Category Archives: Special Needs

INF

INF_Group

International Nepal Fellowship (INF) is an amazing Christian organization that seeks to serve the physical and spiritual needs of Nepal. Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of serving their staff for five days in Pokhara at their annual conference. Sonia and I were utterly inspired by the lives and testimonies of those who have committed themselves to serving our Lord there. We returned home with hearts full of hope because of the work that the Spirit is doing in and through each of them. Here is a little more about the organization as a whole:

INF’s vision is:

Nepali people in Nepal and beyond experiencing fullness of life in Jesus Christ, and serving with others to promote health, peace, justice and harmony with God and his world.

INF’s mission is:

Live out the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed by serving Nepali people through promoting health, fighting poverty and social injustice, working with and encouraging churches, and caring for creation.

What INF does:

  • hospital and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities
  • health and development programmes with marginalized communities
  • medical camps
  • assistance for organisations working for people with disabilities
  • HIV / AIDS education, testing, counselling and care
  • work among displaced people
  • TB and leprosy clinics
  • Second personnel into government institutions and other organizations to provide health services training.
  • Encourage Nepali churches, and work among the Nepali diaspora.

So what does all this look like in real life? Below is just one testimony of how their work is impacting real people for the sake of His glory. To find out more about INF or to donate to their work, check out this link.

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Durga Maya

This an inspiring testimony of a Nepali woman named Durga Maya. We leave tomorrow for Katmandu. Can’t wait to hear and witness testimonies like hers as God redeems the land and people of Nepal.

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INF – International Nepal Fellowship

This is a video introducing the work of INF-International Nepal Fellowship. They are the primary organization that we are going to serve in a few weeks in Pokhara. It’s quite encouraging to watch. There is always holistic hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

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The Drop Box

Last night I had the opportunity to see a sneak preview premier of the Drop Box; a film by director, Brian Ivie. It is a moving story about a pastor in Korea who literally built a metal box on the side of a building in order to receive unwanted babies. So many of the movie’s themes are dear to my heart: the sanctity of life, adoption, special needs. While it’s a film about a remarkable man, more importantly it is about living out the heart of a remarkable God who loves.

DSC00041Pastor Lee was at the premier and was the first to give glory to God for all that He has done. And while I whole-heartedly agree it is God’s story, I love the fact that God chose to raise up a very ordinary but faithful man to do it.

The even greater story is not the one told in the film but instead the one that developed in the making of the film. Brian Ivie set out to make a movie about a perfectionist, Korean culture’s challenge to address a shamefully, hidden problem. But instead, he discovered the heart of the Father and was adopted by Him through faith in Christ. I had the privilege of getting to know Brian when he shared at our church on Orphan Sunday last year. He is the real deal and God is using him mightily for His glory.

The Drop Box will be released in over seven hundred theaters nationwide on March 3,4, and 5. You can pre-order tickets or even buy out a theater for your whole church. It’s a well-made film worth seeing for all the reasons mentioned above and more. Check out this link for all the info.

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Krista Horning

These are amazing words shared by Krista Horning at a recent Desiring God Conference on disabilities. Her testimony is a powerful one so I will let it speak for itself…

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Love Chromosome

My friend, Troy, recently posted this video on his blog. I enjoyed it so much I reposted it here. As friends in our homeschool network prepare to adopt their daughter who has down syndrome, I more eagerly anticipate Anah’s arrival and all that she will teach us about love and life.

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I Know I Don’t Know Much

In a past post, I’ve shared that our adoptive daughter, Eden, has a brain disorder called, “schizencephaly.” The longer we wait for her arrival, the more time we have to learn about this rare condition. Recently, we discovered two new things that provide insight into Eden’s special needs.

I always knew that schizencephaly was uncommon but I never knew just how extremely rare it was. There are currently no studies that have assessed the total number of people with the disorder worldwide, however one California study conducted in 2005 estimated that 1.5 in every 100,000 people are born with schizencephaly. That means an estimated 0.000015 percent of the population is born with this condition. Part of the reason why it’s so rare is because most babies who have schizencephaly do not survive past birth. What does this mean for us? There’s not alot of conclusive and helpful information about schizencephaly out there. It’s not a condition we can be plan for or predict.

Secondly, we recently learned that the separation in Eden’s brain may not only effect her mental and physical capabilities but even her emotional control as well. People with clefts in one hemisphere of the brain typically have paralysis on one side of the body. This is true of Eden. They also have many seizures. This is not true of Eden thus far. But, she has been known to have prolonged episodes of uncontrollable crying. Until recently, we never knew that this could be related to her disability. Of course, much of the crying can be caused by legitimately sad circumstances, her unique personality and/or even a sinful heart. The challenge will be to know how to respond appropriately when she has these emotional outbursts. Giving comfort, speaking the truth in love or even discipline could all be appropriate responses depending on the root of her response.

So, we now know two obvious but important things. One, because schizencephaly is so extremely rare, there is not a lot of information to prepare us to be well-equipped parents. And secondly, because the brain controls so many different aspects of personality and because Eden’s separation spans across many control centers, it will be difficult to discern what is a natural part of her personality that can be changed and what part is permanently effected by schizencephaly and cannot be changed.

All this is to say that we don’t know much about the current or future effects of Eden’s brain disorder. At times, this can feel quite overwhelming. Control is a favorite idol of mine that is not easily relinquished. The more I know about schizencephaly, the more obvious it is that I don’t know much about anything. All I can do is learn to trust and call upon Eden’s Creator. She is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God by God. Her brain, her personality and her entire life are all extremely rare because God created no one else like her in the world. He created her special. And because Eden has been specially created by the Father, then I feel special to be her dad. I may not know much about schizencephaly but I do know I love my daughter just the way God made her.

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The True Seven Dwarfs

This video moved and inspired my heart. Maybe it’s because of their disabilities. Maybe it’s because of their adoptions. Or maybe it’s just because they are followers of Jesus who are living out their faith for all the world to see. You can read more about their story here.

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