CHVN has started a new partnership with Hope and Healing International.
A Christian ministry is hoping Canadians will join in one giant group hug in order to bring the Gospel and medical healing to children and their families in developing countries.
Approximately 150 million children in the world have a disability. In many developing countries kids with disabilities are ignored, misunderstood and forgotten – many are hidden away in backrooms out of shame or necessity as parents try to put food on the table for all their kids, Ed Epp of Hope and Healing International says.
Listen to the full conversation:
Hope and Healing is a ministry that goes "that works with the most vulnerable children, the most vulnerable people, in the world," Epp says. He says that the children and families the organization helps face such extreme poverty that they cannot afford food let alone medical care or being able to get to school. "These are the poorest kids in the world," he says.
"The reality for too many of those children is that they will die. They'll die before age five," Epp says. Even those who do survive past the age of five will never have the opportunity to get to school. Their biggest dream is often to simply become a beggar, hoping to be given enough to survive day-to-day.
Children are often hidden by their family members or even abandoned. "Every single day you come into situations like that. Often it's the father that abandons the mother with the child. So you'll see a mother with a child with cerebral palsy or clubfoot or something, and she's alone and has no way of earning an income, and she's just devastated." Epp says there are cases where grandparents are left to raise the children or even times when children are completely abandoned and left to fend for themselves. "It's pretty destitute."
"Hope and Healing’s main focus is to share Jesus’ love with children and families too often considered the ‘least of these.’ The Gospels clearly show a Jesus of action who pointed people to His Father in heaven through miracles of healing and hope," the organization says.
People can make one-time or monthly donations to go towards helping young people and their medical needs.That's why the ministry is calling the campaign a "group hug" effort. By bringing many people together and donating whatever they can, they can collectively make an impact on young lives.
Just $30 starts a child on their journey to hope and healing, and $360 provides complete medical care for a child. