When Jimmy Smiles: A Crippled Boy's Story of Hope
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When Jimmy Smiles: A Crippled Boy's Story of Hope


"I laugh at everything." Jimmy could barely say those words without giggling. His joy is indescribable. Nothing but beaming grins from ear to ear from this grateful 14-year-old. You see, in just two short years Jimmy's life has dramatically changed.

We first met Jimmy in 2008 when his family was living in a camp for internally displaced people (IDP). When his family fled their home for the camp, Uganda was enduring a horrific war where child soldiers were stolen from their families and trained to kill.

Jimmy was born in that environment. But that was just the start of his problems.

"Just Throw Jimmy Away!"

Jimmy was not only born in the IDP camp, but he was born with clubfoot, clubhands and suffers from epileptic seizures. Without any way to get around, he scooted around on his backside, causing painful bedsores. He couldn't feed himself or speak.

"Life was hard for me," said Florence, Jimmy's mom. "Other people would tell me to throw Jimmy away—to let him die wherever he was. But I told them that if God gave me Jimmy, then I would stay with him."

But even in their bleakest moments, Jimmy never stopped smiling. It was that same smile that captured Joyce's heart in the IDP camp when she visited in 2008. Hand of Hope, Joyce Meyer Ministries World Missions, began working to find ways to help Jimmy, his mom, stepdad, auntie and two brothers.

A New Home Full of Joy

In June 2010, the team went to visit Jimmy again.

The ministry had purchased a beautiful piece of land with plenty of room to play and grow their own vegetables. Through the support of our partners, we were also able to provide them a nice home, a separate hut for a kitchen, and a nice stand-alone bathroom with a shower.

Helping the Whole Family

We also purchased a bicycle that Jimmy's stepdad, Samuel, can use to take him for rides. Getting around is no longer a problem for Jimmy.

Working with a therapist, Jimmy can now speak and even eat some things by himself. The medicine has also provided relief from the epileptic seizures. All of this was made possible by our partners.

"There's a great change in Jimmy," Florence shared. "He now eats well, plays around and is strong in his life. I'm so grateful for the people who made this possible and my prayer is that God would bless them abundantly."

No Longer an Outcast

The love and care Jimmy has received through the support of our friends and partners has had an impact on the entire village. Seeing a child with disabilities receive constant love and attention is something different than they've ever seen before.

In Uganda people are afraid of children with disabilities because they believe the child is either cursed or contagious. That child becomes an outcast because parents are afraid their own children will "catch" whatever the disabled child has.

But because of the love that was shown to Jimmy, the neighbors in the village now see it's okay to be with Jimmy, and they love and appreciate him too.

From the very beginning, one thing has never changed about Jimmy. From a miserable existence scooting across the ground in the IDP camp to one of the nicest homes in his village, Jimmy just keeps smiling.


Hand of Hope is the missions arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Our goal is simply to help as many hurting people as we possibly can, to alleviate human suffering and to help Christians grow in their faith.