Making Choices

Today, I would like to introduce you to Isacka. We have known Isacka by sight for many years. He used to “walk” to town each morning at the same time my daughter, Sarah, walked to school. Isaak used to walk on his hands, he arranged his legs yoga style, put flipflops on his hands and walked with his body swinging between his arms. He walked about a three mile round trip into town and back each day. We never really met him back then but he was always smiling and pleasant. Sarah always greeted him with the expression, “Shikamoo” given to adults or people of importance to show respect.

Since we have arrived back in Tanzania this time we have actually met Isacka. He has told us that he got polio as a small child in the mid 1970’s and has not had use of his legs since then. He has managed to purchase a special adult tricycle that is pedaled by hand. He stores his tricycle at our compound each evening and continues up the very steep hill to his home the way he used to travel; walking on his hands.

He asked permission to continue to store his tricycle at our compound when we arrived back in Mwanza. Isaak has made some good choices in his life; he has refused to become a beggar or look for handouts or use his handicap as a reason to be lazy or even to feel sorry for himself.

He has a shoe shine/repair business on one of the corners in town and goes to work every day. He is married to a sweet lady and they have three children together. Isacka is a Christian and attends church every week. He is happy and well adjusted; he looks you in the eye and smiles and is thankful for the blessings he has been given. Wow, his attitude should be a pattern for all of us who don’t have to walk through life on our hands and yet can find nothing to be thankful for.

Isacka is saving money to buy a “pikipiki”; it’s a sort of motor scooter with an enclosed body that can carry another person as well. He wants to start a little taxi service with his Pikipiki and will shuttle people around town. He would give up his shoe repair business and, as an extra bonus, he would be able to ride his pikipiki all the way up the long steep hill to his home and could give up walking on his hands. He’s making plans, like most of us, for his old age when he will not have the strength in his arms to carry his body along the roads.

He has saved about half of the money he needs to buy his pikipiki; we are praying with him that the rest will come in soon.

Be blessed today, and if you are able to walk upright on your own two feet, be extra thankful today.

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