What happens in a society where a disabled child is seen as a curse? They become more than a burden to a family. The family avoids being near them if possible not wanting to have the curse touch them any more than necessary. When a child has a severe mental disability, paralysis, blindness or deafness, the problem is not solved just by learning how to take care of the child, because there is no desire to do so. These children become more than overlooked in society. Often they are left to fend for themselves. Sometimes, they get picked up by the mafia and used to beg for syndicated crime bosses.
Yet, here is one place the church has stepped into the void to demonstrate the unconditional love of Jesus in a tangible way. A couple of days ago, we were invited to see one such foundation, Camillian House, run by Catholics caring for the overlooked and underappreciated in society. A friend from our first English Clinic recently started working for this foundation. She has become so excited with her new job and seeing what people are doing for these precious children.
The foundation has 9 houses throughout Thailand caring for disabled children and children with HIV/AIDS. At the house we visited, we saw more than two dozen children with blindness, deafness, autism and various other physical or mental impairments learning to live life and function in society. One autistic girl had never been around people for years before coming to this house. She was scared by anyone new, and now she is starting to function among her friends at this house.
We saw the rooms where they study and other rooms for rehabilitation. The most difficult cases of children with multiple disabilities require round-the-clock care. They have people watching them in shifts morning and night.
They even had a play area for the children which was getting plenty of usage as we visited during their free-time. It didn’t take much coaxing to get me to jump on the trampoline with Lat, the 13-year-old blind boy that has a zest for life I can relate to.
As we visited, we saw how caring for the most despised in a society begins to change how people view life. These people are showing that each life is valuable to God.