Monday, June 13, 2011

It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child

Our newest ministry is called Village Initiative with Parents (VIP). Some folks think we are setting up retirement homes because we use the term "Village" but that is not the intent. We are using the term Village in the same way Mrs. Hilary Clinton did. It is an African proverb that indicates "It takes a whole village to raise a child."

Our ministry has a laser sharp intent to recruit, train and release members of the community-the village- to support Parents with a child who has a special need. If it takes a whole village to rear a typical child just imagine how many of the village members are needed to help rear a kid with a disability.

The first question I am asked is usually, "What kind of disability?" My answer is always the same: "Any kind". Some of the kids whose parents were in our yearlong research study had severe physical disabilities and others were challenged more in the behavioral areas. It does not make much difference to the rest of the family because "When one member of the family hurts we all hurt." I CO 12.

Hurt comes in many ways and from many directions. It always hurts no matter where it comes from and who it hits. Parents are always hurt when one of their children is hurt. Parents worry a lot. They work a lot and have to spend lots of money when a child is sick. They are bone tired much of the time. They want a need emotional and spiritual support from The Village.

Interestingly, the ways members of The Village can be most helpful are not complicated or difficult. The best helps comes from ordinary people who will be "Friends in Deed". Friends who will listen and cry; listen and laugh: listen and encourage; listen and act.

Go to our web and see what you can do to help.

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