Today I was in a bad mood. I sometimes don’t feel like going to church. I don’t get a lot out of the sermons when I have to keep two kids quiet and it is in another language. It is hard for me to concentrate at times. I told God on the way that I was in the mood for something different, I was tired of the same old routine.
I was therefore very shocked when we had some guest speakers from YWAM who are part of a organization Wings for Wheels. Two women shared their testimonies. Two women who by Latvian standards are invalids- people who don’t meet up with the cultural “norm”, who are in-valid (not valid). When I looked up the word “invalid” in the dictionary it has the definition of being “one who suffers from disease, someone who is weak or sickly.” How wrong we are to term people with one “label.” How strong these women proved to be through their testimonies.
I want you to understand that in Latvia people with disabilities are hidden away. You rarely see them on the streets, or in churches, or anywhere. This country is not friendly to those in wheelchairs. There is no way they could take the public transportation. (Only the newest trams in Riga are friendly to those with disabilities and there are maybe 2 of these trams in the capital). So over time it begins to seem like they don’t exist here since they are so cut off from our every day lives.
One of these women was born with a speech impediment and coordination disorder due to a dramatic birth. She shared with us how she was able to conquer the odds against her and attend school and finish well. Then she went on to get a B.A and an M.A. She has served as a secretary (which is a job she never searched for knowing she could never get that type of a position since in her her words, “A secretary is the face of the business.” God is using her. I was amazed how one woman has fought her way through life, with God at her side and overcome so many insurmountable hurdles. In a country where she is looked down on she has been lifted up. She is not weak, she is not sickly. She has differences- but she is beautiful and used by God.
The second lady was one who is in a wheelchair- I didn’t catch all of what she shared because she was rather soft spoken and my girlie was being noisy by then. But she shared 7 myths people have in churches about people with disabilities.
Needless to say our churches eyes were opened to and people sat in silence listening to people we normally never see much less hear from in this culture.
I was blessed. I was challenged. I was reminded that we serve a God who loves the impossible. That to him no one is in-valid. Each person has a purpose and can be a mighty tool for him, against all physical and cultural odds.
We serve a mighty God.