Welfare moments: Life-changing gift

The Sunday after receiving a wheelchair from the Church, a disabled Church member in Kinshasa, DR Congo, shared his testimony.

He had received many blessings since joining the Church, Jean Kibuya said, but the day before he had received a blessing he had never even hoped for — a wheelchair.

Brother Kibuya needed a wheelchair for a long time but knew he would never be able to afford one. Now, with mobility, he would be able to find work, he said.

He gave thanks for the many blessings that accompany his membership in the Church and especially for the day that a wheelchair changed his life.

He was one of 25 people, with varying needs, to receive a Church-distributed wheelchair at a ceremony held at a community center in Kinshasa. An additional 25 chairs were delivered to recipients who had no means of transportation to the center.

Each of the recipients had his or her own story:

• A mother of five children can now be outside with her family for play and work.

• A tailor, who contracted polio in 1975, can now transport himself and his sewing machine to work each day. His income has increased.

• A student will not have to miss school because others could not transport him there.

• A man who lives with his grandmother opened a stand in front of his house to sell goods. He now has an income.

• A woman who has spent her life walking on her hands now has the mobility to seek work.

Although unique, each story is woven with a similar thread: the life-changing wheelchair had made all the difference, the recipients said.

"Having a chair is a great blessing in my life," said Brother Kibuya. "I never thought I would ever have a chair as they cost too much. I am able to go to Church every week." — Sarah Jane Weaver