35 Years 35 Stories
Assistant Director – Services for People with Special Needs
‘They’ — the unexpected guests at God’s Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24) are simply pure joy to me. They may have been labelled as ‘disabled’, ‘weird’, ‘stupid’, ‘slow’ and most people would have difficulty handling their idiosyncratic behaviours.
At the beginning, I had to fight and argue with God with many ‘Whys’. “Why are there people with disabilities?”, “Why do innocent people have to suffer?”, “Why are YOU not doing anything?” “Why did you call me into something like this?” My heart was so burdened by what I saw. A child knocking her head on the wall, another child crying profusely while rolling on the floor, a young man bedridden full of bed sores, some tied up or locked up in cages with poor sanitation, and the hopelessness and worries on the faces of parents. I remembered poignantly while navigating through my emotional wilderness, a mother of a severe autistic child suddenly appeared at the office doorstep at an odd hour. She stood there looking helpless with tears rolling down her cheeks. I sat down with her and she just poured out her feelings. It was so heavy that I could feel all my senses pushing me to throw in the towel. I could only be STILL and KNOW that He is GOD. I prayed for her as that was the only comfort and strength I could extend, asking “What else can I do, Lord?”
God in His perfect timing finally broke the silence, granting me a ‘burning bush’ encounter. It was my first time attending an evangelistic camp for people with disabilities, back in 2006. The campers’ childlike faith in Jesus really blew me away. The way they worshipped was like heaven on earth and they simply believed in Jesus as their best friend. Simple yet powerful! It dawn on me that it was not about me, nor them, but all about Jesus who was among these so-called ‘disabled’ people. I saw Jesus as mentioned in Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in and I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me”. These friends are so special. Their care and concern is shown in the most genuine and explicit way. They are the ones who prayed for me when I was at my wits end and encouraged me when I had a big disappointment smacked on my face. Truly, Jesus in them genuinely cares for me! Journeying with them often made me realized that I am no different from them as they too have dignity and feelings, they have likes and dislikes and furthermore, they too are wonderfully and fearfully made by our Creator!
As I journey on with my special friends, the moulding and shaping by God continues. I am a mere vessel to bring them before their Creator.
Finally, “Brothers and sisters, look at what you were when God called you. Not many of you were wise in the way the world judges wisdom. Not many of you had great influence. Not many of you come from important families. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the strong. He chose what the world thinks is unimportant and what the world looks down on and things is nothing in order to destroy what the world things is important. God did this so no one can brag in His presence (1 Cor. 1:26-29).