need them. Joaquin Lopez certainly didn´t think about such things. He was a typical energetic boy who enjoyed sports and outside activities.

The 11-year-old was swimming in a lake near Canelones, Uruguay, when he stepped on a sharp object and cut his foot. The wound wasn´t serious, and he wrapped it and hobbled along.

The pain worsened, however, after Joaquin returned home. The following day he developed a high fever and went into convulsions. Greatly alarmed, his family brought him to a hospital in the capital city of Montevideo.

Infection had set in and Joaquin needed emergency surgery on his foot. “I was in a lot of pain and was crying,” he said. “I remembered my Sunday school teacher saying to ask God for whatever you need. So I asked God to help me, even though I didn´t know how to pray.”

Joaquin did get better, but when he was released from the hospital, he had another need for prayer–his family could not afford crutches for him.

That´s when a Christian Aid-assisted ministry called Bible Army of Uruguay stepped in to help. Based in Montevideo, the evangelistic organization provides medical equipment to needy families and shares the good news of the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.

Bible Army of Uruguay provided crutches for Joaquin for free. The staff also prayed with family members and presented them with a Bible.

Touched by their kindness, Joaquin´s mother began going to church to learn more about God. She brought Joaquin´s brother along too. When he was stronger, Joaquin joined them. He hadn´t attended Sunday school since his grandmother took him a few months before the accident.

“All of us have accepted Jesus as our Savior,” he said. “I thank God for being alive and that I can tell other people my story.”

Since its start in 1949, Bible Army of Uruguay (BAU) has helped countless individuals of all ages regain some measure of mobility through an assortment of medical devices–wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, and prosthetics. In addition, they offer hearing aids, eyeglasses, and orthopedic beds. All of the items are loaned to people with special needs for free.

The ministry seeks to demonstrate that everyone, regardless of their handicap, is a valued child of God who can be used for His glory.