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This post was made today by Steve, one of the Texas A&M students. It is about Didier, the man in the wheelchair that I posted about earlier on The Camino. He's still keeping the pace! Two of the students walked with him all day today.
Didier is a Frenchman that our group has consistently bumped into along the way. Before we explain why this man is so interesting, it is important to understand the joy that he lives with. Didier always has a smile and goes in for a "pound-it" followed by a fist explosion. His genuine happiness is apparent to all who have met him. This wonderful man speaks no Spanish or English, so conversing often proves to be difficult. However, after lots of pointing and hand gestures he can generally explain what he needs or would like to say.
Didier is a handicapped man confined to a wheelchair trekking the Camino de Santiago. I (Steve) was fortunate enough to catch Didier on the trail with a woman who spoke both English and French. After conversing with Didier and his walking companion for the day, I learned that this 47 year old was born without function of his legs. His legs have never been able to support his own body weight. Didier is wheeling through the Camino and hopes that with his arrival to Santiago, God will give him a miracle and that he will be able to use his legs to walk.
He has kept our pace since we departed St. Jean Pied de Port, and has now completed 250 miles of the Camino. Didier explained to me through his translator that no mountains or rain or anything will stop him from reaching Santiago. He teared up when I mentioned to him that our entire group will be praying from his healing. He said this while caked in mud and after speeding 25 miles per hour down a steep hill, during a hailstorm.
Didier is by far the most dedicated peregrino, apparent from the callouses and blisters on his hands from gripping the wheels all day. The incredible part of Didiers story and presence on the Camino is his faith. Faith in God to not only get him to Santiago, but also for a miraculous healing. He is also faithful and dependent on others. He needs the help of strangers who may not speak a word of French to push him up a hill or help him into a supermarket.
Didier is faithful that God will provide for his needs and continues to be joyful despite his vulnerability and handicap. He is a wonderful example of living his faith. Not only does he walk with God, but he depends on God to push him along the way. He is by far the most inspirational and incredible person on the trail. Please keep Didier in your prayers and share his inspirational story. We would love to witness a miracle and see Didier's first steps in Santiago.
We are all praying for Didier and we ask that you please join us in keeping Didier in your prayers. It truly is beautiful to witness the joy with which Didier lives his life and if anyone deserved a miracle, it's him.