The Heroic Zama Family
A saint once said: “Be sure to make friends with the poor. “Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit…” Most certainly the Zama family from the DRC is not well off and has struggled in their life as refugees. We are privileged to have got to know them. It has been an edifying and enriching experience and this emanates to a large extent, from the youngest member of the family, Daniel.
Daniel was born in the year 2006 in South Africa, being the youngest in a large, sadly now, fatherless, family. Due to brain damage at birth, he was born with cerebral palsy. As a result, his limbs have now atrophied; he also cannot speak. He has to date (2021), spent the 15 years of his earthly life on a mattress on the floor, with his devoted mother looking after him 24/7. She radiates joy and a spirit of humble service. She and her youngest daughter, Daisy, together with older brothers, Baleka and Joshua, love their Daniel very much and treat him with love, reverence and devotion. Once, in response to a comment that they must be sure to take care of Daniel for the rest of his life, Baleka replied: “Of course, he is my brother.”
Mercy House has supported the family in many ways and, in particular, both Joshua and Baleka with their schooling, for many years, but only in the year 2021, got to know about Daniel and started to visit him. We asked them what we could do to help and they replied, of course, food and furniture, since all they had was the mattresses they were sleeping on, but most of all they badly needed a wheelchair for Daniel.
After some searching, we got a regular wheelchair for Daniel, but found that he could not use it, since he has no limbs to balance himself and would just fall off. We then had to search to find a company that could make a customized one. This was very expensive, but as God provides, a donation came to us just at the right time. Sitwell – a company that does this – took great pains to mould a base to fit the seriously deformed body. The wheelchair was delivered on 4th August 2021 – what a breakthrough and life-changer for our beloved Daniel. Needless to say, the family was delighted and so were we, and also humbled to have been able to help Daniel and lighten his burdens a bit. The photos show Daniel on his mattress with his brother, on the day we met him and on 4 August 2021, in his customized wheelchair. It was the first time we had seen Daniel smile. We made him happy…