Bringing Hope to Disabled Children in Jordan

 

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (ANS) – There was a determined look in Ahmed’s* big brown eyes. He gripped the handle bars of the tricycle, trying to steady his legs before he sat down.

 

Disabled Bedouin children like Ahmed* are gaining confidence and independence at a physical therapy center in southern Jordan.
(Photo credit: Christian Aid Mission)

His mother, Shada*, stood beside him, gently coaxing the youngster through the next series of actions. But Ahmed needed no help. Slowly he reached his right leg across the seat until his foot slipped down into the pedal strap. Balancing himself on the seat, the process of pulling his left foot into the other pedal strap was a bit easier.

Ahmed relaxed and grinned at the visitors from Christian Aid Mission in America. This was his opportunity to show off.

Once his feet found their rhythm, Ahmed gleefully pedaled his red and yellow “chariot” across the floor of the playroom. He back-pedaled to turn around, then sailed past his captive audience of cheerleaders who responded with clapping.

Newly found freedom

Shada brought her young son to the handicapped children’s center in southern Jordan last year. Crippled since birth, Ahmed was unable to walk without assistance. That lack of mobility posed as much of a handicap for his poor Bedouin family as it did for himself. The child had to be carried wherever he went, and he was of no use to his father, who needed his help tending their flock of sheep and goats.

The day center, one of four receiving help from a Christian Aid Mission-assisted ministry, provided free therapy that Shada hoped would make a life-changing difference for her son. She was especially impressed by the compassion and patience of the staff.

Within months Ahmed showed progress. He moved about with the aid of a walker or cane. Then he made slow steps unassisted. And the tricycle that so delighted him was more than a toy-it was strengthening the muscles in his legs and giving him a sense of freedom for the first time in his life.

‘It’s a shame to them’

In Jordan’s Bedouin desert settlements, handicapped children are sometimes sorely neglected by their families. It’s not because parents don’t love their children. They just don’t know how to care for those with special needs, nor do they have the resources for doctor’s visits, me dication, or therapy.

For those having children with severe afflictions, the burden turns into more than the family can bear. The ministry leader has seen and heard accounts of some of the abuse.

“The parents may put the child in a separate room in their home and lock them in the room. They may put them outside in the barn to live with the sheep,” he said. “Sometimes they treat them like animals, worse than animals. They prefer that the child die rather than live in his pitiable condition.”

While most village families do not want any harm to come to their disabled children, the ministry leader said there is a prevailing attitude of shame and guilt that is difficult to change.

“Let’s say a family has five boys and one of them is handicapped. Somebody asks the parents, ‘how many children do you have?’ They would answer ‘four kids.’ It’s a shame to them, like they did something wrong.”

He attributes the actual cause of the birth defects to a variety of issues, ranging from marriage of individuals within t he same blood line to women who receive insufficient or improper medical care during their pregnancies.

During the past two years the ministry has assisted hundreds of youngsters who are brought to the centers with a wide assortment of physical and developmental problems. The children range in age from four to their late teens. Some have muscular dystrophy. Others suffer from autism. Still others live in a world of darkness or silence, unable to communicate their thoughts and emotions.

Made in God’s image

Two Christian Aid Mission staff members visited the main handicapped center in May. They saw firsthand how physical therapy-combined with a little love and encouragement-is producing amazing results.

A gentle hug quiets a frightened toddler. Massaged arms and legs give atrophied muscles new strength. Harnesses help a teenager stand upright, a first step in the process of learning how to walk. Victories, whether large or small, build momentum toward greater achievement s.

The ministry also provides equipment and mobility aids to children. Wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and specially-fitted shoes are among the most sought after items. Toilet seats and toilets for the handicapped are also popular.

Tricycles and even bicycles are available for youngsters, like Ahmed, who have developed the most physical agility.

All of the devices are donated to the ministry. Two containers full of medical equipment are ready for transport from Europe to Jordan, but the shipment and other related costs amount to $12,000 per container. The ministry is seeking financial support to help cover these expenses.

The handicapped center has accomplished dramatic changes in more than just the children it serves. By establishing relationships with the parents, too, ministry workers find that Bedouin families are more open to hear the message of God’s love.

