The Christmas season is the perfect time to share Joni's story about the courage and hope expressed while she and Ken traveled to El Salvador for a recent Family Retreat:
"When we arrived at the cinderblock little home of Lenore, it took me awhile to wheel down the rutted dirt path -- my wheelchair sent chickens scattering as Ken helped me into the tiny cinderblock hut with a rusting tin roof. We had come to see Lenore, a 27-year old blind woman who languishes in bed with severe rheumatoid arthritis, her body covered with hard, crusty sores.
Lenore's home situation is sad. Her tiny bed is her whole world - the rest of the small, dark, smoky house is filled with extended cousins and the aunt who has charge over her. There's conflict between Lenore and her aunt - in a family already struggling under the weight of poverty, Lenore is seen as a burden. And so she rarely gets a bath, often misses meals, is hardly ever turned in bed, and never sees the light of day. Never. A social worker from the government had come to inspect Lenore's situation, but nothing was done.
But we were there to change things - it was too dark to measure her in her bedroom so, we carried her outside - she couldn't see the piles of trash in the backyard, but she felt a breeze and exclaimed, "How wonderful!" We then measured and fitted her to a junior-sized wheelchair. One of the cousins (a 13-year-old who also reads the Bible to Lenore), that little cousin promised she would help take Lenore outside on a regular basis. You wouldn't believe how happy that made Lenore who, by the way, when asked how she spent her days, said that she listens all day to a local Christian radio station.
Now, there are millions of people with disabilities like Lenore in the world. We could feel overwhelmed. But God calls us to think beyond ourselves - Philippians 2:4 says, "Each of you should learn to look out for others' interests before your own." True, the world of people with disabilities is filled with so much pain and heartache but our response? Be grateful for what we have here in America, and then bend-over-backward to do all we can to alleviate the challenges of people like Lenore. It's the disability thing to do!"
As Christmas approaches, may we each be reminded to seek out the "Lenores" in our own communities and opportunities to express His love in tangible measure!Download Promo Pack File »