Friends of the Disabled Latin America (FRIDLA), based in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has been reaching out to the disabled for over ten years; however, just a few months ago, FRIDLA began operations here in South Florida. The organization was developed in order to get the gospel out to those with disabilities and their families in Latin America. While many Christian organizations focus solely on spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, FRIDLA has been taking a different approach.
FRIDLA breaks the ice with people in need of the gospel by meeting their physical needs first. They provide those affected by disability with wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and other mobility assistive equipment at no cost whatsoever.
Once they have met the physical needs of these individuals, volunteers with FRIDLA present the families with a Spanish language Bible and with the clear message of the Gospel. Shortly thereafter, volunteers share in follow-up visitations with the families to see how the equipment is working out but also to encourage the family to attend church and to put their faith in Christ.
FRIDLA performs this act of love in several countries throughout Latin America — Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay — and hope to respond to requests for medical equipment from others such as Colombia and Haiti.
How to get involved
Now that they are operating here in South Florida there are many ways for those who have a heart to reach people with disabilities and their families to get involved.
If you want to volunteer your time to this monumental effort, you may volunteer to call nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, churches, and other locations that might have mobility assistive equipment available. Once equipment has been tracked down, volunteers must go to these sites and take the equipment to warehouses or other storage spaces. Here in South Florida, New Hope Community Church, located at 6400 N.W. 31st Ave., Fort Lauderdale, is offering storage space for FRIDLA and is collecting medical equipment for this cause. From storage, the equipment is shipped to Rock Hill, North Carolina, where these items are refurbished, repaired, and retrofitted to make them suitable for use by those that will receive them in Latin America.
If you don’t have time to spare, but would still like to be a blessing to these volunteers and to the disabled in Latin America, you may choose to donate to this cause. Go online to fridla.org and read more about what FRIDLA does and their mission.
Other questions, comments or ideas may be directed to the founders of FRIDLA, Alberto and Judy Nuñez, who can also be reached via the website. For more information about how to donate items locally, call 954-971-3050 and ask for Sherry Shoemaker, director of missions. Broward residents should call 954-989-7821 St Andrews Church if they have any equipment available for pick up.
Oftentimes Christians want to help further the kingdom of God and reach others with the message of God’s love, but don’t know how.Volunteering your time or money to FRIDLA is a wonderful option to reach those in other parts of the world with God’s everlasting and healing love.
Tami Fernandez is a Good News intern and can be reached at [email protected].