CRCDD and Christians Raise Over 250,000F to Main Stream Disability in Churches

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CRCDD Team at the Apostolic Church Azire

CRCDD Team at the Apostolic Church Azire

The Community Resources Centre For the Disabled and Disadvantaged-CRCDD working in partnership with some Christian churches in Mezam Division has raised over 250 000 FCFA to support these churches to be inclusive for all categories of Christians, under the Socio-Economic Empowerment of People With Disability (SEEPD) Program of the Cameroon Baptist Health Board Services, aimed at main streaming disability in churches.

Over three succesive Sundays begening November 8, 2015, some members of the CRCDD joined the Christians of the Catholic Church Njimafor, The Presbyterian Church Njamchep Bawock-Bali, the Ramah Christain Centre Mile IX Mankon, the Faith Ministries Mulang -Bamenda and the Apostolic Church Azire Bamenda during Sunday church services and holy mass to enlighten Christians and church leaders on the need to have the church open to every category of people who are seeking heaven.

Mme Limen Florence Coordinator of CRCDD and head of the team advised Christians and the church leaders not to look at the disabled and disadvantaged as “object of pity” because they too have a lot to contribute to the growth of church. They also want to make heave on the last day and “you will not be required to stand by us to justify in front of God that we were cripples, blind, deaf or dump and that is why we didn’t get the word of salvation” she said.

So saying, CRCDD launched the contribution exercise in each stop over with the sum of 10,600 FCFA, assisting the Christians to join in raising money towards making their churches more inclusive for all.

At the Union Baptist Church aka Faith Ministries

At the Union Baptist Church aka Faith Ministries

The team explained to surprise Christians and church leaders of the churches visited how many of our churches exclude people like the blind, dumb, deaf and the physically challenged, not only from participating in church activities but from listening to the word of God.

The y called on the churches to build ramps into the churches, pulpit, pastors’ and fathers’ houses, offices, church hall, Sunday schools and toilets to give the disabled in society a place in church.

This should not only end here, but these categories of people should also be allow to hold position of leadership in church, sing in the choirs, preach the word of God and more.

According to Mme Limen Florence, “Many disabled and disadvantaged persons want to preach the Good News, sing in the choirs, listen to the gospel but this is not possible…look around you, look at me, I needed someone else to lift me up the steps and push me in because there are no ramps, I can’t climb on the pulpit to preach now because these steps are a physical barrier to me and my kind” she added.

So many deaf dump, blind and the physically challenged persons don’t go to church regularly because they are not considered by the church. This group of people need sign language interpreters, church material in Braille, ramps to give them unhindered access into and out of the churches, to be drafted in the various management committees, to be allow to praise God like any other person by singing, preaching, and reading the bible.

Rev. John Mbokwa, Mission Director of the Apostolic Church in Cameroon who happened to by in church on Sunday November 22, when the team visited the Apostolic Church Azire said the Apostolic Church like the rest of other churches does not intentionally look down at the disables but that it due to ignorance and that most churches have forgotten about these group of people. He assured CRCDD and its partners that they have taken note of this fact and will from here try to raise the conscious of the church as a whole on the issue. Rev. Mbokwa promised to take the fight everywhere he goes from now within and without Cameroon and to assist CRCDD open the conscience of many church leaders.

CRCDD coordinator Limen Florence being helped out of one of the churches

CRCDD coordinator Limen Florence being helped out of one of the churches

Our churches are made up of several physical barriers that prevent such people from going to church

Our churches are made up of several physical barriers that prevent such people from going to church

Wilfred Yemga, the Project Chair of PC Njamchep-Bawock acknowledged his ignorance of the needs of the disadvantaged people in his church and promised to build ramps for this category of Christians without delay as he put it “this is an urgent need for us now”

“This simply never crossed our minds or we just over looked it when conceiving and designing our projects, but I can assure you, your visit has prick our conscience” he added.

Nanga Ernestine Christian of Catholic Church Njimafor said the church is for everybody including our cripples, blind and deaf brothers and sister and it’s really bad that we never thought of them and this makes me ashamed. “I pray we contribute weekly towards this”

Including the 10, 600 FCFA contributed by CRCDD, the project was able to raise 56 875 frs at the Apostolic Church Azire, 24 100 at the Faith Ministries, 16 600 at PC Njamchep, 73 100 at the Catholic Church Njimafor and an undisclosed amount at the Ramah Centre to assist the various church become more inclusive.

The “inclusive church for all” campaigned is sponsored by Christian Blind Mission (CBM)-Australia through the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board, under the SEEPD program. CRCCD was co-opted in to carry this phase of the program that targets mostly churches.

B y Emmanuel Ndonue

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