Out of the Darkness – Handicapped Kids Find Hope
Disciple-Making Movements catalyze incredible transformation in the regions where they take off. Curses break and shame is gone. Hope springs to life and the people who were in despair find a new way of life.
In East Africa, YWAM leaders, *Harry and *Hoahn devoted their lives to the unreached. They saw the supernatural hand of God work among unreached tribal groups. They witnessed many, many stories of changed lives. Emma’s story is a beautiful tale. It confirms God’s word that says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” Romans 9:15.
Emma left Holland on a mission. She heard that in the region of Africa where her friends *Harry and *Hoahn served handicapped children were not treated well. She planned her visit with the sole intention to connect with children that were disabled. Emma herself was born with hands that do not function well and her sight is also challenged. She is almost blind. She has a unique connection in her heart for children with special needs.
Handicapped Children are Cursed
When she learned the dark truth in that region, she was touched with compassion. She slowly understood what was believed there. The local worldview says that children born with birth defects are the result of a curse. Children with handicaps are hidden in dark places in their homes. She knew that it was fear and shame that held these parents captive. Their children were not exposed to the public eye.
The situation prompted twenty-something Emma to make a solo trip to Africa. She set out on her journey filled with faith, courage, and compassion. Emma had a life-giving message for children and their families. Her heart was filled with a determination to bring hope to the communities in that region. Once she arrived, her hosts planned a weeklong seminar. Harry, Hoahn, and Emma were successful in getting the word out to the community. The people responded amazingly well.
Setting People Free
Twenty-two children and twelve parents showed up on the first day of the seminar. The atmosphere was brimming with encouragement, and the children were filled with enthusiasm. It was obvious God was doing something marvelous. In a short time, all the parents arrived.
This kind of event was not new to the community. The people, who attended, usually have mixed motives. Aid organizations attract attention by paying people to attend their seminars. Those who attend receive free food, crutches, wheelchairs, and other items.
Emma’s vision was different. She wanted to see people set free from their destructive worldview. She created a seminar to help parents recognize the difference between superstition and faith in God. She wanted them to see the value of knowing the true God. “If only they can learn to see their children the way God sees them!” she thought.
Participation Brings Miracles
God showed up in the seminar. The children started experiencing visible changes. One little girl lay on the floor unable to move or take part in any thing. Emma invited her to play. Although it took a while, the little girl participated. It took some time for her confidence to build, but it did. She became so confident, she walked 5 kilometers home with her mother!
Miracles continued. One boy was unable to use his legs. He moved with agility and speed using his hands and arms. He would not allow his limitations to stop him. It was a delight to see him serving his new friends. He was kind and observant. After noticing one child who would not play, he rushed across the dirt, using hands and arms. He offered the child a ball so he would be able to join in the play.
The children and parents could not hide their enthusiasm and amazement. They recognized the supernatural changes that had taken place in the seminar. They couldn’t believe what love, hope, and encouragement could accomplish. These families discovered a new way to live.
Celebrating a New Worldview
Superstitions and destructive worldviews have drained the hope of countless peoples not yet reached with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was obvious to the tribe in this region that their superstitions and worldview were destroying God’s purpose for their lives. They decided together that they would no longer live that way. Once hope was introduced, they declared, “Let’s not hide our handicapped children, let’s celebrate them!”
Transformational Disciple-Making Movements are changing destructive worldviews across the globe. But there are many more lives still enslaved in superstition.
Do you think all people should have opportunities to be productive and fruitful spiritually, mentally, socially, emotionally and physically? YWAM FM believes that God can and will do more. Will you let Him use you? Enquire about YWAM Frontier Missions training. Join people like Emma and bring transformation to the least, last and lost.