“Parents will often talk with the therapists or volunteers and say, ‘Why are you doing all of these good things for our children? We would reall y like to thank you.’ This gives the workers an opportunity to speak about their faith,” explained the ministry leader.

“We begin to answer their questions and build friendships. I call it slow-cook, not microwave evangelism,” he said.

DVDs and tracts are available for free at the center and provide opportunities for parents to learn more about God’s gift of grace. Ministry workers also bring materials with them when they visit the homes of the families.

Periodically the ministry brings in teams for a weeklong outreach that welcomes children without disabilities as well as those who frequent the handicapped center. The events include singing, games, and lots of fun and laughter.

The unconditional love shown to the children, no matter what their developmental level may be, is what touches the hearts of parents most. Sometimes they are the ones desperate for a little encouragement or a sympathetic ear, said the leader. The outreach is intended to minister to their practical and emotional needs, as well, so the y can be the best parents possible to all of their children.

“When you help a handicapped child, you’re really giving a better life to the family, too,” he said.

*name changed for security reasons

About Christian Aid Mission

Christian Aid Mission is an evangelical missionary organization that seeks to establish a witness for Jesus Christ in every tribe and nation by assisting effective indigenous or native ministries through prayer, advocacy and financial support. Our focus is on reaching the unreached for Christ in areas in the world where there are few Christians, where Christians suffer because of poverty or persecution, or foreign missionaries are not allowed. We currently assist more than 500 ministries overseas that have tens of thousands of indigenous or native missionaries in the field. These ministries are engaging more than 1,000 unreached people groups in more than 100 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.christianaid.org.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CAM53
Twitter: @LoveTheBrethren
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Ireland’s children are leading parents to the Lord

 

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries
MAGHERAFELT, NORTHERN IRELAND (ANS) — Catholic and Protestant schools throughout Ireland have joined in the search to know more about God through Spottea & Dottea Travels!

Spottea and Dottea

Ad for the new book series
This new dynamic brand that is designed to hook readers into the mysteries of God, reveals a truth behind each Biblical story, and has already received an opening to 155,000 children in Ireland.
Maurice Wylie, director of Maurice Wylie Media, shares how it started: “Over twenty years, I have had several visions and one of those was a vision regarding Ireland, which revealed that the move of God would take place from a valley in the South of Ireland. (I live in Northern Ireland)
“About three years ago, I was asked to minister at a conference at the bottom of Ireland and, during that time, I shared the vision. A lady at that conference shared that same vision, and months later, introduced me to Melanie O’Sullivan, who is a Christian and had a desire to write a children’s book and happens to live in a valley in the South of Ireland. When she presented me with the script, God brought the vision back to me and placed the ideas.
“Out of that was born, Spottea & Dottea Travels! ”
This new series has been designed for those years of understanding and, according to the feedback that Maurice Wylie Media is receiving, children and adults love it alike. Each book has 48 full color pages and carries mystery, intrigue, humor, real life issues, Bible based story, different personalities, follow-up questions, seek & find, life lessons and a prayer.
Read what the experts say:
*Sophie, age 6: “I love Spottea and Dottea! They taught me that everybody is different but that we all need someone to care for!”
* Mother of Sophie: “I enjoyed reading the book to my children. My 6-year-old was able to read along too. She was really interested in the story. We’ll definitely get the series.”
* Keira, age 7: “That was fantastic! I learnt that Adam named all the animals, I didn’t know that.”
* Aidan, age 11: “This story is very well described. You learn a lot from it and it is funny too. I learnt that we should be obedient.”
* Aisling, age 7: “It explains everything so well. I love Spottea and Dottea. I can’t wait to read the next one!”
* Mother of Aisling, “A great book; so child friendly. I love the life lessons they learn from it and hope you do a series! It was very interesting reading and should be in all the schools so that children hear the truth early on. Thank you for writing it.”
* Rachel age 11: “I think the Spottea and Dottea book is a good way of telling children about the Bible in a fun way. When I was reading it I thought of how it relates to the Bible, it is adventurous, creative, artistic, and funny. I found it intriguing I would recommend it.”
* A businessman, “My son made me read the book to him twice and then insisted on taking it on his school trip with him today!”

