Caritas Thai Binh: Walking Together in Hope with Disabled People in Thai Binh
God and those close to us who love us were the topic presented and shared at the Sunflower Disability group meeting on March 23, 2021 at Nha Giao Ly, Ha Xa Parish, Ha Xa Village, Tan Le Commune, Hung Ha District, Thai Binh Province.
Present in the group that day were Father Joseph Nguyen Thuan, Pastor of Ha Xa Parish, Sisters of Caritas Thai Binh Office, Sister Maria Pham Thi Dung, full-time and valuable Sisters, collaborator of the Caritas Thai Binh Department of Disabilities, with members of the Sunflower Disability group.
A family of people with disabilities has been gathered by God himself in a warm, united atmosphere overflowing with love, support and care through his collaborators on earth. People with disabilities are the bond and the opportunity to link the life of unity among members. When people love and care for a member with a disability together, they feel God's boundless love and mercy for man, especially sinners and the weak.
Encyclical Amoris Laetitia, number 47 states: “People with disabilities bring family blessings and an opportunity to develop love, support and unity.” The message gave us a positive outlook. Regarding people with disabilities, they are not a burden to families and society, leading many people to discriminate, despise, neglect, or care for them in a way of pity.
God is good and loving. People often think that bad or unlucky things happen to people who don't seem to deserve it. In the gaze of faith, however, we need to be confident: God is good and loving, he always does and chooses what is best for each person.
In sharing with brothers and sisters with disabilities, Father Joseph Nguyen Thuan said: “Do not think that you are unlucky, because you are the lucky ones that many people know, care for, share with, and love. Even more important: you are getting to know each other, united, sympathetic, supporting and inspiring each other in family love.”
Father Joseph also gave examples of some people with disabilities overcoming difficulties, such as Nick Vujicic, born in 1982 in Australia with no arms and legs, barely able to move, who became a famous speaker. Nick Vujicic has come to Vietnam to present, and has inspired millions of people. Outstanding writer and teacher Nguyen Ngoc Ky was born in 1947 in Nam Dinh. From the age of 4, he was paralyzed in both arms, when he was 7 years old he went to school and learned to use his feet to write. From his own extraordinary energies, he became an elite writer, teacher, psychological consultant and educator, giving lectures all over Vietnam.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Vuong, a member of the group, shared that she was an unhealthy person like everyone else, but now she is living a happy life with her husband and three loving children. They have even been awarded the title of “Cultural Family.” At the end of the post, she sent a message to everyone that an optimistic lifestyle is the key to solving difficulties. The meeting ended after lunch. Everyone left with joy, full of hope, because they gave and received physical and spiritual gifts. The passion to live and the hope that everyone gives to each other will generate many good fruits for an optimistic and hopeful lifestyle that each person spreads to those around them. The Sunflower Disability Group was established by Caritas Thai Binh in 2019. The group currently has 30 members, who are people with disabilities in the Ha Xa Parish and surrounding areas. The majority of the members are non-Catholics. The group is accompanied by the Department of Disabilities, Caritas Diocese of Thai Binh and conducts regular activities every quarter.
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On the morning of March 2, 2021 Caritas Archdiocese of Saigon supported three patients with the delivery of new prosthetics. Mr. A.B. in Kon Tum, Mr. T.K. in Dac Nong and brother N.Y. in Hoc Mon had prosthetics installed at the Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Center of Ho Chi Minh City in Ward 7, District 3.