Once in a while, we have the opportunity to be involved in something especially enjoyable. Today was one of those days.
But let me start a couple of days ago. A gentleman was wheeled into the Church Building in a borrowed wheelchair. It belonged to a friend of his who was in the hospital and couldn't use it for a while. The wheelchair was an old one of ours but was pretty badly beaten up and the rubber on the wheels, though there, was completely off both rims, while the wheels were running on what was left of the metal rims.
His friend had told him about us and suggested that he might be able to get one for himself if he came to see us. There happened to be one wheelchair left when he came.
I arrived just as he was leaving. I greeted him and he started crying as he waved his hand and did his best to express his gratitude, knowing that I would not understand his Mongolian. I understood just fine.
All the way down the sidewalk he kept waving and saying, "Biyartla" (thank you).
Then, for the past two weeks or so, the mission has been working on clearing 750 new wheelchairs through customs. This, by the way, is just the most recent of such shipments. The Church has provided thousands of new wheelchairs to Mongolia alone, with many thousands more going to other areas of Asia. Just one of the worthwhile places that our Church donations help with.
Today, a special ceremony was held to, in part, help people understand what the Church does here and to let others know we are here to help. A number of those who badly needed wheelchairs were invited to the ceremony.
It was held at a building called The Children's Center. The news media was invited and several others with whom we try to form good associations so that the work we do can move forward with greater ease as they, in turn, learn us and become more inclined to help us in our efforts.
First, wheelchairs were unpacked and the last of the assembly completed. These are some of our missionaries who came to help. We could not have done it without them.
As time for the ceremony drew near, those receiving wheel chairs made their way here the best they could. The Children's Center is centrally located and relatively easy for them to get to.
The ones who could, came on crutches. Others in borrowed wheelchairs. Still others were carried in, some by those missionaries in the previous picture.
This father on his son's back is about the only way this particular gentleman has had of getting around. Without wheelchairs, their choices have been extremely limited and their sense of worth often almost non-existent.
In the pictures, you can see one gentleman with no legs, children who have little control of their bodies and whose parents have felt the burden of needing to carry them wherever they went. These wheelchairs were a much needed and appreciated blessing.
We will use almost all of those 750 wheelchairs within the next couple of weeks. So, we will order another batch in a couple of months!
We continue to be very grateful to our Heavenly Father for allowing us to come here. It has been lonely and difficult sometimes. And it has been tremendously rewarding and wonderful most of the time!
It has been a good day today.