Dear Columban Friends,
I am pleased to report that Columban Fr. John Boles recently sent me an update about the Ayala family in Peru. You may recall that Fr. John wrote an article about the family which we published in our August/September 2018 issue of Columban Mission magazine. That issue can still be accessed online at www.columban.org/content/tale-two-brothers. In that article, he wrote about the hardships faced by the family taking care of David who is a quadriplegic. David’s brother Jose, was a catechist in Fr. John’s parish which is how he met the family. Fr. John writes about David’s progress and the improvements being made on the Ayala family’s home. All of which are possible thanks to generous Columban benefactors, like you! Fr. John writes:
The lion’s share of the money donated to the family (just under $20,000) went to remodeling the family home to accommodate David’s complex needs. I’ve been to the house a couple of times now, and can confirm that our builder, César, did a wonderful job. I was concerned, because it had cost almost double what we had first estimated. But this was because the land (being on a steep slope) needed to have retaining walls built in front of and behind the site in order to stabilize it and for constructing a ramp. Also, to get water pipes in, they had to drill through solid rock.
The second priority related to David´s condition was to improve his quality of life. Early on we were able to get him an orthopedic bed. I’ve now managed to obtain for him a made-to-measure personalized orthopedic wheelchair, plus accessories. Additionally, two physiotherapists from our special needs school, Carlos and Marilyn, are voluntarily making periodic visits to the house to check up on him and make sure the family is positioning him correctly in the chair and in bed. Also, David needs a permanent supply of adult nappies. One Columban benefactor kindly funded those throughout all of 2019!
You’ll recall that the other main objective of the project was to cover José Ayala´s university expenses. José is David’s primary caregiver and his dream had been to study physiotherapy in college. We got him into the local Catholic University in March, but couldn't secure him a place in the physiotherapy program. Instead he took education, a course that at least carried a half-scholarship.
Thankfully, after just the first semester, José WAS allowed to cross over to physiotherapy – although at a cost of losing his half-scholarship! Still, we should have nearly enough to pay his way. He has four more years to go, at an estimated overall cost of $5,600. We currently have $4,000 in José’s college education fund. Also, in the final two years, students can start working as part-time assistant physiotherapists, and this way José could help finance his own education.
I want to personally thank you all once again for your marvelous support of the Ayala family.
With your prayerful and financial support, the Ayala family has a sturdy home, David receives the care he needs, and José is working toward his degree in physiotherapy! Your devotion to your brothers and sisters in Christ is the embodiment of Corinthians 9:7:
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Cheerfully you have given generously to the Ayala family, and God will most certainly reward you for steadfast love of your neighbor. Columban missionaries and the people we serve thank you for partnering with us to help families like the Ayalas all over the world.
Gratefully Yours in Christ,
Fr. John Burger
Director, U.S. Region