Hajime longed for a wheelchair. His independence had been stripped away from him after becoming paralyzed from the waist down. He needed people to carry him whenever he needed or wanted to go somewhere. He was bound to whatever place he sat. And now he watched as his wife took on the role he once had as provider.
A wheelchair would give him back some sense of freedom. It would help him to be able to care for himself and to function on his own without worrying about becoming a burden to his family. But Hajime knew that his dream of having a wheelchair was just that—a dream—and that his wife’s meager income could never produce enough money to purchase one.
A Man in Need
Before Hajime’s paralysis, he and his wife, Aafje, struggled to meet their daily needs. Despite the small, government-provided room they lived in, their finances were strained, and the couple often went without necessary things.
After Hajime’s paralysis, their financial situation worsened, and Aafje was forced to work to keep the family afloat. The couple’s three sons worked but kept their earnings to themselves, unwilling to help their parents in their time of need.
Hajime had been attending a small church near their home led by Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Mariano. Hajime and Aafje enjoyed learning about Jesus and getting to know Pastor Mariano and the other church members. As Hajime and Aafje continued attending the church, Pastor Mariano’s heart ached for Hajime and his struggle, and he desired to help his new friend obtain a wheelchair.
Later that year, Pastor Mariano’s church held a couple of gift distributions, providing 215 families in the area with essential items, and Hajime was one of the recipients. With the help of Pastor Mariano, Hajime was brought to the church to pick up his new wheelchair. Hajime’s face radiated joy and his hands trembled with emotion as he received his most-longed-for gift.
“I am grateful to you for providing me a wheelchair,” Hajime expressed from the seat of his new wheelchair. “I have not been able to walk for a long time due to the disability of my physical body, but after receiving the wheelchair at least I can go around and do my work. I thank you for providing me this wheelchair.”
Hajime was so grateful to the church for meeting his need and helping to give him back the independence he had longed for. Now he can get from place to place without having to ask for help, and he can visit his relatives. He continues to attend Pastor Mariano’s church and grow in his knowledge of Jesus. Hajime tells everyone he meets of how the church provided him with his wheelchair and gifted him with newfound hope.