LiveBeyond Spotlight | Haley Ogburn

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As a pediatric occupational therapist, I spend every day working with children with disabilities. My whole career is based on helping children find their independence and confidence with in their disability. During my time in Haiti, I was able to spend time with Johnny’s Kids. The joy, love, hope, passion, and drive that these kids had was tangible. You could see it in their eyes, the potential, and they knew it. Getting to know Lancey, Lerisa, Daphne, Badi, Nadia, Pierre Richard, and Chinyelo was a breath of fresh air. I have been wrestling with the idea that in Haiti disabilities are seen as a cursed in Voodoo culture and how I, a young and new-to-the-field occupational therapist, can make a difference. How can I help these beautiful, smart, playful children know that they are loved not only by God but everyone who meets them?

A form of an answer presented itself in an unexpected (typical of God) way. The 5th and 6th-grade Bible class I help teach is spending the summer studying characters in the Bible chosen by God to fulfill his promises. On this Wednesday, they were reviewing previous characters and started telling the story of Moses. Moses had quite a story and relationship with God. The aspect of the story I want to focus on is when God chose Moses to save his people, “and now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:9-10). The detail that caught my attention was when Moses questioned the Lord because he was uncomfortable with his speaking ability. “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since I have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10).  The Lord, of course, responds that he will help Moses speak and teach him what to say. Moses, still unsure, (typical of any patient) questions the Lord again, and the Lord provides Moses with the very first communication device for speech, his brother Aaron. God is the ultimate therapist; he was doing it long before anyone else, and he is the best that is for sure.

Moses, the first man in recorded history chosen by God to free his oppressed people, had a DISABILITY! How cool is that? How great is this message for Lancey, Lerisa, Daphne, Badi, Nadia, Pierre Richard, and Chinyelo that not only are they loved by God, but they are CHOSEN to do something great? It is an inspiring story for those of us that have the ability to teach them this, and it could help them discover their confidence and independence within their disability to fulfill God’s promises.

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

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