OUTSIDER formación means identifying with and caring for prisoners and their children, people with disabilities, street children and others at the margins.
How we approach the alien, the stranger, the marginalised and invite and welcome them into the kingdom of God is a huge challenge – and an important part of Latin Link’s heart. We have members working with Christian organisations in all the above situations.
‘I come from England having had a background in the education of children with special needs. I am currently based in Costa Rica, but my work takes me all over Latin America as I network with other Christians who have a concern for people with disabilities. Much of my time is spent in teaching and training people in ministry who want to be able to relate to those who have a disability.
By making the extra effort, adaptations, and most importantly, changing our attitudes, we can make people with disabilities feel truly welcomed and accepted.I also coordinate a ministry in our church in San José that provides some pastoral support for families who are struggling as they have a family member with a disability. Many of these families are single parent, almost all are in great poverty, and usually there is little state provision. They benefit from being able to share experiences and pray together, and sometimes they are able to support one another practically; those with more experience show others how to meet the challenges they face.
Over the years I have realised that not only is it part of our work as the body of Christ to seek out those with disabilities and show them God’s love, but in doing so we gain the love of many who have been forgotten. These people have great gifts themselves and it is only as we enable them to participate in church that we benefit from their unique experience.’
Brenda Darke, Costa Rica