Children who have lived for years with a disability, in communities where disability is misunderstood and stigmatized, suffer more pain than we can imagine.
Often the pain is a result of unavailable or inaccessible medical care. So these kids walk on twisted feet. They live with contracted muscles and aching joints.
The more children we talk to, however, the more we realize that their heart pain is even more disabling than their physical impairments.
Here’s just some of what we heard:
These kids need to know that they are valued and valuable.
We need to meet their physical needs, and also help them build strong, resilient hearts. This is what Jesus wants for them.
John is a quiet 14-year-old boy with severe dislocation of the knees. He was born with it.
You can see the pain he’s lived with throughout his childhood.
The physical joint pain is just the beginning. What the picture doesn’t show as clearly is the heart pain caused by years of neighbours staring and pointing, of “friends” mocking and avoiding. 14 years of being made to feel unwelcome in his own community.
If you look closely at John’s eyes, you catch a glimpse of that deeper pain.
John’s father took him to a local government hospital for corrective care, but the cost they quoted him was way too high. There was no way this dad could afford his son’s care on top of feeding his family.
“We didn’t seek treatment anywhere else. I couldn’t afford it, so I left everything to God. I left it in God’s hands.”
“I was very ashamed. People were asking, ‘Why haven’t you got your son help yet?’ It was hard for John as well. The kids at his school would kick his rod out and he would fall to the ground. The kids would laugh.”
The last 14 years have damaged John’s heart.
How do we come alongside John to bring Jesus’ healing balm to his heart? To give him the tools he needs to move past the fears and the bitterness. To help him see himself as Jesus sees him – beautiful, whole and chosen.
Our Resiliency Pilot
When: October 2021 – March 2022
Who: 250 children with disabilities
Partners: CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital and Adina Foundation
Resources Required: $107,500