New Life Center Zambia - A ministry of the United Methodist Church
Delbert's Moments

PET Story - What I Saw in that moment

March 3, 2006

Every PET Handicap Bike we give out is a story. However, something happen about 30 minutes ago that really blessed me and thought you would like to know about it too. It started a few days ago when Given (our housekeeper) went to Kitwe town shopping. She met a "young man" walking around on his hands. He had no legs to speak of. He is the SHOE REPAIRMAN in the local market place. She asked him how he was and talked with him for awhile. She was thinking, in the back of her mind, that we are now assembling PETs at the New Life Center. She didn't say anything to him about the PETs, only that, "God loves you and one day he will show you".

Then yesterday, as she was going to her church in town she saw this young man again crossing a very busy road near her. He was pulling himself across the road with his hands as fast as he could. She stopped and helped him a little to get off that road. She said, "That is too dangerous to cross there". But this young man didn't say a word. She asked him, "Are you going to church"? He said, with a disgusted voice, "I'm not one of those Christian and I don't go to church any place. People don't like to look at me". She asked him, "Do you know about Jesus and the cross". He said , "I heard the name, but didn't know what was so special about Him". Again she told him, "God loves you and he wants to show you".

This time Given felt she should mention the PETs, but was concerned about telling him without talking to me first. However, she asked if he had heard about these PET bikes? He said, "I heard about those bikes from a friend from a village just out of town". We gave a few PETs out there some weeks back. He asked her, "Where could I go to get one?". Again she was concerned about telling him without talking to me first, but she felt she must. So today, Monday, November 4, 2002, he found someone at the hospital that had a VERY OLD WHEELCHAIR and borrowed it. It took him all day, but he got here about four in the afternoon. Given (before hand) told me all about this young man's story and that he might be coming. She asked for forgiveness if she did something wrong. To which I replied, "ISN'T IT GREAT TO BE USED BY GOD!!". Her answer was only a BIG HAPPY SMILE!

This young man was worn out from his day long journey. He didn't speak much English so I asked Francis, our PET carpenter, to talk with him in the vernacular. And to tell this young man God loves him and share the story of Christ with him. Francis took over an hour, going over everything, including the rules about the PET (mainly it can never be sold). I asked Francis if he understood who Jesus was. He said, "This young man has had a very hard life and no one has told him about Jesus. He doesn't understand why someone would love him. I'm going to visit him the next time I'm in town". Then he rolled out one of the PETs he had just finished building. This young man looked stunned. He'd never seen anything like it in his life. Talk about your HAPPY CAMPER! It took him about one minute to master the art of driving it! Francis asked if we could give him a lift back into town. It was going to be dark soon and rain was in the air. Plus, he had this other wheelchair he had to return. So we loaded everything on top of the mini-bus and drove into Kitwe.

As we turned into the Market Place where he wanted out, THE REAL BLESSING OF THIS STORY BEGAN. About eight of his buddies saw him in the mini-bus and the PET on top. They all started running to the bus shouting happy comments to him. They all shock my hand and then started taking the PET off the top of the bus. They seemed so happy for him! However, I could tell they had been drinking a bit of the local beer. I'm sure our young man wasn't a stranger to this drink as well. Anyway, as I was getting back into the bus to leave, he asked me to wait a minute. He rolled over in his PET. He was ready to cry. In his broken English and broken voice he said, "GOD LOVES ME, THANK YOU". I held his hand and said, "Yes, God loves you, more than you'll ever know". Knowing I couldn't say much more, I got in and started to drive away. However, I looked back just in time to see him hold the hands of his buddies and bowed his head and started to pray. The people walking by even stopped and bowed their heads too. It only took me a second, but I saw in that moment.... a young man who most likely had to fight for every little thing he had..... Who most likely never prayed a word in his life.... Who most likely never heard anyone say to him "I love you".... Or who most likely never said to anyone "I love you".... Bowed his head (and I'm sure by now in tears), in front of all his buddies and the market place community, and said, Thank you GOD, I love you too..

I told Given & Francis about this when I got back home. They, too, almost started crying. They both told me they are going to town soon!!! We have our Community Bible Study here every Tuesday at 11 o'clock. I'm sure our Praise & Prayer time is going to be great tomorrow!! What a great day this has been!

Thought you would like to know,
--Delbert Groves