Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Why are so many children born with disabilities in Niger?
This dear little boy is 16 months old. He was born with cranial and facial malformations as well as all fingers and toes are fused together. His mother brought this precious one to have the fingers and toes released so that as he grows he will be able to feed himself, work with his hands and walk normally. The fused toes are a problem as most people here where thong type sandals. Our surgeon at CURE Niger is very practical in helping each parent in understanding the probable course of a child's disability. Parents are offered appropriate surgery for their children and realistic results.
What remains for many parents, patients, nurses, doctors and the ministry of health are the questions....why or how did this disability occur? It is the same worldwide, when a child is born with a disability the natural questions are how? Why? Could this have been prevented?
In John 9, Jesus was asked a similar question by His disciples. They assumed that blindness from birth, in a man, was caused by personal or parental sin. They were trying to rationalize and justify the condition that the man was experiencing. Isn't it the same today.....we try to rationalize a condition in terms of the world that we understand, whether it be medical, scientific or theological? Even as Christians we try to put God in a box and try to explain everything as if we understood His ways.
I am so glad that Jesus' response to the disciples' question was very simple yet very profound. John 9:3 says, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," Jesus answered. "This came about so that God's works might be displayed in him." We don't have to have all the answers!! We can trust God's character and ways.
Each precious child that comes through CURE Hospital gates is affirmed as God's creation. The restorative surgeries display not only a surgeon's skills but demonstrate the wonderful love of the LORD Jesus Christ. The wound care provides more than physical healing. Each encounter with the child and caregiver is an opportunity to demonstrate, the love of the LORD Jesus Christ. This love profoundly affects those who come here. Those who have been marginalized due to disabilities receive acceptance. Those who have been rejected are welcomed. Those who are wounded emotionally and spiritually receive a comforting balm derived from the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Oh, I know there are physiological, environmental and genetic factors which seek to explain why a child is born with physical challenges. None of these explanations satisfy, so I must rely on God's character of faithfulness and goodness. My prayer is that somehow, some way, God's works will be displayed at CURE each time a child comes to us!!