Churches Inc in Ukraine 2019 -- Day 2
The Through the Roof Churches Inc team are hard at work in Ternopil, Ukraine until the 13th August. Please keep praying for the team, as they bring a message of encouragement and inclusion to the area. We'll bring you updates on their work as often as we can. Thank you for all your support!
Day 2 -- Thurs 8th
Today we had our first leaders day in Ternopil. We had a group of people from the community, many with disabilities.
Mike shared about the global picture of disability. He compared the medical and social models of disability and suggested that an even better is the relational model which says that we all have limitations and gifts and that we are designed to live interdependently. We need each other and that is positive. Mike also challenged listeners not to give up or despair but to keep moving forward.
Trevor shared a Biblical perspective on disability. Disabilty can be used by God to show His grace and mercy. We can know God in our weaknesses, for example Ellen, his daughter has cerebral palsy. She is full of joy despite the physical challenges she has.
The group responded enthusiastically to the message. Many of them shared their stories. There was a common theme of people feeling extreme despair and depression about their disabilities but finding hope in the love of other people and God.
Vitalij was born blind. Life is not easy for him in Ukraine. He has succeeded in university and wants to be useful and help others. He currently works with computers and likes to take opportunities to talk to people and encourage them. He wants to be more independent but at the moment guide dogs are not allowed on the subway or many other places.
Paul was born with cerebral palsy. It is difficult to find work. In recent years Paul discovered a love for photography. He says it has helped him to see the world differently and bring employment. He told us that he saw all this as God taking care of him and he was actively seeking to help others.
Dmitri was one of our translators at the event. He shared with us that though he grew up in church, as a teenager he was not interested in God. When he developed epilepsy it made him think about what was important and brought him to God. He now is looking to open a cafe that will employ people with disabilities.
Another inspiring day in Ukraine.