April Newsletter - Learning Center for Children with Disabilities

A few years ago, some of the students of the Learning Center for children with disabilities and I were studying the book of Acts during our morning devotion. We read chapter 3, where Peter and John healed the crippled man outside of the Temple.

I remember thinking, “Isn’t that wonderful! How powerful is the name of Jesus! With just a little bit of faith, even the lame can walk!” But then I looked up…

In the room were several kids with wheelchairs and walkers… and what seemed to be a very large elephant. My thoughts quickly shifted and I began asking myself, “What about these kids? Where’s their healing? Don’t they have faith? Did they not pray correctly? Why can’t THEY leap from their wheelchairs and begin dancing like the man from the story?” I couldn’t answer these questions.

My initial reaction was to flip the page and begin reading the next chapter (and hope that the kids hadn’t noticed the miraculous healing we had just read about). But instead of avoiding the issue, I addressed it head on. I asked how they felt reading the passage: How they felt knowing that sometimes God heals people, and sometimes He doesn’t; how they felt that God has allowed them to remain with their disabilities?

Cristian (a young man with muscular dystrophy) answered. He explained that it was indeed difficult to read such things. He couldn’t explain why God makes the choices that He does. Cristian did say that he knew his disabilities didn’t keep God from using him. He could still share God’s love and inspire others to push through the hardships of life… and to trust in God.

I realized that day that the kids of the Learning

Center had a strength of character and spiritual maturity that surpassed my own. That would not be the last time these courageous kids would demonstrate such characteristics to me.

Cristian is physically limited to minor movements in his fingers and wrists. But his mind and spirit are strong, active and are constantly pursuing the next level. He paints. He paints well. His talent and attention to detail in his paintings equal those of any artist I’ve seen.

He has completed INEA (the government’s adult education program) and is close to finishing his high school education online. Unable to type with his fingers, he uses two pencils to hit the keys on the computer.

Because of his deep love for God and the Bible, Cristian desires to be a pastor. In fact, he has already had several opportunities to preach. He is hoping

to begin a four year theology program this summer to better equip him for the ministry that he believes God has called him to. Cristian is an inspiration. He is proof that God can use each of us despite any limitations we think we have. He is one of about 30 kids at the Learning Center… each of whom are equally inspiring.

In order to help kids like Cristian pursue their dreams, the opportunity exists to donate to the education fund. Please pray and ask God if he is calling you to partner with him and others in this manner. And while you’re praying, please ask a special blessing for all the Learning Center kids.

Al Carlson

Learning Center Teacher