In 2009, one of our World Missions Outreach Community Outreach Leaders sent an urgent request about a man who had been crushed in an avalanche and was in desperate need of a doctor. By the grace of God, we just so happened to have a medical team staying with us and they were willing to answer the desperate attempt to find help. That Summer was the first time I met my now forever friend, Jimmy!
Jimmy was paralyzed from the waist down, never to walk again, never to work again, and confined to a small cot that his family made. Jimmy and his family did not own a real bed at this time, just a small cot that was a couple inches off the ground. When World Missions Outreach heard about Jimmy’s story, there was no question, we were already out the door and on the way.
Though the years, I have spent a lot of time with Jimmy.
It is one thing to be alive, but a completely different thing to actually live!
Jimmy and I are about same age; because of that, I constantly find myself overwhelmed with empathy and sometimes even guilt. I can't even imagine the emotional and mental strength that resides inside Jimmy. Overnight, he lost his freedom and was destined for a life that would never step outside of a home made cot again.
I didn’t want to help Jimmy stay alive, I wanted to help Jimmy live and find a quality of life that was worth being alive for.
Every time I have friends or a team come to Nicaragua, we go see Jimmy! We always make sure that Jimmy has a new wheelchair each year, food every month, and medical supplies when needed. We got him a real bed and proper bedding to help with bed sores. We built him a ramp into his house, so he could actually go outside. There really isn’t much that I would not do for Jimmy.
Jimmy is a true fighter and I have never heard him once complain about his circumstances. He is always smiling and always optimistic. He is my inspiration on many levels in life. Now, I know no one is invincible, and Jimmy does fight depression quietly in shadows. Who wouldn’t? However, Jimmy is not bitter and he needs no pity. I truly believe he is one of the strongest humans I know.
I am not sure why bad things happen to good people, but I do know that these hard trials are the moments that define a person. I shared with Jimmy that there truly was not a day I had not been praying for him while away and that I would never stop caring about him. I reminded him that he was a warrior that has overcome more adversities than most people ever will in their entire life. I emphasized the fact that he has come this far and that none of us would allow him to give up now.
Why do I put my heart and soul into everything for what God is doing through World Missions Outreach? For people like Jimmy. Jimmies circumstances are tough. Tough to see, tough to watch, tough to know. They are unfair, and I don’t have any good answer as to why tragedy struck Jimmy nine years ago and he became a paraplegic.
What I do know is that God has given me the ability through World Missions Outreach to help change Jimmies quality of life. Jimmy doesn’t need me to be a voice for him. He has his own voice that needs no one to help him use it. we are here simply to help elevate his voice, so you can hear him and his story.
This time when we went to see Jimmy, I could tell there was a vacancy in his eyes. That’s when I learned Jimmy’s father, Jose Antonio was days from dying.