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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Awake!  |  May 2010

Happy Despite Severe Disabilities

Happy Despite Severe Disabilities

 Happy Despite Severe Disabilities

As told by José Godofredo Várguez

I was healthy at birth and had a normal childhood. At the age of 17, I began to work as an industrial welder. Two years later I was welding on a platform near high-tension wires when it began to rain. Suddenly I got a tremendous electrical jolt that sent me 46 feet [14 m] to the ground below, knocking me unconscious. I went into a coma and awoke three months later. The only thing I could move was my head. I was a quadriplegic, and I was devastated!

AT FIRST, I was angry with God and asked him why he let me live. I even considered suicide. I sought refuge in several religions, but none gave me genuine comfort or satisfied my spiritual need. In fact, they did not even encourage people to live by Bible teachings and standards! When my mother died in 1981, I turned to alcohol and gambling. I thought that because of my condition, God would take pity on me and forgive me for getting drunk. I also took up an immoral lifestyle by living with a woman to whom I was not married.

A Major Change in My Thinking

At the age of 37, I had my first contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses. My mother, influenced by hearsay, had always said that they were the worst religion of all. Nevertheless, I received them into my home​—with the sole intention of proving them wrong, for I thought I knew a lot about the Bible. To my surprise, however, I discovered that I knew relatively little! What is more, my visitors amazed me by using the Bible to answer all my questions. I soon became convinced that I had found the truth.

Sadly, the woman with whom I was living rejected my newfound beliefs, and we parted. I continued to clean up my life and to change my attitudes and thinking to conform to Bible teachings. With God’s help I have also been able to adjust mentally and emotionally to the ravages of my accident​—so much so  that for the past 20 years, I have found great satisfaction in serving as a full-time evangelizer. In view of my disability, many people wonder how I manage. Well, I am not alone. I live with my younger brother, Ubaldo, who has Down syndrome. Ubaldo too has accepted Bible truth, and he serves Jehovah with me.

We make a good team and look out for each other. When we share in the ministry, Ubaldo pushes my wheelchair and knocks on doors for me, and when I converse with householders, he helps me with the Bible and shows the appropriate literature. He also helps me with my other physical needs. I, in turn, support the two of us financially by selling cosmetics. Additionally, members of our local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses help out with the cooking, household chores, and visits to the doctor​—all of which Ubaldo and I greatly appreciate!

Within the Christian congregation, I have the privilege of serving as an elder, and my spiritual brothers are always willing to help me research Bible topics. I am able to underline important points in our study aids by holding a pencil in my mouth.

When people ask me if I am happy, I always answer with a wholehearted yes! How could I be otherwise? I have found true meaning in life, and I look forward to the marvelous hope that God holds out to his faithful worshippers​—perfect health in the coming Paradise on earth.​—Isaiah 35:5, 6; Luke 23:43.

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José at the age of 18, one year before his accident

[Picture on page 25]

A fellow Witness turns the pages in my Bible as I deliver a talk at the Kingdom Hall

[Picture on page 25]

My brother, Ubaldo, and I make a good team as we work together in the ministry in Mexico

[Picture on page 25]

Members of the local congregation help with cooking and household chores