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Adventists: Get involved with disabled

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The Calder Seventh Day Adventist Church has taken a big step towards encouraging Vincentians to get involved in the care and support of persons with disabilities.{{more}}

Last weekend, the church staged a programme which focused on deepening the social interaction among individuals with special needs and the wider community.

Beulah Samuel, Coordinator of the programme, said the church wants to provide an opportunity for spiritual and religious experiences for persons with disabilities and their families, where the relevant knowledge about disability issues could be imparted to them. She said the church also intends to foster a better understanding of the implications of disabilities to the public as well as encourage the involvement in care and support of persons with disabilities.

The programme, held under the theme: ‘God Cares, We Care. Let Us Integrate, Not Segregate’ on Saturday, November 15, 2008, was a truly enriching experience as persons with disabilities, relatives and friends of all walks of life sang songs of praises at the special spiritual and religious event.

Organizers used the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of and express appreciation and support to the families, friends, caregivers and organizations supporting persons with disabilities.

Jacqueline Lowe, Nardon Shallow, Nicholas Olliver, and Edwin Abbott were invited to give moving testimonies before the packed congregation. Lowe, who is mute, used sign language to convey her message to the church through interpreter Terrance Davis.

Her message was that she is thankful to Jesus and has accepted him as her personal Lord and Saviour. She added that she is happily married and was surprised to see so many persons at church.

Olliver’s story was a very touching one. He said that in 1998 he sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident which incapacitated his right hand.

“I had sufficient time to remember my past life and things I use to do…At one point I thought a lot about suicide after the accident,” said Oliver, who explained that he no longer thinks that way because of his relationship with Jesus. He said he accepted Jesus in 2001.

Individuals who serve in their communities despite having disabilities, along with professionals were given tokens of appreciation while certificates were given to several organizations that provide service to those with special needs.

Enna Bullock, a member of the Calder SDA Church delivering brief remarks, said she hoped persons in attendance learned vital lessons that can help them to have a positive attitude towards persons with disabilities.

The ceremony was attended by Girlyn Miguel, Minister of Education, Patricia Cumberbatch, President of the National Society of Persons with Disabilities (NSPD) and Marcia John, Assistant Coordinator of the Programme. (HN)

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