His story of suffering and loss might have ended in more tragedy if it weren’t for the Hand in Hand Orphan School. The school took Joachin in and offered him the education he needed to make a future for himself. At Hand in Hand, Joachin learned about Jesus and joyfully chose to follow him. He had discovered the right foundation for his life and was receiving the training to build on it, but there was still one tool he needed: a wheelchair.
The Hand in Hand staff saw Joachin’s need as an opportunity to encourage and disciple their orphan students. Instead of turning to donors for the money, they challenged the children to be the church and help their brother in need.
The theme for this 2016-17 school year is Sacrifice, and every Friday for eight weeks, 2,000 orphan students from all 43 schools went out to earn pennies by selling mangos and firewood and by doing small jobs around the community. Working together, the children raised nearly $300, the equivalent of a year’s salary in the Central African Republic! The money was used to purchase a sturdy, reliable Roughrider Wheelchair, which is designed for off-road use.
Children in the United States have answered the call as well. Kids from the New Beginnings Grace Brethren Church in Pennsylvania and the Grace Chapel Ministries in Maryland raised money to meet the additional cost to get the wheelchair custom made for Joachin to ensure it is comfortable. God willing, the chair will be delivered to Joachin in Bangui this May, and Joachin will no longer need the knee pads he has been using to get around.
The body of Christ at work is a beautiful thing. Not only will Joachin have the transport he needs to be self-sufficient, but hundreds of kids have learned the importance of giving and the power of unity. May we all learn from their example.
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving” –Amy Carmichael