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Faith on wheels: Despite injury, church member never loses smile

QUITO, Ecuador — The basement of the North Quito Church of Christ is abuzz with a sort of controlled chaos.
As their parents listen to a sermon one floor above, children sing, chatter and squirm in their seats during the church’s youth class.
Yolanda Mena Tigse rolls through the crowd in her wheelchair, directing adult volunteers as they prepare the children’s art projects. Then she’s off to the kitchen to get snacks ready.
She’s in motion constantly, and the smile never leaves her face.
“The love of God is bright,” she said. “I try to tell people how God is working in every person.”
Her faith was tested about four and a half years ago when a bus hit her. Her legs were crushed, and doctors doubted that she would walk again — or be able to have children.
She’s done both. After years of physical therapy, she’s able to take a few steps outside her wheelchair. She and her husband, Pablo, are the proud parents of 13-month-old Jahaziel.
The couple chose the name from 2 Chronicles 20:14 — a verse Tigse can recall by memory. It tells of a time when Israel faced invasion by an overwhelming force of Moabites and Ammonites.
The spirit of the Lord fell on Jahaziel, who told his people to take courage, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Since the accident, Tigse said she’s been overwhelmed with support from her fellow Christians in Ecuador — and medical mission teams from the U.S.
“I am so thankful for every person who has prayed for me,” she said. “My faith is growing every day.”
At the same time, Tigse has set an example of faith for her fellow believers, said Jauna Reeger, a missionary in nearby Tabacundo, Ecuador.
“She’s been smiling through it all,” Reeger said.

Filed under: International

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