Erica Streifel has done a similar Joni and Friends project in Romania. People, houses, traditions and language may be different in Romania than in Cameroon. But Erica’s description of life for many Romanians with disabilities could just as well have been written about many Cameroonians.
From Erica Streifel, team member:
My experience in Romania was incredible. I was so blessed to be a part of a ministry that demonstrates the love of Christ to those often forgotten or rejected by society.
The chairs meant so much to the recipients. Some of them had not had a means of independent mobility for over 20 years. Some of them spent most of their lives confined to their homes.
Even young children were confined to bed or had very limited movement in their homes. They could not regularly attend school or be outside with friends.
It was heartbreaking to see the lack of appropriate therapy, bracing, assistive devices, or wheelchairs that are really quite easy to come by in America by comparison.
I was so touched to see the tears of joy by the recipients and their families. Most of all, it was exciting to see how meeting a physical need provided an open door to meeting spiritual needs.
Joni and Friends ministry understands that spreading the message of salvation through Christ alone is any society's greatest need and is the main goal of any outreach.
Ultimately, it's not about the wheelchairs. It’s about pointing people to Christ!