The Broken Bones of Candelario Opened the Door

Over ten years ago when Candelario was still a young boy, he was herding the goats along the steep side of a mesa that dropped off into the depths of the canyon. As he was moving along the edge of the precipice with the goats, a rock gave way under his foot and he began sliding and rolling down the steep slope. The slope abruptly gave way to a nearly vertical cliff over which Candelario tumbled and hurtled to the bottom where another inclined formed and then dropped off in a cliff again. The rocky slope stopped his descent, but it was a 120 ft. drop. He was unconscious and had broken many bones in his body and legs including some compound fractures. His life was hanging by a thread.IMG_1521

A Tarahumara lady who had witnessed his fall ran to inform his father, but his father did not know what to do. A day later the men put together a team and began transporting him by foot to the nearest hospital sixteen hours away. At the time, this was a new mission hospital run by Mexico Medical Mission. There he spent about a year recovering and undergoing multiple surgeries to repair the shattered bones in his legs. The bones in his left leg were never able to be rejoined naturally, so a plate will remain with him for the rest of his life. Even with the plate, his left leg ended up about three inches shorter than the right. He now has to use a special orthopedic shoe with a large sole to compensate for his shorter leg.

After the year spent in the hospital, he still could not return home on his own as it required walking for many hours over rough terrain. Two missionaries were enlisted to carry him back in a stretcher over the endlessly rugged terrain.

The love of Christ demonstrated to Candelario and his family through that event and by missionaries who followed up caring for him in his village were catalysts to an open door. A few years later, missionaries were invited to live and work in his traditional community (something that does not readily occur among the Tarahumara). Since then, the missionaries have been working in that community sharing the love of Christ, providing medical care and air transportation, and teaching adults and children how to read and write.

Candelario still lives there. Though he no longer herds the goats, he does get around pretty well with the use of a crutch and cane. His special shoe generally lasts about two years before it needs to be replaced. Because he is now a grown man and weighs about 200 lbs, it would not be easy to carry him in a stretcher over 8 miles of harsh terrain to the nearest jeep road. Fortunately, the people have since built a runway on a hill above the community in order to serve the missionaries and the surrounding communities. The people see the value of the aircraft for ambulatory services and appreciate the missionaries care in the villages.IMG_1524

Recently, Candelario was flown out by UIMA to the Mexico Medical Mission hospital so he could be
re-evaluated by the surgeon and provided with another orthopedic shoe. The next day he was back home with his family. No more awful hikes! Candelario is starting the literacy training and will soon be able to read and write. He has also expressed an interest in learning about God through studying the chronological Bible lessons. Once he learns to read and write, the missionaries will begin sharing the Gospel with him through those Bible lessons.

Please pray for Candelario and his father Patricio who has also expressed an interest in the Bible. Pray that the Spirit would continue to prepare their hearts to receive and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ

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