Thursday, June 27, 2013

Even in the Valleys

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

I recently read an article in Compassion Magazine, a publication by Compassion International. This wonderful organization is responsible for spreading the love of Jesus Christ throughout the world through their child sponsorship program. The article was titled, Highly Vulnerable. Highly Valued. It shared the story of a young boy named Erick who lives in Ecuador. His diagnosis of Bardet-Biedl Syndrome earned him the label of a "highly vulnerable child" in Compassion's terminology.

This heightened vulnerability stems from the fact that  his diagnosis is considered a "social death sentence" in his culture. See, unlike children in the United States who live with disabilities, those in foreign countries are often considered cursed by their family and others in society. And they are frequently abandoned by the very ones who should be loving and caring for them.

The heart break that we should all feel for these children can only be mended by the hope of a loving God who can help them in their circumstances. Thankfully, there are several groups who minister to this population including Compassion and another group called Cause 4 Life, part of the Joni & Friends International Disability Ministry. Many of you may remember Joni Eareckson Tada as the lady in the wheelchair who paints with her mouth. As a teenager, Joni suffered a diving accident that left her a quadriplegic. Since that accident, Joni has been God's biggest champion for people throughout the world living with disabilities.

Below is a Youtube video from Cause 4 Life that I wanted to share. As you watch, note the change in the mother of these two young boys who both have the disability of cerebral palsy. Imagine the sorrow and pain she has endured while watching others in her own community shun her children. Thankfully, through God's love she has renewed hope and help in her circumstances. 

How can we help a hurting world? How can we show our own special children that they are perfect in God's eyes? By sharing His love with them, we can heal their hurts and renew their hopes. One child at a time, through God's Holy Spirit in us, we can make a difference in this world.

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