Our Mission Team that is in from Atlanta, Vertical Life Church, helped make Jimmy's day at the port perfect!
It has been several months since Jimmy's last surgery. Last time I was visiting, I told Jimmy we wanted to do something special just for him, an outing! I told him he could go anywhere he wanted to go.... He chose the port in Managua. We stopped by his house to pick him, his mom and one of his sisters up. Our team from Vertical Life Church got to meet Jimmy and his entire family! They brought shoes and gifts for all of them. We took, clothes, food, milk, candy, shoes, toys and other supplies for them all to enjoy!
After, we took Jimmy to the port to watch the boats leave and see the volcanoes across Lake Nicaragua. Jimmy has not left his village community (except to go to the hospital) in 6 years. He tried to put on a brave face, but his heart was racing and his hands were shaking. I could sense he was uncomfortable and asked him what I could do to help calm his nerves.
Jimmy proceeded to tell me that it had been so long since he has been out of his house since the accident, that he had forgotten what it was like. He didn't know what to expect or how to act. He was so nervous to leave his comfort zone… His wheel chair.
It took 4 people to help lift Jimmy out of his wheel chair and into the bus. I knew this made him feel uncomfortable to have to rely on everyone's assistance. The whole time I assured him that this was all about him and we wouldn't want it any other way.
We arrived at the port. The group started walking ahead, but Jimmy called me aside to talk. Brace yourself for what comes next.
Jimmy told me that we had already done to much. See, it cost 20 cordobas (less than a dollar) to get in. He insisted that we didn't need to spend any more money on him, that this was already more than enough… less than a dollar was more than enough in his mind.
I told him no don't be silly and once again reassured him that this day was his day. He grabbed my hand and said, "Amanda, before you and your family came into my life, I had given up. The Dr. lied to me. He (the Dr) told me that I would be able to walk again after my 1st surgery 6 years ago. I have never been able to walk again since. I thought life was over. The Dr. just sent me home to die. I had no desire to live anymore. I had stopped breathing and they declared me dead when the accident happen. When I couldn't walk anymore, I felt so much pain inside and wished that I had never started breathing again. You and your family, are the only people who care about me and help take care of me and my family. Until you came and saved me, I had no purpose and no reason to live anymore. You have given me a purpose and a reason to keep going."
I mean, I just can't… What do you say… How do you respond…
I told Jimmy that it was by divine intervention that we became friends. None of this was by chance or accident. That he would forever be a part of my life and that him and his family would forever by my family.
Jimmy was able to express how he has been impacted by us, but there are not enough words in the English or Spanish language combined to ever be able to express how he has forever changed my life.
Never turn your back on a chance to make a difference. You never know how a hello or a smile can end up changing someone's life forever. No act of kindness is to small. Humanity knows no borders when love and kindness are an international language.