It all began with a conversation. A young boy with disabilities was living nearby, and he and his family desperately needed care.
When disability ministry volunteers arrived, they met little White and his mother Olivia. Olivia was stretched thin caring for her six children, and the whole family was malnourished.
White could barely sit up by himself, let alone walk. His stomach was distended and his hair was the distinctive rusty color of malnourished children. Volunteers knew they could offer physical aid but realized that a deeper level of care was also needed.
With that, the idea for the nutrition initiative was created. Volunteers worked hard to provide White and his family with the tools they needed to improve their nutrition.
As they became closer to the family, they discovered just how special White was.
Olivia told volunteers about White's birth and how he had been born prematurely. At the time, the local hospital experienced a power outage, so Olivia was sent home with her baby but little training on how to care for him. The only way to feed him was to pour milk into his mouth from a tiny cup since he was too little to breastfeed. Olivia knew White had been born with a condition, but it wasn't until the volunteers began helping that she learned the diagnosis was Down syndrome.
You can help our volunteers reach more caregivers and children with disabilities in Malawi.
White loves to play soccer, and his mother is delighted that the other kids in the neighborhood are no longer afraid of his Down syndrome.
In 2019, after a year of improved nutrition, Olivia, White, and his siblings have greatly improved. White is now able to stand on his own, and volunteers are working with him to use sticks to help him walk. He is an energetic boy who loves to play catch and soccer and is always making people laugh. His mother expressed her gratitude for the care provided by Kingdom Workers when she told us,
“It was God who brought the volunteers here. White might not exist without them.”
Whenever there is a Worship at the Cross service (a simplified worship service), she does all she can to take everyone to hear the good news of Jesus. She also speaks of how the disability ministry has helped change the stigmas surrounding those with disabilities. Now that people see just how loving, kind, and playful White is, they are less fearful of him, and this fills her heart with joy.
Thanks to the volunteers, White and so many more children and families have been helped through the new nutrition focus. By providing an additional level of care through improved nutrition, the disability ministry is continuing to do all it can to shatter stereotypes and show others that Jesus’ love is for everyone.
See how you can support our disability ministry in Malawi today.
Liana Tyrrell is the Africa Field Manager for Kingdom Workers. Liana and her husband love living in and raising their three children in Malawi. In addition to her work with Kingdom Workers, Liana is working toward a Masters degree in Public Health and enjoys applying her studies toward her work in Malawi.