13 Good Reasons to Care About Persons Living with Disabilities

  1. The Global Transformation NetworkI will be rewarded in heaven. Luke 14:14
  2. I’m told to be kind to them. Ephesians 4:32
  3. I’m commanded to love them. John 13:35
  4. I need to love them not just in with words, but with deeds. I John 3:18
  5. If I love them, everyone will know I am His disciple. John 13: 35
  6. What I do for the least of them, I do for Jesus. Matt 25:40
  7. The weaker parts are uniquely gifted to serve. I Peter 4:10
  8. The weaker parts are indispensable and deserve special honor. 1 Cor. 12:22,23
  9. God loves them.
  10. Someone I know could be one of them.
  11. Someone I love could be one of them.
  12. I could become one of them.
  13. I am one of them.

Finding My Way Back

I live in Catonsville, MD, 2 miles from St Agnes Hospital where I was born.  I have lived my entire life in Maryland; 48 years in Western Howard County, MD. My maternal grandparents are buried in the National Cemetery about three miles as the bird flies from my apartment window.

Why do I review this with you? Because Coming Back is a non-sequitur for me in the ordinary sense of coming back, because I never really left.

Yet, in the intervening years I have traveled the globe: Europe, Eurasia, Far East, Middle East, East and West Africa, South America, etc…etc…

But, the last six months have taken me to new and different places…the world of people living with disabilities.  Ironic, isn’t it?  I’ve spent most of my adult life encouraging and training people to love and serve people living with disabilities and …ShaZam…I am one.

Gradually, I am Finding My Way Back to a semblance of what was, albeit missing a few body parts. I’m slowly regaining my strength as the pain is subsiding. I even sat through a two-hour meeting today working on GTN’s new website format, Facebook page and plans for GTN’s May 1&2 Disability Training in Phoenix, AZ.

I still have many upcoming medical appointments, a hallmark of this new tour of the very challenging world of disability as a person living with several disabilities:

  • March 23 Geneticist report on CHK2 gene
  • March 24 Mercy Hospital…hopefully the final 2 drains get removed
  • March 28 Oncologist to discuss chemo or no chemo: I vote NO chemo!!
  • March 31 Eye Ultrasound and Retinal Surgeon pre-op appointment
  • April 14 Left eye vitrectomy
  • April 30 Fly to Phoenix

So, my friends, personal experience is indeed the best teacher. I want to be a very good learner so I will have more nuggets of truth to share with others on similar journeys.

Your uplifting prayers sustain me. As you think of me, please continue.

Love to all,

Diana


If you want to learn more about Diana and her journey, go to www.caringbridge.org, sign up and enter Diana Mood or go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/findingmyway . Try to find the humor sprinkled in among the weeds!

The Global Transformation Network, Inc. – Transforming hearts, transforming the globe.

Integrating disability advocacy and community development within a Biblical context.

Register for the IWMC pre-conference and the primary conference at https://atm.webconnex.com/iwmc2017individual.

Frozen in Time

Seventeen years ago GTN began as a vision of two callings melding into one.
Terry’s two year, life changing Peace Corp Ethiopia experience and love for Africa and Diana’s love for a high school friend who broke her neck right after high school graduation and consequent commitment to people with disabilities. And so GTN was born and the rest is history.
For so long we have been dividing all the organizational hats between the two of us, that this website has……well….been…frozen in time.
With the recent addition of Tony Young, social media marketing guru
extraordinaire…help is on the way.
We hope you like our new look and visit often.
Diana Mood, Director & Co-founder, The Global Transformation Network

Hearts spoiled for the ordinary.

gtnGTN has been working in in Ethiopia, with others, to turn around the effects of 2,000 years of neglect. Out of a population of 73 million people, 7 million persons have mental or physical disabilities, 3 million are stricken with HIV/AIDS, and 7 million children never reach their first birthday.

The Global Transformation Network needs your help to bring hope, training and education to the lives of Ethiopia’s at-risk population. This can be accomplished by:

  • Implementing Sustainable projects to offer positive physical, economic and spiritual change.
  • Dispelling Myths about disabilities among all segments of the culture.
  • Enabling the unemployed and underemployed to become productive, self-supporting citizens by providing educational, vocational, business, and training opportunities.

Update from GTN

gtnThe best way to find information about GTN’s past activities is to open CURRENT PROJECTS and in the SEARCH line put in a year…2010, 2011, 2012.  Then advance through the previous or next month arrows.  As you do this you will come upon various summary posts of our training.

Our goal is to keep more current with all our postings.

The American staff will be traveling internationally again in the Fall of 2013, so come back and look for more details about these trips as the time approaches.  Our very faithful and talented staff in Ethiopia continues to conduct monthly training in various parts of the country on a regular basis.  As we receive field reports we will post them.  Here is one field quote from a 2012 training:

“Disability TOT I & II for Master trainers and volunteer trainers from two Wereda (districts) in Ethiopia

Wolita dTOT (disability training of trainers)1 Training Report from August 6-8/2012

Wolita Sodo is one of the places where Life Wind Ethiopia has implemented the CHE (community health evangelism) program.  Currently LWE works collaborated with Ketna Kale Heywet Church, the CHE program implemented in two Weredas.There are 6 Master Trainers who are assigned to these 2 Awrajas and also there are 2 Master Trainers now assigned in a ketene level as a coordinator of the 2 Weredas .The dTOT1 Training is given for 8 Master Trainers and 2 volunteer trainers for a total of 10 trainees participating in the training. The training was conducted by Sr. Amelework [CHE Disability Facilitator] and Sharon A. [CHE Women’s Ministry Facilitator] for 3 days. This is the first training in this region focused on disability. Before we start the training we ask about their expectations.They said,…” we want to learn the cause of disability, what the Word of God says about disability, how to work with People With Disabilty, and what will be our parts.”

