Ukraine (MNN) — The Americans with Disabilities Act has done much to help assist in the needs of the disabled in that nation. However, the U.S. is one of only a few nations who try to provide assistance to those who are in need mentally and physically. Those with disabilities in other nations have a difficult life.
Global Aid Network (GAIN USA) wants to lighten that burden by traveling to Ukraine for a special short-term mission opportunity this fall. GAIN USA's International Mobilization Coordinator Sharyn Schweder says, "This is a hugely-overlooked and neglected segment of their society."
Why are we talking about it now? Because the deadline to sign up is quickly approaching — June 24th. Schweder says, "We will be working primarily with wheelchair ministry. We had originally been networking and trained by Wheels for the World, which is a ministry of Joni and Friends. And we will be taking a team to the Crimea."
According to Schweder, "[The team] will be working with the local church and ministries there in outreach to the handicapped. They basically go in and fit individuals for wheelchairs; some of these people have never had a wheelchair."
Schweder says some people have been bedridden for years. Once they reached a certain age or size, nobody could carry them where they needed to go. "There are no handicap facilities in these countries and very little handicap resources. So we take the wheelchairs in, and they literally change lives. We take them in with the Gospel — with the love of Christ."
What kinds of people are they looking for? "[We're looking for] anybody with a willing heart, a compassion for handicapped people, and a passion for the Gospel. Our primary focus is to expand the Kingdom of God and to do that through, not only the Gospel, but compassionate aid that meets the needs of the people we're ministering to," says Schweder.
The trip will be September 2 – 13, 2011. Sign-up deadline is June 24.