Newsletter: God Uses a Gunshot
Fourteen year-old Rey awoke one June morning and headed to work at the Jeepney repair shop. Forced to quit school after 4th grade because his family didn’t have enough to eat, Rey felt lucky to have a job.
On his 10 AM break, Rey walked to a nearby store to buy a snack and a cold drink. As he reached for the entry door, he heard an explosion, felt a searing pain in his back and crumpled to the ground. Rey had been shot in the back, his spinal cord severed.
When his assailants rolled him over to finish him off, they realized they had shot the wrong kid. Rey was not the “enemy” they planned to eliminate. They fled the scene leaving Rey barely clinging to life –a life forever changed.
A year later a despondent Rey wished the bad guys had finished him off. A paraplegic, fifteen year-old boy with no future… what was there to live for? “Nothing!” Rey decided, and took a razor blade to his wrists.
With his life rapidly draining away, his lola (grandmother) “happened” upon him. She tied a rag around his wrist and called for help. Rey survived the suicide attempt. God had other plans.
Today, Rey praises God. He sits in his wheel chair and calls the “shooting” a blessing. With a smile, he explains that the “accident” stopped him from going “bad”. Living in such extreme poverty, he had started to hang out with gang members because they had pesos and said he could too.
How did Rey come from flirting with life on the streets to giving his whole heart to God? Unable to support his family as a tricycle driver, Rey’s father sent his wife, Rey, and 6 younger kids to live on another island where the cost of living was cheaper. Family there would help, and he would send them P600 (about $14) a week to live on.
The island was Negros Oriental, and that move was no accident!
God knew about the Great Physician Rehab Center in Dumaguete and they had the means to help Rey learn to care for himself and would supply him with his first wheel chair. However, Rey’s life was still empty! What purpose could he possibly have confined to a wheel chair? Then his wheel chair broke, and he had no hope at all. But God orchestrated a “miracle”.
He met people from a new ministry called Fruit Bearers. They loved God and demonstrated God’s love to him.
Through their care (thanks to giving people in Montana and Duvall, WA), he received a new wheel chair, barber training, and even a chair where he can rotate his customers.
Amazed by God’s care, Rey gave his whole heart to Him. He asked to be baptized (see picture) and receive a Bible. Judy and I were so excited, we rode a bus for 3½ hours to support him.
His joyful countenance touched both of us, especially when we realized what this baptism cost him. When he expressed his “radical” love of the Lord, his whole family and close friends turned against him. In fact, none of his family or friends came to his baptism.
What are Rey’s goals now? He plans to earn his living by barbering while he studies his Bible. He believes God has given him a purpose. He dreams of attending Bible college and then spending his life sharing how God used a gun shot injury to change his life.
How will Rey continue to grow in his Faith? He has a Bible and Fruit Bearers Chaplains speaking into his life. Every week, they travel 7 hours (3 1/2 each way) to hold church in Mabinay.
What a wonderful story of Transformation, Hope and Faith, and we all had a part in it.
Truly our working together as one body gave a lonely boy a new life. Thanks to everyone–those who gave for the new wheel chair, those who gave for the chaplain’s salary, those who gave for Rey’s Bible, as well as the Philippine staff who actually meet with Rey weekly.
Fortunately Rey’s story is not the only one happening. Many other stories of Jesus touching the lives of the needy on Negros Oriental are being written. Please remember, your support is an essential part of those stories.
Wes and Judy Robbie
PO Box 833
Duvall, WA 98019
PS Right now, Fruit Bearers has a specific need. Our chaplains’ only mode of transportation is a borrowed motorcycle. They use it six days a week over rough terrain spreading God’s Word. We really need to buy them their own cycle for their ministry. A new Honda 125cc cycle will cost about $1,800. Would you like to help in this important project? If so, please send your gift to the above address or give on line at Donate Now. Thanks.