A TIME OF AWAKENING
(NCSA) “This training has opened my eyes in so many ways. The Lord spoke to my heart in a powerful way. Glory to God for this. It was a time of awakening.” These are the words of one of the participants of the Online Training: How to start a support center for children and youth with disabilities.
The training was held on the 28th and 29th of August 2020 and was organized by Nazarene Compassionate Ministries of the South America Region together with the Mirada de Amor Ministry and was held using the Zoom platform.
“It was a time full of challenge and calling to start and develop ministries that serve persons with disabilities,” one of the participants commented. “Thank you so much for this training, God Bless you and you can count on us to spread the word and be a part of this project. Our hearts are burning now, we didn’t know how to minister to them.”
There is a great need in the world to minister to this group of people as the WHO reports that 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability. In Latin America and the Carribean, there are approximately 85 million people who fall into this category and for that reason, it is of utmost importance that the local church, responding to its call to go and make disciples of all nations, develops ministries that reach out to persons living with a disability and their families.
An average of 160 people were online and participated in the training during the three sessions, Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon. The participants received training in the following areas:
- Family and Disability: The Importance of a Holistic Approach.
- Developing a Program to Serve Children Who are Differently Able.
- Youth and Disability: Challenges in Ministry for the Church in the 21st
- Theology and Disability: The Pastoral Role in the Context of the Ministry.
- Different Aspects of the Organization and Implementation of a Ministry for Children and Youth who are Differently Able.
- Disability Ministries in Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
The response to the call to be trained to serve in this field was surprising and demonstrates that the Church of the Lord is longing to know how to make the Church a Church for all without discrimination; the Church recognizes that our brothers and sisters who live with disabilities matter to the Lord of the harvest. The various testimonies celebrating and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to learn and be equipped were unexpected: “It was all excellent, very motivating, and challenging. Thank you for everything that you have taught us. May God continue using you in His power to continue impacting lives through the love of our Good Father.” “Excellent work to the brothers and sisters who organized this event and have shared with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” “What a blessing! Thanks be to God, thank you for your inspiration and direction! Thank you to all of you who have been used by the Lord.” These are just a few of the comments made by the participants.
The participants included pastors, leaders, and brothers and sisters from the different countries on the South America Region. But some also joined from countries in other regions, like: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Cape Verde, Panama, and Nicaragua.
The motivation and inspiration given to the participants by the presenters, who are already involved in work with children and young adults at the Mirada de Amor ministries in Chile and Brazil, was overwhelming. A participant said the following, “Great challenges and blessings have been brought to us by this time together, may God bless each and every one of you.” Comments like this represent the overall impression of each participant, but there was also a sense that this was a time of awakening and personal revival as is reflected in the testimony of another participant. “I think this is a time of revival in each of our lives that has been brough by the Lord.” Another significant testimony was that of a pastor who, before the pandemic, was in the process of opening a Mirada de Amor center in Brazil, but because of the pandemic, everything was put on hold. After the training, she said “Great job with the amazing training this weekend. It truly was incredible, God has accomplished so much here, without a doubt. My team is excited and motivated. We are going to pick up where we left off with you…”
Without a doubt, God is mobilizing His Church in South America to clothe, shelter, feed, heal, educate, and live in solidarity with those who suffer oppression, injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, and sickness through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries to proclaim the Gospel to all people in word and deed. You can learn more about Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in South America and contact us at mncsam.org.
Source: Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, South América
Translation: Chad Dickerson