Disabled Is a Collective Term
Let us begin with an observation: the term disabled is a collective term that embraces a variety of disabilities including deafness, blindness, etc. This field has seen a variety of changes in terms and concepts. For example, the term deaf and dumb was dropped with the adoption of hearing impaired, which, in turn, is being dropped in preference for hearing challenged, etc. The Bible does not use a collective term, and for that matter it appears that many other faiths also do not use a collective term.
Dwindling Interest in Ministry to the Disabled
Around the world there is a welcome increase in governmental and secular efforts to develop institutions to help the disabled. On the other hand, unfortunately, one notices a dwindling interest in developing ministries for the disabled in our missionary efforts. Our missionary and pastoral training curriculum, in particular, has very little focus on the ministry to the disabled or handicapped.
The Need to Include the Ministry to the Disabled in Missionary and Pastoral Training Curriculum
A significant part of humanity is under the category of disabled. Our missionary trainees need to develop an awareness of the nature and problems of the disabled. They need to be taught the specific features of disability and trained as to how they could serve the disabled and their parents and caregivers.
Governmental agencies in many nations undertake surveys of disability in their respective nations. For example, a survey conducted in Botswana in 1991 had the following questions:
Does any member of this household suffer from any of the following disabilities:
1. Blindness in one eye
2. Blindness in two eyes
3. Deafness in one ear
4. Deafness in two ears
5. Inability to use one arm
6. Inability to use two arms
7. Inability to use one leg
8. Inability to use two legs
This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Women and Spiritual Warfare | Leah's Legacy - Overcoming Rejection | A Biblical Study on the Heart of God the Father | My Christian Faith - Much More Than a Silver Lining! | My Jesus Came! | Africa's Redemptive Gifts | A Critique of Mormonism | Women in Jesus Genealogy | Ministry to the Disabled | HOME PAGE of January 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR