It was May, 2008 and Chris Mooney, director of Bethel Ministries, International was working with Joni and Friends to provide wheelchairs in Peten, Guatamala. Sixty five people were expected to show up in Peten that morning to receive wheelchairs. Wheelchairs to the handicapped in Guatemala typically prove to be life changing. Often, the handicapped in Guatemala live in extreme poverty and have endured years of inability to enjoy basic mobility and the opportunities such mobility affords, such as the opportunity to attend school.
On this day, Chris and the others involved with the distribution were challenged immediately as approximately 120 people turned out in hopes of receiving a wheelchair. Wheelchair fitting stations were set up, and one by one, those in need of wheelchairs were attended to. A wheelchair of the correct size was selected for each individual. After the person was seated in the wheelchair, further adjustments were made to ensure that each component (e.g. seat back, foot rest) was just right to enable the person to use the chair without developing body sores or other physical problems. However, as the wheelchairs began to be distributed, finding wheelchairs to properly fit each individual became more and more difficult.
Then with only about 15-17 complete wheelchairs remaining, an amazing event began to unfold. Chris was in charge of going out to where the wheelchairs were lined up on either side of a walkway and selecting a wheelchair that could be properly fitted. A young girl, approximately 5 years of age, was next in line. Chris took some measurements on the little girl and went out to find a wheelchair. Sadly, Chris could not find any wheelchair of the right size for such a small child. Chris went back inside and had to tell the young girl and those who had brought her, that it didn't look promising as he was unable to find any wheelchair that would fit the girl's small frame. However, Chris indicated that the girl would be welcome to come to Chimaltenango and be custom fitted for a wheelchair at Bethel's wheelchair repair shop.
Sadly, this did not seem possible. The little girl's parents had actually known about the wheelchair distribution, but had not made it a priority to bring her themselves. Two young Christian ladies, knowing of the girl's need and the availability of the life changing wheelchairs, had taken in upon themselves to bring the girl in. The young ladies told of the little girl's situation; the parents did not spend much time on their little girl and hadn't wanted to even bother with bringing her in to the local distribution in Peten. The ladies knew that the parents would not be at all interested in a 12 hour bus trip from Peten to Chimaltenango. Hearing this, Chris decided to take one more look at the wheelchairs, even though he knew there would not be a child's size wheelchair to be found.
Chris went back and walked down the aisle between the wheelchairs that he had just walked moments before. However, there was still no wheelchair to be found that would be right for the waiting little girl. Chris once again had to turn around and go tell the girls how sorry he was that there just was no wheelchair that would fit. However, as Chris was talking, he suddenly felt an extremely strong feeling in his heart that he should go back yet once again and check to see if there might be a wheelchair for the girl. So Chris turned around and now for the third time walked along the same aisle between the wheelchairs that he had just walked twice before. And right there before his very eyes, right in the middle of the aisle stood a wheelchair that appeared to be the perfect size for the young girl. This was amazing for several reasons. Chris was in charge of moving all the wheelchairs personally, and this wheelchair simply had not been there before! And Chris had certainly not put it there! Chris knew immediately that God had done a miracle! Chris ran back to the girls and said "God just did a miracle!" The girls started crying, Chris was crying. And God's gift was so perfect, that when they sat the little girl into her very own wheelchair, not one single adjustment was needed, not one single turn of the adjusting wrench was required! It was an absolutely perfect fit from an absolutely perfect God!