According to the World Bank, between 110 and 190 million adults suffer from a disability that impairs their ability to function normally. Many cultures in developing countries view the disabled as cursed. With no means to provide for themselves, and often no one to take care of them, people with disabilities fall deeper into poverty.
In August 2015, a Global Aid Network (GAiN) team launched a new model for disability ministry. Previously, teams who provided mobility aids fitted
and maintained wheelchairs. This method created dependency. GAiN’s team of four therapists taught 20 Zambians the skills necessary to fit wheelchairs for those with mild disabilities and to bring encouragement and hope to patients. The newly-trained Zambians then fit 25 people, under the team’s supervision. They also learned how to share the gospel with disabled people and their families. The team left 125 wheelchairs for the Zambians to distribute.
A 25-year old man, Ruben, also benefited from the wheelchair fittings. An accident at the
sawmill where he worked left him paralyzed from the waist down. Although young and capable, Ruben spends each day sitting in his yard with nothing to do. He owned a wheelchair before, but it became useless because of disrepair.
Ruben’s friend and advocate learned about the training and took him to receive a wheelchair. The team encouraged Ruben, explaining that God has a plan for him, regardless of his physical condition. Because of this special training, Zambians can continue ministering both physically and spiritually to many families in their community.
GAiN sends hundreds of wheelchairs and other mobility aids to developing countries each year. Through mobility ministry, GAiN desires to show kindness and love to people who often are cast aside. With this help, Ruben and other capable people like him can find their God-given purpose and make a life for themselves.
* At GAiN, I tell stories of life change, letting people know how their gifts and donations make a difference in people’s lives. Originally, photos and portions of this post were used in one such report at GAiN.