“We need a wheelchair,” the voice of Dr. Shellenberger, a retired physician, told Paul. He explained in further detail, “This wheelchair is for an older man with no feet and legs, and it needs plenty of room in the back and seat.”
As the executive director of an association of more than one hundred churches, Paul called the chairman of their ministry for medical equipment. Within a week, they had used parts from two older wheelchairs to make one wheelchair meeting Dr. Shellenberger’s specifications.
When Paul delivered the wheelchair, Dr. Shellenberger said, “Paul, I will be taking this chair with me when our group goes to Siberia.”
“Great! We’ll be praying for you and your church group on this trip to Siberia.” Paul said but privately he wondered, “How in the world are they going to get that wheelchair from here to their remote destination?” He knew from his experience the obstacles and hassles of taking unusual items through customs.
Dr. Shellenberger’s plan was soon revealed to Paul. One of their members of the volunteer group was pregnant. Dr. Shellenberger simply wrote out a statement, much like a prescription, for the airline and customs officials explaining that the condition of the expectant mother required to ride in the wheelchair through the airports between connecting flights, which, of course, would necessitate her having the wheelchair aboard the flights.
All the airlines were very cooperative in the meeting the special needs of this expectant mother. No one questioned the radiant and rested expectant mother, and getting through customs was an absolute breeze.
After arriving in Siberia, the group traveled to the remote village that was the location of their work assignment. Just to be on the safe side, all the while, the expectant mother took her dutiful place in the wheelchair. As they approached the place where they knew the older gentleman would be sitting on the ground begging for food, excited anticipation filled each member of the group. The expectant mother maneuvered herself up beside him and stepped energetically away from the wheelchair. Several men picked up the double amputee and placed him in the specially prepared wheelchair.
With very little instruction, the overwhelmed man soon was proudly navigating the wheelchair everywhere – his sense of independence and dignity soaring! Now he was as radiant as the expectant mother.
When people ask the Siberian gentleman how he got this wheelchair, he replies with a smile, “Special delivery.” Where there’s a will, there is a way.