Updated: May 18, 2022
Written by: Bethany Joseph, Director of Special Needs Programming at myLIFEspeaks
Listen to the audio version of this story, here.
Bèl Ewo is a support group for parents, caregivers, and family members of people with disabilities. God is moving in this program and it is evident by how He is blessing it. We have had verses of the year the past two years and I have seen how helpful it is for the members to memorize a verse so that it is always in their minds when they might need it.
Last year we focused on Deuteronomy 31:8:
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
As a parent, caregiver, or family member of a person with disabilities, it can be easy to feel afraid, forsaken, and discouraged, especially in Haiti. It may be easy to feel alone and like God has forsaken them.
In Haiti, people with special needs and their family members are often looked down upon and even outcasted from society due to VouDou's influence on Haitian culture. VouDou leads many Haitians to falsely believe that special needs are the result of an evil spirit.
Every Bèl Ewo meeting we had this past year, we read this verse and talked about it. It was amazing to watch the members live out this verse and become stronger in their faith. This verse was a helpful reminder for me as well. This past year was full of unknowns and craziness. I had to daily remind myself that the Lord goes before me and is always with me.
This year (2022) we are focusing on Romans 8:28:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Life as a special needs parent can leave people wondering why they have to suffer and why their life has to be so hard. This year we will focus on the fact that even out of something negative, God can work it out for good for his followers. We will talk through the good things that have come from some of the hardships in their lives. We hope that after this year when they go through the trials life brings they will remember that God will somehow bring good out of it.
Bèl Ewo is not just a task for work for me. Each meeting I attend, I leave filled with the Spirit and ready to face the hardships of life. It has helped me celebrate the good things and also sustained me during the hard times. The more we have focused on God and focused on the Gospel, the stronger our Bèl Ewo program grows. I am daily in awe at what He is doing for the members of the program who have become like family to each other. He is allowing the members to become vulnerable and open up to each other and open up to Him, in a culture that is not too keen on showing emotions. We have members that are able to look at these verses and share their testimonies on how God is working in their lives.
I pray that these two verses give you hope like they have given our members. I encourage you to look at the verses we have focused on over the past two years and use them as encouragement when you are facing hardships in your own life.
I also encourage you to take some time to pray for each of our members. Pray that the program continues to grow and that each of our members grows closer to each other and in their relationship with Christ.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.