These were their expectations. We conduct the training according to our schedule.  The training was challenging and very interesting some of the lessons even were totally new for them. However, we finished our training successfully. Their understanding  for disability  and PWDs (people with disabilit) is almost similar to what the community have being following  all along for a period of time seeing  disability  as a curse, and  not giving that much attention and care  for  them. Some of the trainees who came to this training have a leading position in church and they told us the PWDs are afraid to come in to the church and we as leaders are not even concerned about them as a member or include them in the church activities. The lesson, Care for the Care Givers, also impressed them because usually they said “we look at the people living with disabilities first, but as of now the burden of the care givers should also not be ignored”

Finally, they raised their fears about how they may continue this ministry since it is all new, but we told them they must carry it on like one of their CHE activities and teach the community this priceless lesson. Jesus is the master of our work. And these trained master trainers went on and trained 20 volunteer additional trainers (in disability advocacy).”

Merry Christmas Ethiopians

Ethiopians celebrate New Year’s Day in September each year and are 7 years behind the western calendar as they use the Gregorian calendar.

All of the women in each family will be up all night preparing for the Christmas day feast.  Typically, each family buys a sheep, if they can afford it, kills it and cooks it in various dishes and stews.

Here is a glimpse of other traditional Ethiopian Christmas customs.

*A Christmas scene including a manger scene that includes the Three Magi.  Legend has it that the king bearing frankincense was King Balthazar of Ethiopia.

*Families will attend a local Christian Orthodox service.  All will sing carols and carry candles either during or after the service.

*After church an Ethiopian feast is enjoyed of foods like doro wat (a spicy chicken stew), injera bread (flat round bread), Ambasha (huge round celebration bread) and homemade drinks.

*A game of Ganna or Leddat, field hockey, is enjoyed by the children separating into two opposing teams.  The stick and ball are made from locally grown trees.  In Ethiopia, the teams often represent certain regions.  According to tradition, shepherds celebrated when they heard of Jesus birth by playing such a game.

Pray for Ethiopians as they celebrate that the true meaning of Christs appearance will be known and experienced in new and fresh ways.

Wholistic Generations of Laborers

This is happening because of your financial gifts and prayers and our travel and training in the field.

When those master trainers (nationals) we’ve trained go deeper into the bush/down country to train other village nationals, volunteer CHEs (Community Health Evangelists), this training team becomes the 2nd generation disability training team.

The 2nd generation CHEs use the lessons on disability in their homes and then train their churches and neighbors.  They become the 3rd generation disability training CHE’s!!

PRAY neighboring villages and tribes ask them for the same training…multiplying to 4th and 5th generations of wholistic laborers.   It is probably already happening, but 16-25 hours out of Addis Abba, Ethiopia’s capitol, now by foot, with no phones or computers, it is difficult to track Gods messages and laborers.

Jesus has trained all of His followers to be multipliers.  Multipliers work horizontally within a village and vertically deeper and deeper into a nation.  We call this generational multiplication.  We all are called to both horizontal and vertical multiplication; both are necessary and so exciting…so GTN is pleased with the progress so far.  Thank you each: the national trainers in the field, intercessors, gifts to cover the trainings, those writing disability lessons, and organizers.  It takes a whole team.

*We use the word “wholistic” (instead of “holistic”) to denote training for the whole person: spiritual, physical, emotional and social.

THE SPREAD AND IMPACT OF PRAYER, GIFTS AND TRAININGS

Faithful people, partnering together, passing on wholistic Biblical truth

*In 6 months, our team (of Ethiopians and an American–1st generation) trained 21 national master trainers (2nd generation) who trained 156 national CHEs (3rd generation) in 72 villages who trained their churches and neighbors.  It’s gone viral!!

*In the past year, we trained 3 times in West Africa.  From those groups Dayo, from Nigeria, gave a vision seminar on disability in Senegal!  Heartbeat for Africa (Americans) also attended:  This spring June and Greg will give disability trainings in Liberia and Sierra Leone! Greg has been asked to give it in Peru!  2nd generation trainers!

*A pastor confessed and repented before his congregation for his lack of Biblical understanding and his exclusion and neglect of people with disability.

*A district denomination office hired a 15-year-old Downs gal; she is the primary wage earner in her family.

*”We believe those with seizures are witches and stone them to death.  Now we know the disease and must tell our villages,” reported one trainee in Nigeria.

*Kids and families are being embraced by the church and community.  Slowly the disabled, in community with disability training, are no longer hidden and isolated.  They are going to school and church.  Some are being employed.  PRAY for more and more to hear the good news, change attitudes and transform communities.

Just as we are celebrating HIS birth at this time of year, people are experiencing a new birth of attitudes and behavior; those with disability are experiencing love and acceptance and a new way of life…truly an unexpected new birth for them.  Globally, people with disability represent the largest unreached people group.

PRAY they will be sought out and embraced…and be told that the Savior loves them, too…and experience spiritual birth.

We invite you to make a comment or start a dialogue.