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Special Needs Ministry

August 30, 2014

We have been praying for an opportunity to tackle some of the most difficult circumstances we have encountered in Burkina. I believe now we have the beginnings of an incredible solution to some huge challenges.

Going to Burkina Faso is a life changing experience. For me, the realization that so many people were living poor and hurting has become a personal calling to make a difference. I personally believe that once God reveals a need to you, even in the everyday places you work and play, He has done so because He has a role for you to play. 

We know that life is not fair in a fallen world, and the level of poverty in this part of West Africa heightens our awareness of that. Along with our partners Engage Burkina is trying to impact some of the root causes of such poverty. Challenges like a lack of clean water, access to health care, or an opportunity to receive meaningful education and job training. However, there has been another challenge to life in Burkina that has always been one of the things that has impacted me the most; the plight of those with physical, special needs in Burkina.

When someone in the this part of West Africa becomes lame primarily due to a lack of malnutrition they find themselves crawling in the dust of West Africa from place to place. How can you even survive? Most will view you as cursed and will isolate you. How do you get to clean water? Can you drag the 5 gallon can to a well several kilometers away and drag it back after it’s full and weighs 40 pounds? How do you care for your children? How do you make a living? How can you even eat?

We have received many donations over the last two years particularly for the hand pedaled bikes that many of you have seen pictures of on social media. They truly change a life. They give dignity to those who feel as though they have none. They provide a mode of getting around typically with enough space to allow someone to carry their own water and food. We have had people come from miles and miles away to receive these. I have had the opportunity of lifting someone up and placing them in one of these and praying for them. 

Now we have the opportunity to provide more than just these chairs (although we will continue to do that), but we need your help.

Three generous donors are offering funds to match us if we can raise $20,000. If we raise it. They will match it. Your gift could literally have the double the impact in Burkina Faso.

The Red Cross has given some of our Local Burkinabe Partners some buildings to be used to minister to the those with physical needs in the Sector 30 area of the capital city of Ouagadougou. By consulting with local leaders our Team Leader on the ground, John Arnold, has developed a plan to use these buildings for long term sustainability that will allow these people with special needs not only dignity, but the ability to provide for themselves. The plan is to use these already donated facilities to:

Raise chickens and sell the eggs and the chickens at the appropriate time.

Raise and sell sheep and pigs

Operate a restaurant built with complete access to those with physical needs in this part of Ouagadougou. People with special needs will also be the primary employees of this restaurant.

This plan compounds on itself year after year and provides a huge opportunity for long term viability.

We are raising $20,000 and those funds will be matched. Would you join us? Would you be willing to make some of the biggest impact you possibly could on those who otherwise have the least opportunity to receive this kind of opportunity?

Join with us and encourage others to as well!

Paul Richardson
Executive Director,Engage Burkina

 

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