Maurice Wylie

Maurice Wylie
I asked Maurice Wylie how people can help with this God-given vision, and he replied, “When God opens a door, it is our responsibility to go through it with everything we can muster so we can reach as many as possible for what could be a limited time. Because of that, it is our desire to have individuals, businesses, and churches to partner with us in placing the first book into every school throughout Ireland for free.
“We ask for people who have ears to hear what God is doing, and to join with us and help raise monthly sponsorship allowing us to run through this massive door to reach hundreds of thousands of kids. Whether you’re an individual, church or business we would love to hear from you.”
Maurice can be contacted by e-mail at info@mauricewyliemedia.com, or visit www.mauricewyliemedia.com to get more information.

 

British Christian National Health Service Manager Suspended for Praying with Muslim Colleague

Victoria Wasteney Christian suspended for praying with Muslim colleague
Victoria Wasteney
(via Christian Concern)

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
LONDON (ANS) — A Christian occupational therapist has been disciplined for praying for a Muslim colleague, despite being encouraged by the colleague to talk about her faith.

According to a news release from the British based Christian Concern, Victoria Wasteney, head of occupational therapy at the East London National Health Service (NHS) Trust, heard a newly qualified Muslim worker expressing concerns about her health. When Wasteney offered to pray with her, she agreed and replied, “OK.’
But in June 2013, the colleague raised a complaint against Wasteney, who was called before the Associate Director of Therapies the next day and suspended for nine months pending an investigation.
Christian Concern said the colleague had never complained to her personally and had always initiated discussions about Wasteney’s faith.
“I would have stopped praying immediately if I had thought I was distressing her in any way, but faith was openly discussed and encouraged and welcomed by the complainant,” Wasteney said.
A disciplinary hearing ruled that Wasteney was “guilty” of three offences; praying for her colleague, inviting her to church charity events, and giving her a Christian book titled “I dared to call him Father,” the story of a Muslim girl converting to Christianity.
Wasteney had given the complainant the book just before she was scheduled to go into hospital for treatment.
Christian Concern said the ruling against Wasteney was made despite the complainant not showing up for the disciplinary hearing, and one of the witnesses saying he was pressured into making statements against her.
“Entrapped”
“I fear I may have been entrapped by a colleague who encouraged me to discuss my faith, who willingly agreed that I could pray for her and who even accepted an invitation to a church charity event,” Christian Concern reported Wasteney said.

She added that Christian groups wanting to meet have to work their requests around “managerial arrangements” in the Trust whereas, joint staff and service-user Muslim fellowship meetings are always facilitated, regardless of any staffing issues.
“There is undoubtedly a pattern of inequality of treatment of Christians and Muslims in the NHS. Regardless of allocated break times, Muslim staff can pray five times a day, which I am not objecting to, but Christians are often denied time off on Sundays or permission to take breaks during their lunchtime for prayer or religious worship,” Wasteney said in the news release.

Christian Concern said Wasteney is bringing her appeal under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination and harassment on grounds of religion or belief.
She is supported in her appeal by the Christian Legal Center. Standing Counsel to the Christian Legal Center, human rights barrister (attorney) Paul Diamond, will represent her.
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Center, said in the news release, “The NHS was founded and inspired by Christian principles and precepts. Such heritage meant that the NHS was a model of how to deliver health care across the world; a place of safety, care, freedom and flourishing.”
She added, “Sadly, this case, along with others, demonstrates th at today’s climate in the NHS is increasingly dominated by a political correctness, and a lack of freedom to live out and manifest Christian belief.”
For more information visit www.christianconcern.com

IN SUPPORT OF ‘LIFE-CHOOSING MESSAGE FROM “CAUSE” RALLY LETS KEEP ANTI-BUGGERY LAW, BUT REDEFINE ‘BUGGERY”

The Editor:

It is no more possible to reverse the current  advance of homosexuality  in Jamaica and around the world, than it is to eliminate “evil’ ‘wickedness”, or “unrighteousness” from a world that is characterized as “Sodom and Egypt” (Revelation 11) and as living in the “last days” and at the “”end of the age(s)”.(I Corinthians 10:11), for the past 2000 years. The well-known biblical admonition also continues, to choose life rather than death, though both options are alleged to be continually  on offer by an all-powerful, supreme Creator.(Deuteronomy 30) ..

