When God Takes Something Away: The Miracle With the Wheelchair

Theo is telling his life story
Campmeeting hoffnung weltweit

Theomistocles Turihokubwayo, head of the L’ESPERANCE high school in Kigarama, Rwanda, visited Germany in early August. 

He held a workshop at the hoffnung weltweit campmeeting in Westerwald, Germany, and shared his moving life story. Due to a serious bus accident in 2018, he is confined to a wheelchair. As a result, the trip brought some challenges. But as always, when the challenges are great, God is greater. That’s what we want to tell you about here:

Arrival in Frankfurt

When Theo arrived at the airport in Frankfurt, he found that the seat of his wheelchair had disappeared. It had been unscrewed on departure to make it easier to stow the wheelchair. Now it had disappeared without a trace. Without the seat, of course, the wheelchair was unusable. What to do?

Board member Ingo Bühr had an idea. First of all, he lent Theo a replacement wheelchair from his family. The airline also showed understanding and issued Theo with a voucher for a “new” wheelchair. 

Theo desperately wanted a wheelchair with soft tires. Although the paths at the agricultural school are now barrier-free, they are unfortunately very uneven. Theo hoped for a wheelchair that would be easier on his back for the bumpy rides.

Theo mit Vorstandsmitgliedern
Theo with board members Paul Kowoll, Eveline Smyk, Rivelino Montenegro und Ingo Bühr
Theo in his new wheelchair
At the Bohländer orthopedic store

Orthopedics Bohländer – Business With Heart

After a blessed but exhausting week in the Westerwald, the departure to Rwanda was now imminent.  All that remained was to pick up the “new” wheelchair that Ingo had organized during the campmeeting week at the Bohländer orthopedic shop. Unfortunately, it did not have particularly soft tires.

Arriving at the orthopedic store, Horst Tschinder, who looked after Theo during his stay in Germany, had the idea to ask again. Already at the campmeeting he had felt urged to start an appeal for donations for the special wheelchair and collected 900 Euros. 

Mr. Bohländer showed him an electric model with luxury-class suspension: stable, comfortable, tip-proof, ideal for trips on uneven terrain. The original price was 16,000 euros. Since the model was used (but refurbished), it should now still cost 2500 euros. Unfortunately to much for the budget. 

While Theo was taking a test drive, Horst told Mr. Bohländer Theo’s life story. Thereupon Mr. Bohländer went into the house, came back with a piece of paper on which was written: “1500,- €, Kigali” and stuck it on the wheelchair.  Thanks to the collection, this sum was actually raised. 

Theo did not know about the fundraising until that time. When he found out that he would get this wheelchair, he could not believe it. Horst congratulated him on his “Mercedes” and they both cried with joy. 

New Price
The note
On the way to the plane

The Flight Back

It remains to be mentioned that the security personnel of Ethiopian Airlines initially declared a transport impossible due to the weight and the two heavy batteries. However, both experts had suddenly disappeared in the further course of the check-in until a third person appeared who attached the luggage tag to the 150 kg vehicle without comment. “You’ll manage that with your faith in God,” Mr. Bohländer had said. And so it was! 


In the meantime, Theo and his two wheelchairs have arrived safely in Kigali. So what Horst said to Theo at the beginning, when his old wheelchair arrived incomplete, has come true: “Praise the Lord! The worst thing that can happen to you is that you get a new one.” Now he actually has two: a small, maneuverable one from Ethiopian Airlines that he can use around the house and the all-terrain “Mercedes” with electric propulsion. To Theo’s delight, the vehicle even manages inclines.

Theo and Horst
Theo and Horst
Three people pushing Theo
Never push again

Our embarrassment is God’s opportunity. Especially in situations that at first seem to be misfortune, we may trust all the more that He has something special in store for us!

A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed to the costs by making a donation, and to Mr. Bohländer for his generous concession!

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