One of the most fun things we do is take leg braces donated by parents and children at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School for children with severe disabilities in Riverton, Utah. We’ve done this for several years now and one of our greatest joys is seeing children walk for the first time. After receiving their braces, the children need new shoes to fit over them. So we get to take them shopping.
One time we took a young mother and her four-year-old son, who has spina bifida. While we were looking at shoes for the little boy, the mother walked over to the adult section of the store. She picked up a pair of tennis shoes and just looked at them. Francisco stepped over and asked her, “Would you like some new shoes?”
Like many people in the jungle, she was wearing flip-flops. “Can I?” she asked. “Can I really?” Francisco replied, “Sure you can.”
“I’ve never had new shoes before,” she said. She was probably in her early twenties. Tears came to her eyes, then to Francisco’s, then to mine. She walked out of the store with a new pair of shoes and we walked out with a deepening sense of gratitude, a growing sense of mission.
The people we meet in Peru give us so much more than we could ever give to them. Muchas gracias, mamacita. Muchas gracias, los ninos de Kauri Sue. Muchas gracias, amigos.