China: People with disabilities

According to recent government statistics, there are 82,960,000 people with disabilities in China. Of these, 78% live in the countryside, 50% are illiterate, and 74% are unemployed. In Sichuan Province alone, where a powerful 2008 earthquake left up to 80,000 dead and 400,000 injured, more than 6.2 million people are currently listed as having some type of disability – nearly 8% of the population.

Here’s a story: A young mother in Sichuan gives birth to a son with severe metabolic disease. her family tells her to abandon the child, but she refuses to give up on him. Because of this, her husband leaves her and her son eventually dies at the age of 6. Later on, the couple reunites again and has a second son. Unfortunately, the second some is diagnosed with the same disease. Even with the help of professional rehabilitation, nothing can be done to slow down the deterioration of the boy’s condition. In her anguish the mother cries out, ‘Why is God so unfair? I did not ask for a perfect  son, but He does not even spare the life of a handicapped child!’ A Christian occupational therapist journeys with her during this difficult time and comforts her, suggesting that the length of life is not the most important thing, but eh quality of life. After reading the story of Joni Eareckson, the young mother begins to study the Bible with the therapist and learns to draw strength from His Word.

Pray that people with disabilities in China would increasingly be recognised by society as people of worth and value.

Ask that disabled people across China will come to know the Great Physician and be healed physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Ask for transformation in the lives of government officials and professional workers (including teachers and rehabilitation workers) so that they will have the heart to care for and serve the disabled.

Pray for local churches to reach out to the disabled and to make special efforts to include and accept them.

Ask the Lord of the Harvest to raise up more Christian health professionals from overseas – especially those who have experience in mental health – to train local staff in China’s rehabilitation centers.

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