“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Final Serbia report

Well we had an amazing time our last night in Belgrade that revolved around going to this large facility for people with various disabilities. The Bible college talks often about these 3 women who are Christians there. That many people go to visit them. We went to the place and there were probably 40 adults with autism and severe ID milling around in a very large fenced area. It was very depressing. I tried to greet some of them, but it is tough when they are autistic and you don't speak the language.

Anyway, we went to the other side of the facility to go meet the three ladies. On the way we started chatting with a woman with disabilities who was sitting there. When we said we were from America, she asked, "Why did you bomb us?" referring to the NATO bombing in 1999. People there are sensitive about that issue feeling the bombing was unjust. We told her we had nothing to do with it but were sorry it was so very frightening for her. Anyway, after a while, Steve asked, "Is there anything I can pray for you about?" She replied, "Why do you want to pray for me?" Steve said, "Well we talk to God and tell him about our needs. We would like to talk to him about yours". She replied, "Well give him my regards!"

We then went in and chatted with these three ladies. They were all very physically disabled but of normal intelligence. We once again tried to be encouraging. One of them asked, "What would you tell a person with a physical disability if they asked you why God made them that way?" Steve responded, and then looked to me. I told them, that this is a mystery, but John 9 tells us something that is not intuitive. We look at people with disabilities and think that the disability is somehow bad. But when Jesus was asked why the blind man had a disability, he responded that this occurred so that the Glory of God might be seen in his life. So I told them someone might have a physical disability so that the Glory of God might be seen in her life. They were kinda stunned. One began to cry softly. After an extended period of silence, one of the others said, "I have seen the Glory of God in my life" and then shared about how she prays for her family, all of this of course through a translator.

I then told them that if I lived in Belgrade I would try to come by and visit the mostly men who were on the other side of the facility. I asked them, "Would you please remember to pray for the men that are on the other side?" You could see them milling around outside the window. One of the ladies said, "What would we pray for them about?" I said, that they would be safe, that they would feel loved, that their families would come and visit them, that they would be happy. Another of the women began to cry and said "We will do this." We chatted for a while longer and finally left. It was a very interesting time, very powerful time. I really felt like I was used in that situation and was praying as hard as I could the whole time. It was very cool.

The final days of training were great, once again because of the very talented students. We took a picture of the group and said our goodbyes. One of the students was hilarious. He told me to "Show the picture to women" because he is looking for a wife I guess.



Trisha Roberts said...

Doctor McNair,
It sounds like your trip was amazing. Even though there was a language barrier, God used your group to reach some of those women:) It was touching to read how Jesus opened the eyes of that woman to see that He can use disabilities to glorify Himself. It must have been incredible to see the power of God and the Holy Spirit working in their hearts.
It was also very interesting to read about that woman's grudge against the United states and NATO. I read that almost 500 civilians were killed during the air strikes. Maybe she had a horrifying experience. Well, your group still planted a seed and it's wonderfulthat others were open to listening to your message. It's wonderful that you were given this opportunity and it sounds like you enjoyed it:)
-Trisha Roberts

Adriana Duff said...

I am so glad that you had the opportunity to visit these people. It is heart breaking, but at the same time I felt rejoice in my heart to read your words. Isn't amazing how a simple conversation can make such a big difference in a person life? It makes me wish that I had the power to change things in an instance, but then I think that changing things in an instance would not really change anything, as I would no be changing peoples hearts and that's what we really need; A change of heart in all people so that we learn to love these people (our brother and sisters in Christ) unconditionally. God bless every single one of you!

MamaPoRuski said...

Great trip! Can't wait to hear updates from those you trained to follow up! God Bless!

Mark said...

One of the ways the man blind from birth glorified God was in his demonstration of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The man had been healed in a very public way, on Sabboth, which to the Pharisees, proved Jesus could not be from God. The man replied, look, all I know is that I was blind and now I see. In all history no one who wasn't from God could do this.

Jesus explained that he did this to show that the Pharisees were guilty, because they were blind to what had happened before their very eyes.

Perhaps that is one way people with disabilities glorify God by their presence. They cause us to make a choice that reveals whether that person sees God's will for us, or if they are blind to Him

Anonymous said...

Mary Sorola
Dr. McNair
EDU 350
24 April 2009

Church and Disabilities Part 3

Hello Dr. McNair,
I was so excited to read your latest update on your Serbia trip. The situations that these disabled adults are living in sounded quite distressing. The image of fencing in adults was quite chilling.
I was thinking about your comment about the language barrier in addition to autism, and I was wondering
It was such a blessing to hear about your encounter with the disabled women who was questioning the NATO bombing. Sharing with her God’s love and offering to pray with her may have been the one thing that she needed to change her perspective about Americans. Breaking down stereotypes one-on-one is so rewarding; as well as being able to give an example of our relationship with Christ.
It was also an encouragement to hear about your exchange with the 3 disabled women. God’s glory truly is prevalent in the lives of these special people.

Mary Sorola

Anonymous said...

Dr McNair,
Sounds like really blessed the people on your trip. The kind words you said to the ladies will remain in their hearts forever. I'm glad you were able to glorify God by speaking to them. I know often times people ask "why" when their child is born with a disability, its good to have somewhat of an answer for them to bring some sort of comfort. I pray that we can continue to glorify God as we continue to work with His children. Amen!
~Beth Serrato