Some limp, while others are pushed in wheelchairs, but there is no doubt that each person has a special connection to Bethesda Ministries. It has become a center of opportunity for the destitute and a place of joy for people who once had no hope.
Since it opened in 2009, Bethesda has provided a place of safety and opportunity for the disabled, sharing genuine love and acceptance that many have never experienced. The ministry has grown significantly in just a few years and now offers physical therapy, support groups, and even operations to those with treatable ailments.
|OM Zambia started their first school for disabled children
in Kabwe in January 2013.
Their latest achievement has been the addition of a school for disabled children, the first of its kind in Central Zambia. Under the leadership of Peter and Brenda Chila, the ministry has flourished, bringing laughter, love, and freedom to so many.
They currently work daily with fifteen students who suffer from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Down syndrome, or other unknown diseases. Peter described the desperate needs of the disabled in a culture that casts them aside.
“Bit by bit we are penetrating the community, persevering in prayer. Grace is coming from those people as they see the transformation and healing that is happening,” he shared.
Each year, Bethesda holds a Community Disabled Day, inviting those from the area to join together to see and hear what is taking place. The goal of the event is to bring public awareness and a sense of acceptance among the people of Zambia.
|Peter, of OM Zambia, helps a young
disabled boy draw
“For years, many parents would hide their disabled children in their homes,” Brenda explained, “so for many of these people, it was their first time to fellowship with others.”
In just a few years, Bethesda has brought unbelievable change into the community, and the vision continues with their current plans for expansion. Starting a computer-training program, building a physical therapy room, and updating facilities for the mothers are just several projects they anticipate in the future. Additionally, Peter and Brenda hope to build an integrated school where both disabled and able-bodied children can learn together in a encouraging environment.
However, even amidst their numerous responsibilities and daily demands, the Chilas have not lost sight of their true motivation for what they do
“The uniqueness of our ministry is not just about education or buildings, it is about the heart and the calling. You really have to know that you have been called by God,” Brenda smiled.
Although every day is a sacrifice, Peter and Brenda have a true heart for those who cannot help themselves. Dismissing cultural expectations and barriers, they are reaching out to the lost and forgotten of Zambia and changing lives for eternity.
Pray for Zambia:
*People with disabilities to be accepted in their communities
*Funds to build the new integrated school
*Empowerment for the affected families
*Funds to pay the teachers’ salaries
*Transport money to take the children to surgery
For more information about OM’s work in Zambia and how you can get involved, please click here.