When I give love, I experience an increase of love inside of me. It brings me so much joy and satisfaction.
I’ve grown up around disability. One of my siblings has a severe form of microcephaly, and now one of my children has a disability. We often view people with physical disabilities in a negative light, and we have a tendency to avoid them. We can make the conscious choice to love them instead. For 20 years I have been supporting children with disabilities, mostly children who suffer from cerebral palsy, spinal disorders and vision impairment.
In my experience I know that rehabilitation programmes don’t really consider the parents, despite the fact that the future destiny of the children is dependent on the parents’ vision, on their perception and understanding. Parents are the ones who spend the most time around the child and have the greatest influence on them. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of help provided for them. These parents are invisible, in a way.
Some time ago I was helping a boy with a severe form of cerebral palsy to enter one of the most prestigious universities in Ukraine. He writes with his teeth and speaks with a translator. Despite all his limitations, he graduated from university with an honours degree. This man of strong spirit is working on his dissertation now, and he writes Christian prose. I want young people with disabilities to see that they can live an active and fulfilling life, just like him.
Roman, a missionary who works to support the 91 children at Potiyivka boarding home, in partnership with Mission Without Borders
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