Our friends from Global BP Solutions joined the most recent Epworth support group meeting. The group opened with worship and devotions. Lucia gave a brief history of COA which started with the story of her eldest son. Three members also shared their testimonials of how being part of COA has encouraged and helped them in their daily lives.
Sam who serves as a Global Solutions pastor was asked to introduce his supervisor JW Oliver who is the founder of Global Solutions. Steve shared the vision of starting a company to provide employment for those in Zimbabwe. He expressed how blessed they all were to be there with everyone and to have the opportunity to learn and work with COA. https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwyu9nm2owirgpc/GSBP-Epworth.MP4?dl=0
Chenga Ose Association and Global Solutions
So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:5
What can happen when two God fearing organizations join forces for the good of Zimbabwe? We are about to find out…
COA and Global Solutions are taking steps to learn more about each other and how they can work together. Late last month they met with children and adults with disabilities and their families.
The program started with praise and worship.
Lucia shared the COA story and how group members are supported and empowered.
The group was challenged to think about their perception of people with disabilities and why. Families and individuals shared their experiences, suffering and victories living with disabilities.
As the group further discussed and defined disabilities two panelists were called up to speak: Sister Mupawayenda a rehabilitation nurse and certified midwife to talk from a medical point of view and Henry Kane, a disability activist who is physically disabled. Henry summed up this time beautifully by saying that he does not consider himself “not normal” because he has not experienced the other ways of doing things.
COA member, Admire led the group in song which was an incredible blessing to everyone in the room.
After lunch COA Support Group co-coordinator gave an update on an income generation project they are doing by making different kinds of soap.
The afternoon also included a demonstration of tools needed to work on finger and hand coordination. Families were encouraged to exercise their children at home to help supplement health care they desperately need but are not receiving.
Pastor Sam was invited to provide background of GBP solutions and what they are learning with COA. Global Solutions acknowledged their hopes of hiring children from COA groups if they have skills they can use.
Davis Mambure (below) gave the vote of thanks, notices and way forward, then Pastor Kanodeweta closed the time in prayer.
This was a full and fruitful day together, yet COA members and Global Solutions are only just beginning their work together to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities in Zimbabwe!
More to come…
This new group in Murehwa Zimbabwe has been growing rapidly. At the August meeting the Mambure’s realized that 19 new members joined and other stakeholders attended such as the Social Welfare Officer.
The participants expressed their joy at the coming of COA in their community. The Social Welfare Officer who is a representative of the government expressed their appreciation for COA’s initiative and concern for rural people. The program they said, helped them realize how many people with disabilities were in this particular community and also it is mobilizing people for collective advocacy and impact.
It’s amazing to see this community rising up and pursing the call to love ALL.
Here’s Lucia speaking at a recent workshop: Disability Friendly Church – Beyond Sympathy: Towards Empathy and Altruism.
This conversation included a message about how important it is to move past our tendencies to feel sorry for those with disabilities and move on to building relationships.
VIVA Network Country Coordinator and staff were in attendance as a follow up to the first ‘Value and Purpose’ teaching COA shared. VIVA Network has embraced the vision and decided to invite more pastors and leaders to hear this message and take action in their own churches and communities.
Earlier this week Davis was part of a meeting hosted by Tearfund and Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ).
This group discussed the truth about people with disabilities and ideas for how they can be participating more in their community. Truth is, people with disabilities are just as valuable as the rest of us and have a significant role to play. Our homes, churches, work places, etc. are incomplete without their voice and contribution.
A big thanks to Tearfund, EFZ and 20 more leaders in Zimbabwe who are pioneering change through the right conversations!