“If it was not for the fact that my auntie took me from my real mother when I was just two years of age, my life wouldn’t have been the way it is today,” says Yande.
Yande became a paraplegic at the age of two. Her mother never knew her father because she became pregnant out of prostitution. The mother’s neighbours called her sister to get Yande from her mom because Yande was not receiving proper care from her mother. She was brought to Kabwe to live with her auntie and in 2011 she joined Bethesda Ministries.
Yande could not walk when she first came to us, but with the help of the ministry, she went through some surgeries. God worked in her life and three years later, she started walking with the crutches. She became more independent, to the point that she could go to school on her own. Yande is a very intelligent child, but when we tried to take her to a public school to start Grade 1, other children mocked her. Yande was brought back to Bethesda. After some time and seeing Yande develop more, we decided to let her try the public school again.
In January 2018, Yande went back to that school. Amazingly, she has become the best student of all the fourth-grade students! What a life-changing story of what God is doing in Yande’s life, and she is just 11 years old.
There is a massive misconception towards people living with disabilities in Zambia. There is much segregation for disabled people and their mothers or caregivers. When a person is born with a disability, it is believed that they are cursed and do not deserve to live a normal life. Husbands often times leave their wife if they give birth to a child with special needs. This makes it very difficult for them to raise their children as single mothers. Prosperity Gospel churches see these people as a burden to the church. There is no education for special needs children. Many children with disabilities are kept in their homes, hidden from the outside world. They are outcasts according to society.
So, God put it on our hearts to change this misconception, which is how Bethesda Ministries began. We realised that the biggest needs of disabled people are education, physiotherapy, and equipment like wheelchairs and crutches, which we are striving to provide.
We started ministering in Nakoli, one of the biggest compounds in Kabwe, Zambia. The living conditions are poor, particularly with bad sanitation. There is a high rate of HIV/AIDS victims, resulting in a high number of orphans. We are managing a community school in Nakoli, and through this ministry, we have built relationships within the community. We have grown from one level to another, and we recently spread to another community called Makululu within Kabwe. It is our intent to reach other communities within Kabwe and beyond with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We also train and empower churches and community leaders in how to engage and reach out to families who have children with disabilities. Praise the Lord, churches are beginning to realise God’s heart is also for disabled people. They are realising that the church is supposed to play a bigger role in making these people feel accepted and valued by society!
Prayer and Praise Points for Bethesda Ministry for the Disabled
- Pray for the finances for the surgeries some children need.
- Please pray for the community, that their perception of those with disabilities will change and that they will see them as image-bearers of God.
- Pray for the children we minister to, that they will know the love of God through our ministry.
- Praise God for the official opening of the physio room for the community and the school.
- We praise God for His provision for the school feeding program. For most children it is the only meal for the day.
Read more about our other prevention projects here.
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