Some might wonder why. At 35 years, he has no wife, no children, stays far from home for a part-time job, and lives in a body that only works well on one side.
Sikhumbuzo puts all this aside and spreads happiness and smiles to the faces of others, just by being in his presence. It’s marvelous to witness.
The Luke Commission team met him again this April when Sikhumbuzo “drove” 7 kilometers in his PET cart to reach the mobile hospital outreach in the Siyendle community. The induna, assistant to the Minister of Parliament for that area, informed Sikhumbuzo that TLC was coming.
Why, specifically, did Sikhumbuzo arrive early and wait patiently?
He hoped to get a new PET cart. He had used his every day for five years. The front wheel was bent, the chair cushion in tatters, and the cart itself simply battered and worn.
“I’m just asking,” said Sikhumbuzo. “If you do not have another, I am fine.”
“We will build you another cart today,” replied TLC staff member Sibusiso, as he examined the older cart in which Sikhumbuzo was sitting.
PET vehicles, short for Personal Energy Transportation a non-profit organization in the United States that makes carts for handicapped people all over the world, are built to withstand the most rugged country sides, hills and dales.
“My cart was my market,” explained Sikhumbuzo. “From the back (which he called his dashboard), I sold vegetables – bananas, oranges, cabbages, onions. I go wherever I can find customers.”
At his employer’s homestead, Sikhumbizo cleaned, took care of the home, fed the chickens, and made food for the dogs. His home area of Dvokolwako was far away, and he seldom saw any of his family.
A visiting doctor suggested that Sikhumbuzo may have had a neo-natal stroke, which left one-half of his body deformed and not of much use since birth.
He can walk a little using a cane, but not for far and not for long. His affected hand makes it difficult to turn the handles on the PET cart, but Sikhumbuzo has found a way to move with agility.
While the excited man waited for his new cart, a community leader took him and his old cart back to his employer’s homestead. Then they both returned to the rural Swazi school, where TLC had several hundred Swazis waiting for treatment.
“I want to use my new cart today,” exclaimed Sikhumbuzo. “Thank you very much. On Sunday I will drive it to church.”
He smiled and, yes, clapped his hands with delight.
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Janet Tuinstra with another story from The Luke Commission