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Joy & Prejudice

The Indian pastor and his wife were visiting a family in their community with a sick child.  They offered to pray for the child but the family said; why would we want you to pray for our child when your God can’t help your own daughter?  The pastor’s eldest daughter Clare had cerebral palsy, was in a wheelchair and not able to speak.  Once again the pastor felt that his ministry was being held back by his disabled child.

In Australia, we often fail to realise that many of our moral values come from Christian foundations.  The Christian belief that all people are created by God, in His image, and that God values and loves each person individually, has given us a genuine compassion for the vulnerable within our communities.  This is in great contrast to nations like India that do not have a Christian heritage. The majority Hindu population believe in karma, that your lot in this life was determined by how you lived your last life, and therefore there is very little compassion for people with disabilities.
 
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The pastor and his wife had experienced time and again the judgments of those around them. As they had both been raised in Hindu families before they came to faith, others would say that Clare’s disability was because they had rejected their family’s gods. With so much opposition, and little fruit from their years of ministry, they were very discouraged.

The Lord provided the help they needed by way of the Enabled* ministry team, working with communities and families with disabilities in North India.  As well as providing practical advice and assistance in how they could better care for Clare, the Samvedna team were able to help the pastor and his wife grapple with what the bible teaches about God’s heart for those who the world consider “weak”.

Most days Clare would spend some time sitting out the front of the family’s house to enjoy the sun and fresh air, and watch the bustle of daily Indian life.  Although Clare could not speak, she could make sounds, and it was her nature and habit to call out to people as they passed by and to wave to them.  It happened that there was a lady in their neighbourhood who had to walk by the pastor’s house every day to go to the store to buy her milk.  Each day Clare would call out to the lady and wave to her.  Finally, the lady’s curiosity got the best of her and she knocked on the pastor’s door.  She told them: I walk past your
house every day and your daughter is always happy and smiling at me.  Your family have many difficulties because of your daughter, and yet you are always having visitors and helping others. Can you tell me why?  The pastor and his wife were able to share the gospel with her.  In time, not only did this lady come to faith in Jesus, but her whole family were saved and baptised.

If you ever have the pleasure of meeting this pastor he will tell you: I was struggling to share with people about Christ, but my daughter Clare through the living testimony of her joy, was able to lead a whole family to faith. 

*Enabled Health Care is a team of Doctors, community health workers and disability therapists who work with people in Northern India who have some of the greatest needs in the world.Recurring Donation (Pledge)

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