I loved their beautiful smiling faces but what impacted me most was the way they were treated with such love, respect and dignity … for many of them that was a first time experience.
Each child had a disability of some sort … deaf … blind … or physically disabled, yet unlike most disabled children in their culture, these children were being given an education and training which will enable them to earn a living and live independently.
Fifteen hundred children are cared for on and off campus. I let the enormity of that truth sink in … 1500 lives transformed … children who would have no other alternative than to beg for the rest of their lives are now being given the skills to live with purpose and dignity.
Francoise had a heart for handicapped children in a culture where they are marginalised and often discarded because they are unable to work; a ‘burden’ on the family already struggling in poverty. She helped a number of them but realised that so much more needed to be done and she couldn’t do it alone. God gave her a vision for a centre where these children could be helped. For more than 20 years this quiet, self-effacing lady has worked tirelessly, with the help of SIM (an international missionary organisation) and other supporters and staff to create this Help for the Handicapped Centre where lives are changing and blossoming every day.
The love in that place is palpable. I don’t think I have ever experienced the love of Jesus in such a practical and tangible way as I did there. Love lavished on children society rejects. They are taught about a Saviour who loves them and then get to experience his love, not just in words, but in life-changing care.
What a reflection of the way Jesus loved ... the marginalised and rejected ... the blind and lame ... loved and valued without reserve.