Wheels in Kerala, India 2023 – Blog 6
Kerala Mission Daily Diary – Day 6 (21st March 2023 to end)
The Wheels for the World team are hard at work in Kerala, India until the 25th March, changing lives through the free gift of a wheelchair or other mobility aid. Here, Peter, a member of the team, tells us about the final few days of the trip...
As our mission in India came to an end we thanked God again for our incredible experiences, invaluable learnings and rich blessings that will stay with us always.
Our memories will indeed live on - of so many amazing, differently abled people whose stories were, simultaneously, both heartbreaking and uplifting. And each, without exception, was a life lesson in courage, resilience, boundless love and the devotion of families.
Over six unforgettable days there were so many highlights but we felt that perhaps our experience with the children of the ‘Little Servants of Divine Providence’ home for the disabled would remain one of the most memorable.
Among the more than one hundred children and a few adults being lovingly cared for by nuns and helpers were eight children in need of wheelchairs who our therapists carefully assessed to receive chairs of varying descriptions.
When we first arrived at the home these children, all with significant disabilities, were all lying down down on their beds most of the day, including at meal times. With such a lack of stimulation each appeared to have ‘shut down’ emotionally - sadly retreating into a tiny world of their own.
A mere few hours later, our therapists and technicians had finished preparing their chairs, and expertly ‘fitting’ the children into them. As each adjusted to the sense of being upright, of being truly aware of who and what was around them, the transformation in each child was as dramatic as it was so moving and gratifying.
These moments were the source of many tears of joy among the team because it was as if ‘light‘ had replaced ‘darkness’, their personalities slowly emerging and then shining brightly and their beaming smiles were infectious.
And we could not have hoped for a better way to complete our time at the children’s home, or indeed our broader mission, than to hear the wonderfully insightful, and completely unexpected, words spoken by one of the children to Sister Melini at that time. The child said “These days we have been sitting. Tomorrow onwards we are moving.”
And, finally, beyond all of the unforgettable experiences, we offered our ninety eight patients pastoral support, prayers and scriptures suited to their circumstances and needs.
We felt God’s hand in the constant stream of acceptances by so many - including lifelong Hindu followers - and we were delighted to gift to them a total of 35 traditional Bibles and 46 of the wonderful new Audio Bibles so generously donated to us and which proved so popular.
A mission to India truly blessed in every way.