New Life, New Hope

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — The first time we saw her, I noticed she was a bit shorter than me. It was then I realized she was on her knees, excited to see a visitor.

We informed Luz Velasco that she would be one of the beneficiaries of a new wheelchair from Operation Blessing, done in cooperation with Free Wheelchair Mission and Adventist Development and Relief Agency. The moment she heard the news, a broad smile spread across her face.

Last May 21, Operation Blessing distributed wheelchairs to 12 individuals with disabilities in Cabanatuan, and Luz was one of them.

Not an Easy Past

When she was three, Luz was diagnosed with a disease that made her muscles move involuntarily, making her twitch uncontrollably all the time.

Going places can be tiring since Luz has to crawl on her knees. But her disability does not hinder her from attending church regularly. If she is not able to crawl, she is carried by either her nephew or her sister-in-law Ruby.

At the age of 31, Luz was sexually assaulted by a stranger in her own home while she was alone sleeping. The last thing she could remember was she blacked out and found herself naked in the morning. Because of that incident she now has a 13-year-old son, who works in a duck farm and goes home during weekends.

Her brother Mario lives across her house and is constantly helping her get by every day.

A Better Future

Luz arrived at the church with her brother accompanying her. She sat on her new wheelchair and Mario wheeled her in.

As she waited for the program to start, people talked to her, and they shared their stories to one another. You could feel their joy just by watching them from a distance.

“Para akong nabunutan ng tinik nung nagka-wheelchair ako. Naginhawaan ang puso ko,” (It’s as if a thorn in my heart was removed when I received the wheelchair. My heart was relieved) said Luz.

Ruby approached us during the program and asked if we can give Luz a sari-sari store as her source of income. Since her home is just beside the school gate, her store would surely be full of students during recess or lunch.

Operation Blessing granted her request. On the same day, Ruby, along with Operation Blessing staff, went to the supermarket to buy things to fill up a sari-sari store, like food and toiletries.

When we arrived at her house, Luz was surprised to see us with boxes full of groceries, and immediately tears welled down her face. She promised that she will take good care of her new livelihood.

Starting a new life seemed exciting for her, and when asked how she felt about all the blessings she had received, Luz simply said, “Napakadakila Niya. Lahat ng mga hiling ko ay natupad.” (He is great! All my wishes were granted.)

(Contributed by Ana Pascual)

February 2012
Earth-Shattering Tragedies
Nothing Can Shake Us
Both Young and Old Hit by Sendong

January 2012
Cleaning Up After Sendong
Missions That Save Lives
A Magical Christmas
Healing After the Storm
Holiday of Happiness
Iligan: Hope and Heroism
Cagayan de Oro: Tales of Survival and Compassion

November 2011
The Hat Weavers of Jao
The Right Tools for Recovery
Keeping the Malong Alive

October 2011
Operation Blessing Uplifts Flooded Calumpit
When We Need You The Most
Rainbow After the Flood
Surprise for a Survivor
A Heart Full of Hope
Worse Than Ondoy
Small Things Go a Long Way
Aid Arrives in Nueva Ecija

September 2011
Dreams and Answered Prayers
Merry, Joyful Mary Joy
Sharing Hope Through a Toy
Caring for the Seniors

August 2011
Erick Can Smile Now
Saving Grace
God’s Mercy Amidst Life’s Tragedy

July 2011
Winmark Finally Wins
Life When the River Rises
New Life Beyond a Broken Bridge
A Timely Blessing
OB First to Bring Relief to Hardest Hit of Davao Flood Victims

June 2011
Mission Behind Bars
Weaver on Wheels
Helping Out Grandma Potter
Sewing Her Way Out of Poverty
Enrico is All Grown Up
A Mother’s Honorable Dream
Wheel Marks on the Sand

May 2011
Meet Determined Dexter
How Precious is an OB Well?
A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness: Love Your Neighbor
"It's Like a New Life!"
Feet of My Own
Dancing On One Leg

April 2011
Something To Make Her Smile
Grandma's New Boat
Moving Forward
Everything Will Be All Right

March 2011
Operation Blessing Leaves Legacy Among Payatas Kids
Freed From Agony
He Could Have Been Anybody’s Dad
Seed of Hope

February 2011
Operation Blessing Moves to New Home in Pasig
Relief That Restores Hope
A Chance to Show Compassion
A Simple Wish Granted

January 2011
Believing the Impossible
A Stool for a Cane
Keeping the Vow She Made
A Gift Better Than Gold

December 2010
Road to Recovery
God Bless Ye Merry Little Men
Abandoned But Not Forgotten
There’s Someone Who Loves Me
No, Not Abandoned!

November 2010
God Cares, Still!
Just One Touch
Touching an Orphan’s Heart
Faithful in Every Season

October 2010
One Unforgettable Visit
One Heart at a Time
Mixed Rice and Toothy Grins
Blessed Beyond Measure
A Day of Enchantment
Someone to Love As We Grow Old

September 2010
Operation Blessing Serves the Elderly in Cavite
A Handicapped Woman’s Beautiful Feet
New Life, New Hope
Operation Blessing Helps Out in Damayang Lagi Fire
Operation Blessing Brings Smiles Amidst Fire Tragedy
From Hopeless End to Endless Hope

August 2010
Sewing a Better Life
Jhan-Jhan’s Priceless Gift
Operation Blessing Responds To Caloocan Fire
Operation Blessing Kids Graduate with Honors and Hope
Thankful Mothers of Payatas
Repair Skills Restore Hope and Dignity
The Best Gift of All

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