But the  massive  Half-Way Tree demonstration organized by CAUSE  (Church Action Uniting Society for Emancipation) could indicate that a significant number of Jamaicans may well be inclined to” choose life” over death, or righteousness over evil.

The challenge remains for many, however, to properly determine or agree on  who or what is “righteous” (right) and who/what is NOT ? — possibly being “evil”, “unrighteous”,”wicked”.

The truth is that, whereas it is not all that hard to determine, for “those who believe”, in a  situation where  “spiritual things are spiritually discerned’, it may not be all that “easy” either, even for those who may be regarded as intellectually and/or spiritually “bright”.

So without getting into any “vain disputings”, with one side or the other, I would simply like to repeat a suggestion I made some time ago, to eliminate the “buggery law” issue as a perennial “bone of contention” in the debate for and against homosexuality and human/legal rights.     ..

  In order to deal with the legal issues concerning the difference between homosexuality or homosexual orientation, and buggery, without further confusing both the religious and non-religious among us, we should simply note the  following:

There is no need to change or repeal the law we have on the books against buggery.

All that is necessary, is to define (redefine, if necessary) “buggery”, to be, or to include “forced or involuntary involvement of anyone – man, woman or child – in any same-sex act or activity involving penetration or the commingling of bodies or sexual organs - against their will and/or without their explicit consent, whether privately or in public”..

Also, let us recognise, understand and appreciate the value of extending tolerance, unconditional love, understanding, and compassion to all ,whether they are affected by HIV/AIDS, mental illness, homosexual orientation, or any other ailment or condition that is beyond their control – without necessarily endorsing or approving particular lifestyles or behaviours.

In the circumstances, it would also be prudent to state, specifically, that there will be no legal intervention in private sexual issues and/or activities where mutually consenting adults are voluntarily involved.

At the same time, and in order NOT to encourage the illegal, species-endangering practices, we would need to strengthen our resolve to confidently counter all subtle or open promotion or encouragement of buggery in schools and everywhere else in Jamaica.

This last point was the clear message from many speakers at the CAUSE rally.  They seem to be saying :“We will choose “life”, even if we cannot eliminate darkness and death, or the necessity to “choose”..

Sincerely,

C.Anthony, Kingston, Jamaica

 

Christian Actor tells his incredible story of liberation in brand new film Breaking Free




By Dan Wooding

BIRKENHEAD, UK (ANS) – British-born actor Christopher Power is preparing to go into production this October as he adapts his acclaimed autobiographical book, Breaking Free, into what he hopes will be a must-see film.

Book cover

As a small child Christopher and his siblings sat upstairs in their home in Rock Ferry, an area of Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, as a family friend was murdered in the hallway below and their lives were turned upside down.

After being diagnosed with hyperactivity, put into a straitjacket at a young age and having speech problems, Christopher was launched into turmoil, torn between his intelligent conscience and the gritty reality of life on a municipal council estate in the 1980′s.

“I became caught up in a life of petty crime and gambling, fueled by relentless drinking and solvent abuse from a painfully young age,” he says. “My childhood revolved around running riot with a local gang, falling foul of the law, and eventually serving time at a young offender’s institute, and later in a UK remand prison.”

It was Christopher’s cry to God while in prison and chance introduction to acting that would again, change his life forever.

The film, Breaking Free, which is based on his book, tells the heart-warming, true story of an anarchistic teenager struggling to find release and liberation from his turbulent beginning, to embark on his life-altering career on stage and screen.

Former BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Wayne Clarke, said of the book: “This is a cracking story of a changed life. Highly recommended!”

A recent picture of Christopher Power

Power’s stage and screen credits range from the award winning Christian film “For Loves Sake,” appearing in William Shakespeare plays, and also in British TV’s long-running, soap, “Coronation Street.” 

He trained in his late twenties at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA,) Richmond Drama School and the Lee Strasberg School, all in London.

He told ANS, “I spent such a long time seeing people in my neighborhood dying, committing suicide or in prison that I felt I needed to be a voice for those without the strength or courage to speak out themselves. My story happened during the 70′s and 80′s but it is still very much relevant to the youth culture of today.

“In April of last year, I was at a film studio and people there said that they needed a new movie that that gives youth hope rather than sensationalizing or focusing only on youth crime. I wanted to make that film which was gritty and true but has an uplifting ending.”

