Chuy’s mind drifted to last summer when he had an opportunity to share his testimony during a worship service at his children’s home, Rancho de los Niños. When it was time to speak, he navigated his way to the stage, stopping just behind the mic stand. For the next ten minutes, Chuy poured out his heart, sharing about his life at the children’s home and the incredible hope he had found in God. It was at Rancho de los Ninos that Chuy first experienced God’s redeeming love and developed deep meaningful friendships.
“Chuy, your new chair will be here tomorrow.” His mind focused back on the present as he heard Chad, a Back2Back staff member. In order to look Chuy in the eye during a conversation, Chad had to lift Chuy’s chin.
Chuy is outgoing and hilarious. He has hundreds of Facebook friends and loves to interact with Back2Back mission trip guests who visit the home. He is passionate about cooking and wants to be a chef one day. A constant jokester with an infectious, upbeat personality, he makes any visitor to the home feel comfortable. Seventeen-year-old Chuy also has cerebral palsy. Due to a lack of muscle control, he had to be fitted with a custom wheelchair to hold his body upright. Chuy grinned. “The chair will be here tomorrow?!” he exclaimed, “It’s gonna be great! I can’t wait!”
Chuy had lived at Rancho de los Niños for a number of years. In December, he was reunited with his family. Unfortunately, due to inadequate care, the government ordered Chuy out of his home. He returned to Rancho this past June.
Prior to moving back with his family, Chuy had received his own custom-made wheelchair. However, when he returned to Rancho this summer, his expensive, custom-made wheelchair had disappeared. He returned to Rancho in an ill-fitted generic chair, slumped over against a pillow. He leaned his left arm on the armrest to keep himself upright. Seeing him in such disarray required immediate action—he was taken to a specialist to be fitted for a new wheelchair. Days later, Chuy received his second custom-made wheelchair. Use of a properly fitted wheelchair allows Chuy to feel in control of his body and interact with those around him.
“Fitting Chuy in his new wheelchair is something I won’t forget,” Chad recalls. “I had the privilege of adjusting the chair for him and stabilizing his torso. When he was able to sit up and look me in the eye, it felt like Christmas morning.”
Chuy continues to make those around him laugh and make friends with everyone he meets. But, these days, his smile seems a little bigger. He sees and experiences the love of God through the people around him every day. And he’s reminded of the hope he spoke about last summer. As he runs his hands over the arms of his black chair, his faith in God is unwavering. Chuy is confident he can depend on God to meet his needs because He does indeed have a good plan for his life.
By Chad Huber, Back2Back Mazatlan, Mexico Field Staff
Recently, one of the older girls who lives at Rancho de los Ninos Children’s Home realized that a very special friend was visiting her again. Fifteen-year old Cinthya met Tracey when she visited Mazatlan with a mission group from Riverview Church in 2013. Tracey has a passion for speaking life and affirmation into the lives of teenage girls. She makes a point to stay in touch with them by sending notes, pictures and encouraging them on their social media pages. When Cinthya saw that Tracey had returned for a visit, she ran into her arms and wept. This is what it looks like to go after hearts with love. You never know how much power your encouragement holds in the life of a young person like Cinthya.
It’s hard to put into words how amazing yesterday was for the Back2Back Mazatlan staff! We spent the day serving at Rancho de Los Ninos, a children’s home in Mazatlan that caters to orphans with special needs. Our staff started by cleaning their bathrooms and floors while the children were at school. They needed some attention to say the least. Then after the children returned home, we pulled out the Christmas decorations and that’s when the real fun began. We were so excited to spread Christmas cheer to the children during what could otherwise be a difficult time of year.
A few especially sweet moments are etched in my memory: Victor’s sweet smile the entire time we were hanging Christmas lights on the tree. Jesus Tigre and Julian, two boys who are wheelchair bound, so excited to touc h all of the decorations. Ricky helping me put HIS ornament on the tree and sitting right by the stereo as it blasted Christmas music the entire time. Decorating gingerbread houses which were quickly sampled by the children. Carina and Carlitos eager to help put the ornaments on the tree, putting several ornaments all on the same branch. The older boys helping us reach the top of the tree and helping us hang paper chain garland over the whole house. This day will forever be one of my favorite memories of serving. Bringing Christmas cheer to children’s homes is a simple, yet powerful way to show Christ’s love and communicate the true spirit of Christmas.
This time of year, we’re especially thankful for you! Thank you for coming alongside us with your support, as we serve orphans in Mazatlan! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!