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.
Judith, Martin, + I spent time praying over, Jose Antonio. His body laying lifeless, emaciated, and weakened with no verbal communication. However, while we were praying for Jose Antonio his eyes opened for the 1st time when he heard someone say “Jimmy”, and I truly believe Jose Antonio heard every word + prayer we spoke over him in Christ’s name.
Jimmie's family shared with us that Jose Antonio was extremely concerned about what would happen to Jimmy. He was the only one strong enough to get Jimmy out of bed + into his wheelchair. He was the only one who took Jimmy out of the house so he was not trapped in a bed every second of every day of his entire life with his only hobby of ceiling staring while serving a life sentence of paraplegic confinement to his bed. He was Jimmy’s biggest fan, support system, companion, and encourager. He was Jimmy’s person. •
This photo was one of our first visits to meet Jimmy in 2009. You can see his father beaming with a smile behind him, because he knew God had heard his prayers and brought the right people to shine His light through and help Jimmy.
The last time I saw Jose Antonio was a drastic difference from this photo; but this photo is how I think we should all remember him as, the father who loved his son unconditionally and who was always right behind him to support and encourage him through the many adversities they have faced.
I don’t make promises often, but this time I did. With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I sat next to Jose Antonio's failing body, held his hand, and promised him that Jimmy would always be taken care of. God brought Jimmy in our lives 9 years ago for a reason and from the first day we met, his family was our family too. I promised him we would help take the weight he had been carrying and would find Jimmy the quality of life he deserved so that he could look down from heaven, pain free, and be proud. Although, Jose Antonio couldn’t communicate, I believe he heard me and I plan to make good of my promises.
Several days later Jose Antonio lost his fight to liver and kidney failure and passed away.
Real talks... let's talk about what a gut punch moment this is. Reality is I’m completely unsure of how I’m going to fulfill this promise I made; but I feel a peace and know Gods got this.
This moment with Jimmy reminded me that prayer is powerful. Sometimes when we pray, we expect God to answer our prayer in only one specific way. Jimmy’s prayers are for healing and health. Although Jimmies prayers may not be answered by a miraculous immediate healing of flesh, I do think that Jimmy’s prayers will be answered by God sending the right hands to use as tools to restore Jimmy’s health and quality of life. Jimmy needs and is praying for a miracle. We are all praying that Jimmy receives that miracle.
God will make a way by bringing the right people to read this post and answer the call to help. I’m putting it out here. Jimmy needs your help to have a quality of life restored for him. This family deserves to know they matter and aren’t forgotten.
If you are reading this, I challenge you to ask yourself,
"How Can I help Jimmy have a life worth living"?
So with this I ask you, will you be the hands that God uses as a tool to answer jimmy’s prayers. Will you be the miracle we are all praying for?
If this is your career field, you know a doctor who specializes in spinal injuries, you have capabilities to build, supplies to give, encouragement to share, financial means, or anything to help Jimmy have a quality of life (nothing is to small or to big) and you have felt God tugging on your heart as you have read this, please email me! Amanda@wmoc.org
Together we can be the light God uses to perform miracles.