Christopher is co-producing with Lumino Films and will film this Oc tober in various places such as Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, and many other locations.

“If people want to support us financially or invest in Breaking Free, we have a lot of information on our website and Indiegogo. This film will inspire many and we would be grateful of any donations no matter how small,” says Christopher. (For more information, go towww.indiegogo.com/projects/breaking-free-film-an-inspirational-film-based-on-a-true-story, orwww.breakingfreefilm.co.uk.

To contact Christopher Lee Power, you can e-mail him at hamlet00@live.co.uk

 

Hollywood Beckons for Award-Winning Young Manchester Filmmaker


By Dan Wooding

MANCHESTER, UK (ANS) – Harriet Edwards, a second-year student of filmmaking at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, has won a dream opportunity to work with a Hollywood production company.

 

Harriet Edwards

According to a news release, Harriet was selected out of students from across the North of England who entered films into a pilot competition mounted by the Insight Film Festival. She has been awarded an expenses-paid trip to Hollywood including a six-week internship with Loyola Productions Inc., an award-winning company based in the heart of the movie industry in Culver City, Los Angeles.

She will travel out just before July 4th, the 2014 American Independence Day celebrations, and will have a few days to enjoy the festivities before starting her internship.

Students were invited to make a film on the subject of “faith.” They were encouraged to interpret the subject in any way they wished, irrespective of their own background or beliefs. Harriet chose to film a personalized interpretation of a Biblical psalm.

Harriet explained, “I took the opportunity to express how I see the world. It’s to do with self-discovery and finding yourself – and trying to find a voice.”

Entries for Insight Awards are judged by experienced and high-profile media figures. The panel for the Student Film Award included Usman Mullan of the BBC Writer’s Room North and Fr. Tim Byron of Manchester University’s Catholic Chaplaincy, one of the competition’s sponsors.

During the process, entrants were given an opportunity to pick up tips from a workshop conducted by award-winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce. Having submitted films or scripts, three finalists were invited to be interviewed in a live link-up with Hollywood.

 

The icon Hollywood sign

Festival Director, John Forrest – a veteran TV producer-director – told the ASSIST News Service, “We’re delighted that Harriet has won this award amongst such tough competition. I expect her internship could be an amazing boost to a filmmaking career.”

He added, “Insight hopes to roll out the competition nationally in future.”

Since 2007 the Insight Film Festival (www.insightfestival.co.uk), has been encouraging the making of films around the unusual and sometimes controversial subject of “faith.” It is supported by people from across the world from all faiths and none and is increasingly establishing a global reputation. Its next competition is run in conjunction with the United Nations Association of Civilizations.

For further information, contact John Forrest, atDirector@insightfestival.co.uk

Jamaica plus Christ is a majority!

On Sunday 29 June over 25,000 people converged on Halfway Tree, Kingston, Jamaica lead by the churches to protest against the rise of the tolerance of homosexuality in Jamaica. They want Jamaica’s government to grow a backbone and refuse to repeal the buggery law. They want Jamaica’s moral values to be based on the Bible and God’s will for the nation and that the Government not give in to external pressure. Christians, Rastafarians and Muslims came together in unity.

Jamaicans rally in Halfway Tree on June 29, 2014

Jamaicans rally in Halfway Tree on June 29, 2014

Jamaica plus Christ is a majority!

Assassins of Pakistani Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti Confess

Officials Say Leader of Al Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban captured with two others

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS) The killers of Pakistan’s first Christian to become a federal cabinet member, Shahbaz Bhatti, have confessed to the crime, Bhatti’s brother and security sources said.

According to a story by Morning Star News, Paul Bhatti, brother of the slain Federal Minister for Minority Affairs, said that security officials and a senior government minister had told him a suspect belonging to terrorist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had confessed to murdering Bhatti. Continue Reading

‘Holding On’


Jamie Grace’s battle with Tourette’s syndrome

ANAHEIM, CA (ANS) – There was hardly a dry eye in the Honda Center, Anaheim, on Friday night (September 13, 2013) when Jamie Grace, a contemporary Christian musician, singer, rapper, songwriter, and actress from Atlanta, Georgia, sang and also courageously shared on the first night of the Women of Faith Conference with an audience of around 15,000, about her battle with Tourette’s syndrome. Continue Reading