Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific: But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matthew 19:14) NIV
The heart of the Lord must rejoice as He sees the impact being made in the lives of children with disabilities, thanks to the efforts of the Mango Tree Respite Center (MTRC) in the Kingdom of Tonga.
August was a busy month for the MTRC as they started out with a Disability Bible Camp. For two days, youth and adults with disabilities joined in a passionate time of praise, worship, and fellowship!
“Our mission is to not only provide rehabilitation for the people with disabilities, but to also serve them and their families, both physically and spiritually,” said In-Kwon Kim, Administrator of the MTRC.
Later in the month, great roars of joy and cheering bursts could be heard from all around the MTRC, as they celebrated Disability Sport Week!
“We stood in awe as Iloa, who had been in bed all of his life due to his quadriplegia, let out laughter and lifted his hands to hit the ball that had been thrown his way,” said Kim.
Siaosi, a paraplegic and Maneo, a double amputee, playfully fought over who would get the ball, while the people with visual impairment came together around a table to play a game of soccer. It was a sight to behold, as the children listened intently to the sound of the rolling ball and then hit it into the opponent’s goal!
The Mango Tree Center is truly impacting lives, but not without the help of many nations! Earlier in the summer, students from the Lincoln University in New Zealand, came to the MTRC for 10 days, and built beautiful herb and flower gardens. The students designed the gardens and even raised the funds themselves.
Gardening is beneficial for the emotional health and social development of people with disabilities. Planting flowers and looking after them is especially helpful for rehabilitative therapy.
In many instances throughout the islands of the South Pacific, children who are born with disabilities are seen as “curses” from the gods. It is through serving as the tangible hands and feet of Christ, that the Mango Tree Respite Center is literally bringing these little children to Jesus. But not just the children, for when you love the children, their parents follow!
Please commit to pray for the ministry of the MTRC! If you would like more information, you can visit them by following these links:
Prayer Request: The Kims have been asking God to send a missionary (physiotherapist/occupational therapist) who would do mission work at the center through rehabilitative therapy.