Updated: Nov 15, 2021
Being a parent of a special needs child is a challenge in itself. Being a parent of a special needs child in a country that sees those with any kind of differences as "cursed" or "possessed", is even more difficult.
Bél Ewo (Beautiful Hero), a Biblically-based parent support group, was created out of a desire to empower these parents and surround them in community with others who faced similar challenges. What began as a solution to help address a need, has now become something even greater than we could have imagined: a family.
Now over 22 parents gather weekly to share struggles, encourage one another, read Scripture, and collectively become the best parents possible for their children. This program has continued to grow both in numbers and commitment levels. Bél Ewo members are now going beyond designated programming to help and support one another.
One of our members has been dealing with some big problems in her household and marriage. She has been navigating an emotionally abusive and potentially physically abusive situation. Every meeting, collectively as a Bél Ewo group, members have laid hands on her and prayed over her, her family, and her marriage. Members even privately decided to get together and collect some money to help out this member because she is very poor and needs the help.
This same woman who is dealing with an abusive situation at home recently volunteered her time to help Bél Ewo Director, Madam Yves, with housework that was piling up after a new move. This mother had caught wind of Madanm Yves' needs and after dropping her child off at school during the week, went over to her house to help wash, iron, clean, organize, and assist with whatever else needed to be done.
She wasn't doing it to get accolades or to get money, she was just doing it out of the good of her heart. Madam Yves’ husband and a few of her friends from church saw what this Bél Ewo member was doing and they were so surprised. They asked her why she would do that and what is different about Bél Ewo that they support each other in this way?
The answer was simple: that’s what family does.
Every week during the program we have time for sharing testimonies of how God is working in members’ lives. Usually, this time lasts about 5-10 minutes but in recent weeks it has been lasting almost 20 minutes with members giving testimonies of how God is working in their families, neighborhoods, and communities.
We are constantly in awe at how God is using this group of parents to lead others in the community by example and how God is working in their own lives. These parents are not only wonderful examples to their own families but to all of us as to what a family in Christ looks like.