Pitfalls and Building Blocks to Reach 10 to 15 Percent of the Population extra with the Gospel
We will explore the different categories of disability without being a medical expert. How can lay people find out who has a disability and how to handle it? What kind of disasters can occur and what kind of building blocks can we find? Disability should not, in the first place, have to do with “Care”. Our European Governments and organizations do deliver good help for people with a disability. To mention one of the pitfalls in disability ministry, especially dangerous for us as Christian non-disabled people, is the fact that we can be too kind. We take away the autonomy of people with a disability and so they do not learn to dare to make their own choices, and therefore maybe not the eternal choice for Christ. What are the basic needs of people and how do we offer people with a disability the opportunities to find their own value, respect, security, and acceptance by God and by people?
About the speaker
Thérèse was born in Belgium Flanders near Genk with Spina bifida, a disability that made it impossible for her to walk without a prosthetic leg. From the age of 8 she spent a lot of her time in a Roman Catholic boarding school on the other side of Flanders, near Gent and so did not live much time at home with her parents, one sister and two brothers, none of whom are born again. In high school, she became an assistant administration manager and for about 10 years she worked at the office of a facility for people with learning disabilities. Because she was a professional in typewriting, she read and talked a lot about the issues of learning disabilities. After that, she worked for 2,5 years in a house for elderly people.