Armed conflict and kidnapping is rampant in the southern Philippines. But the work of Grace Pingoy and her husband Jerty has helped alleviate poverty in the mostly Muslim communities.
In their 30 years as volunteers for a medical mission, the couple discovered the need for wheelchairs for their patients.
"We've seen a lot of people crawling who wouldn't be able to walk," Grace recalled. "Some people came to him for wheelchairs. So we'd look for friends who got wheelchairs that were not being used."
Jerty, who is a doctor, worked tirelessly looking for second-hand wheelchairs to give to those in need. In 2008, he died of a heart attack after delivering one of the chairs. But Jerty's dream lived on in the heart of his wife.
Grace contacted CBN's Operation Blessing and asked the charity to help her neighbors through its wheelchair distribution project.
The group provided chairs specially equipped with tires usually found on a mountain bike, making them easy to maneuver in the rugged terrain where the patients live.
Hesus Hubiera lost the use of his legs at age 7, when he contracted polio. He's now 70 and has spent most of his life confined in his small hut.
"I feel sad for my brother. He always wanted to go out and see places, but he cannot do it with the improvised wheelchair that he himself made," Hubiera's sister Marina said. "He had no choice but to be confined in this small place."
Hubiera was able to get a wheelchair from Operation Blessing. But he also received a more important gift -- salvation through Jesus Christ.
"Thank you Lord. Thank you to all the people who helped us," he said.
"I'm so thankful that Operation Blessing gave us this opportunity to work with them," Grace said. "When things happen like that in communities, you transform communities."
"They see the love of God you know, through that wheelchair. It's rolling and it goes around [and so does] God's message," she continued. "That's one way of transforming communities through transformed lives. It only takes a wheelchair."
*Original broadcast Sept. 19, 2010.