We spent the morning doing home visits. Our team split into two groups and Kathy, Michelle and Daniel visited a little girl with cerebral palsy and epilepsy named Maria Angela. She was 17 years old. Unfortunately she had suffered a seizure that morning and was not doing well when the team arrived which cut the visit short. She used to go to therapy, but last year she got really sick and had been hospitalized for a long period of time. She lost a lot of the abilities that she had gained and now when she has her seizures she is completely bed-ridden for at least a full day. She no longer receives therapy because they are unable to get her down the steep, rocky hill that their house is on. Her mother cares for her along with two other sisters and her father works far away but does all he can to support his family.
Our team spent time encouraging Maria’s mother, affirming her daughter’s value and beauty and providing some tips for in-home therapy. At one point Maria became quite uncomfortable. The team prayed over her and she truly seemed to calm down significantly as if she had received some relief! Praise God! When this happened Daniel stepped forward and gave her a God’s eye craft (a woven string craft). Kathy was so moved by her son’s action and later said that she could see Daniel as a Co-Laborer in the Kingdom of God at that moment.
In the afternoon our team supported FH in leading a workshop for children ages 6-9, and then later for adolescents ages 10- 14. Both of these workshops were themed on how to treat each other as fellow image-bearers of God and how to treat people who are different. This provided a great opportunity for Elim to share more about God’s heart and call for the church to love people with disabilities. At the adolescent meeting we went through the 5 stages of the Journey of Disability Attitudes.
There is specific boy, Jordan, in the community who I mentioned in the last blog that has disabilities. A question that was raised was, ‘When it seems like a person with disabilities is not understanding you, do they still know that you love them when you are trying to love them?’
I thought that was such a profound question and very difficult! Don’t we all pray that our loved ones with disabilities know that they are loved!
Another little girl expressed that she is often made fun of at school because her brother has disabilities. Finally, Ethan shared what his journey has been as he has learned to love and accept his brothers with disabilities and shared that the body of Christ is not complete unless every part is functioning.
Pray for these children as they journey through the tough road of youth in poverty while seeking to love each other, their community and their God.
Today started at 10 de Marzo, the school in the community, as we assessed, with the teachers, the results from a survey done on violence in their community. As FH continues to work in the community they are working to partner with community institutions in a more focused and effective way. This was a significant meeting for that relationship to begin. Pray for the teachers and FH Staff as they work together to end violence in the community and work to protect the children from harm.
This evening we supported FH in a workshop for mothers in the community and playing with the kids in the community – they needed some focused play time!
We ended the day with a dinner at a local restaurant inviting the children with disabilities and their families. It was a really nice time together. Additionally, I was able to invite my sponsor children who lives close by! What a blessing to sit next to her and share a meal with her!
Tonight I received a gift and a letter from a little girl named Jocelin. In the letter she shared that I was a great friend who gave her good advice and was like a mother to her and that she loved me so much. This is a little girl whose mom is working all day long and whose brother has disabilities. She is desperate to be loved and the little bit of love she receives from me, though divided among many of the kids, makes a big difference! What a privilege it is to love children – and for all parents out there, please remember this fact – to love your children is a gift that is given to you! Many children do not receive that love from their parents, so love yours thoroughly!
Blessings to you all!
Jenna & Team