Just a short blog post this week with three great stories.
This morning Delhi Bible Fellowship South (DBF South) congregation had a combined service starting at 9 a.m. This meant that instead of the usual two English services there was just one and that too a communion service.
Shreya was right there at the door handing out the notice sheets with a happy smile and greeting for everyone. Sounds fairly much what you would expect except that Shreya has Downs Syndrome and as a little girl she could not bear to be in crowds of people. Indeed I saw her at the wedding of a church couple recently and she was quite distressed by all the people. Yet at the end of the service today she reached forward and shared a hug with the young woman sitting in front of her in church.
What an answer to prayer! Her Mum says the beginnings of her socialising came when she started to go to Sunday School at DBF South and now here she is today lending her gifts for the church.
George Abraham and his family have been members of the Methodist Centenary Church, in Delhi, for a long time. He is involved in leading praise and worship, and fairly recently he anchored a multilingual service. Apart from church, he and Rita attend The Bible Study Fellowship that meets on Saturday mornings for in-depth studying of God’s word. After he had been attending for a while he was invited by one of the leaders to join him for coffee and a chat during which he was asked if he would like to take up a leadership role for one of the sub groups. He did, and he and Rita both say that their years studying with the group had seen a manifold increase in their understanding of scripture. This is a description of a man using his gifts to serve The Lord. George is blind.
Inderjit Lal who is a member of The Cathedral Church in central Delhi, as his father was before him, has served on the Church Committee and was Treasurer for a spell. Inderjit can walk only with great difficulty and is mostly in a wheelchair.
Today during the sermon we were reminded that many of us have work or passions related to justice, health care, universal education, saving the girl child and other similar important causes but nothing should be more important to a Christian than the gospel. As a Christian it is hard to disagree with that, which is why these three examples are so encouraging. Church is there for all; it must be open and welcoming to people of all types with or without disabilities. Let the gospel reach everyone so that they too can serve the Lord and as Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:10
“Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
There might be something we can do to make that possible for every Christian.
- Maybe there is someone in your congregation with a disability. Do they have opportunities to take a full and active part in church life, or is there more that could be done to make them feel welcomed to serve? Why not ask them?
- Perhaps you know of a Christian who has disabilities who is not coming to church; it might be worth meeting them and trying to find out why and looking together at what might make it easier or more welcoming.