Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
In many African cultures, this means that the child is not valued by the family – often the family may simply abandon the infant.
In Solange’s case, however, she was kept by the family, but because of her disability – and because of the mysterious disappearance of some eggs –
her father believed that Solange was actually a snake.
Somehow, she was “found” by Nungu Magdalene, Founder and Director of the Center for Empowerment of Females with Disabilities, and was brought to the school. In 2005, an orthopedic surgeon operated on her knees to reduce the deformity. She now wears braces to further correct her legs and to give support.
Last month, when Magdalene was in Solange’s village . . . she gave Solange’s father a letter from Solange. He was astonished. “My daughter wrote this?” he kept asking. Magdalene assured him that she had, and added that Solange wants to become a minister (government official). Suddenly, his entire attitude changed. He began telling everyone whom he saw “My daughter is going to be a minister!”
This true story somewhat parallels a sketch which the children of CEFED frequently perform, which features a disabled child whose father denies her the opportunity to attend school, favoring instead his non-disabled child. As the sketch ends, the disabled child, now grown to adulthood, returns to the family after achieving a position of importance through the Christian love and support of a benefactor. [Solange plays the role of the mother in the video of that sketch, "I Want to Go to School."]
Solange is one of several children who, following a profession of faith, was baptized last December.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I don’t remember the exact date I became a Christian, but it was right about this time of year, 30 years ago. The verse that broke through was 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Those verses keep finding their way into my life, and it occurred to me this morning how fitting they are for this outreach. We will be serving a couple hundred disabled people who are in the middle of a “slight momentary affliction” that probably doesn’t feel very slight or very momentary.
But believe it or not, another “affliction” can be the wheelchair itself. The wheelchair is a great thing, but it is going to wear out eventually.
So would you please join us in praying for each person that gets served? Thirty years ago Jesus changed my life by helping me take my eyes off transient things.
Pray that these eternal souls in
- would see their disability as transient. Even if it lasts their whole life it is short compared to eternity.
- would not put too much emphasis on their new wheelchair, realizing that it too is transient.
- would respond with joy to the gospel, and know without a doubt that Jesus offers “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
Saturday, February 21, 2009
His Sunday school class pledged financial support even before he asked. His daughter surprised him with a substantial gift for his birthday. A friend lent him a book with practical and interesting information about Cameroon. And many friends, even outside the church, are showing interest he would never have expected.
Please pray that all of us will sense God’s confirmation when hesitation arises or when it’s more difficult that we expected to raise support and make preparations for leaving family and normal responsibilities.
Please do pray that each team member will have the financial resources required.
Monday, February 16, 2009
We may or may not agree that the accomplishments of the disabled daughter in the story are the highest possible measures of usefulness. Still, don't miss the contrast between the child with disabilities and the sister who is "normal."
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
You prayed that God would smooth the way through Customs for our wheelchair shipment.
Email from our team member, David Anderson who lives in Bamenda:
"I spoke briefly with Magdalene yesterday morning. She drove back through the night (Tuesday), arriving in Bamenda around 4 AM. When she called (around 7:30 AM), she said the chairs had just arrived at her home. She says the Lord blessed."
Thank you for praying! God did it!
On another note, here's some more of David's email that gives a flavor of Magdalene's life and ministry:
"She was off to a "Youth Day" celebration, I suppose had to teach today at her high school, and tomorrow may be taking one of the children to the hospital."
So thank you for praying for strength for Magdalene whenever you think of her.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
All of my life God has provided me with unusual strength in my legs and a extra dose of "let's get it done." From the time that I got my prosthetics, I worked during my therapy sessions and after hours, including many times at night when I couldn't sleep.
With God's guiding hand I was able to walk without a walker or a helper in about a week.
They released me on August 10, 2005. I had been in a hospital for 7-1/2 months. My body, with the exception of my feet and two fingers on my right hand have returned almost to normal.
Why was I saved when doctors told me that the mortality rate for streptococcus A is almost 100% when it's discovered as advanced as it was with me? God proved them wrong, didn't He?
When I lay in a hospital bed without energy to brush my teeth, shave, or even turn over and knew that I should really already be in Heaven—why had God saved my life?
The only reason that came to my mind was, He had additional purposes for my life. I promised God that whenever a door opened, I would trust that He wanted me to step through.
Many opportunities have come my way in face-to-face encounters. People will stop and ask me what happened and the first thing I tell them is that I'm here because the Lord saved my life.
God has led me to give my testimony in several churches, Fellowship of Christian Athlete meetings, the sauna of the gym where I work out, in Romania, and now with this Harvest Project.
This is the next open door.
It's my joy to still be alive and very active.
I can say God's grace is sufficient.
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Friday, February 6, 2009
Today, we continue the story that began yesterday.
by Mal Hasty, team member
My heart, kidneys, and liver were not getting enough blood to function. The doctors suggested a medication that would force blood out of my extremities to my vital organs. They warned of possible side effects (loss of parts of fingers, loss of toes and possibly part of the feet). Since I was in a coma, my kids made the decision to give the medication, which saved my life.
I was transferred to a hospital with a hypobaric chamber (100% oxygen) in an effort to save my extremities. I was to be there at least six weeks to use the chamber three times a week and go through dialysis three times a week.
God's grace showed through loud and clear. My daughter worked at the hospital. She was able to come see me any time that she didn't have a patient. Even though many, many friends visited me and were very encouraging, my daughter’s visits with her five children probably did more for my spirit than anything else.
At the end of the six weeks, I was told that both my feet needed to be amputated. You would think that I would be angry and bitter. I can only say, God gave me two months to be prepared for this.
God's grace sustained me through this and the only thing lingering on my mind was: Let's get on with the therapy and the prosthetics.
As soon as the wounds healed the therapists began their work. I was assigned to a therapist named Sharon. Sharon told me that she was in a prayer group and a woman in the group had asked prayer for someone in exactly the same situation I was in. It was my daughter-in-law. So my therapist had been praying for me long before we met.
All I can say is, His mysterious ways.
(It will be easy to remember to read the rest of Mal's story if you've subscribed.)
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Mal Hasty lives near Dallas, Texas. Here today is the first part of the story of God bringing him to the 2009 Cameroon Harvest Project.
On December 28, 2004, I got up, dressed to go somewhere and was a little early. So I sat in my comfortable chair to read the newspaper, but I felt like I was going to throw up.
Three times I went into the bathroom but nothing happened. The last time I felt strongly that if I had to do this again I wouldn't have the strength to get up.
I also had a fairly sharp pain at a point between my left shoulder and my heart. All I could imagine was that I was having a heart attack.
At the emergency room, I told them my thoughts about a heart attack and they pursued that possibility immediately and stayed on that search for many hours. They declared my heart to be in very good shape.
When they spread the search, they found that I had an infection, invasive streptococcus A. They cut my abdomen open to try to find the source, but found nothing. My son pointed out a blistery looking place on my left shoulder. They did a biopsy and they had found the source.
During this time they put me into an induced coma which lasted until the first week in February, more than a month after I was first struck. The antibiotics didn't work. My fever was going up. My vital organs were shutting down.
The medical personnel told my adult children that they should begin planning my funeral.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009