Letter from P. and A., January 6, 2017
"Costly but worth it."
One of the best parts of our work preparing to go to North Africa is our incredible team of people supporting us. On Saturday, we were asked to visit some friends who have an incredibly smart, beautiful daughter who is non-verbal, but communicates with an alphabet board and spells out her thoughts pointing letter by letter as she patiently expresses her ideas. Her family invited us to go and share with her about our work we plan to do in N. Africa among the population there with disabilities. After we had told her about our plans, and the things we were looking forward to, the way God led us, and the things that were hard about going, her mom asked if she had any thoughts about it. She carefully and deliberately spelled out, "I think it is costly but worth it.” P. and I both welled up with tears as we thought about her words brimming with wisdom and truth. The fact is all the things that are worthwhile are quite costly.
When asked if she had any advice for us as we support people with disabilities, she spelled out for us: "I hope that you do not have any formulas to share that make people feel small." These were convicting words that reminded us of how we are to go about our work. She reminded us how important it is to make people feel empowered in who God has made them rather than limited or helpless. We hope and pray that both the local staff we will provide trainings and consultations for, and the people with disabilities whom we will directly work with, will never be made to feel small. Rather, we hope that our work will equip them to learn about how they (and we) are made in the image of God, and how wonderfully profound the full depths of that truth are.
As we prepare to depart next Tuesday for our big move, we will treasure those words.
Love to you,
P. and A.