Hope on Wheels
Helping Those Who Can’t Help Themselves, One Smile at a Time
Bridges of Hope Serves in Colombia
by Dr. Alfredo Lopez
Jesus Rodriguez captured our heart when we first visited him in Nelson Mandela.
After an initial assessment, it was clear that this young man was suffering from congenital paraplegia, a spinal cord condition which effects multiple limbs of the body. This condition was secondary to a peripartum injury which effects brain function. His mother mentioned that Jesus had several instances of sacral ulcers or a breakdown of the tissue in the skin which causes blister-like sores. In addition to his health struggles, this young boy obviously struggled with mobility, which greatly effected his ability to function at school. We asked his mother if providing a wheelchair would be helpful to the family and she responded, “of course!” When we returned to the States, we ordered a new pediatric wheelchair and sent it back to Colombia with Diego and Diana Bahamon who were headed there on vacation. These pictures are a reflection of the changes that Bridges of Hope International can bring to one school, one family, one child. His classmates were thrilled to see Jesus moving around and the smile on Jesus’ face is the reason we choose to serve with Bridges of Hope, to see lives transformed and radically changed. Bridges of Hope International was founded as a non-profit organization, focused on serving the needs of some of the most vulnerable and under-served populations throughout Latin America, just like Jesus and his family. Each of our short-term trips to Central and South America are designed to bring hope to the hopeless and helpless, being sensitive to the needs of one person at a time. This year’s medical trip to Cartagena, Colombia in late January, provided a wonderful platform for our team of 63 people (33 Americans and 30 Colombians) to provide medical, dental, vision and surgical care for 2,281 Colombians in need of loving care. Not only were the lives of Jesus and his family and classmates changed, but our lives as God’s servants to His people were also impacted greatly, especially when we see the smiles in these pictures. Those smiles are our motivation to go back and serve others in Cartagena. For all who pray for and contribute to this ministry, we thank you for your generosity in serving so many needy people there. It is a blessing to be a part of Bridges of Hope, radically changing lives one smile at a time.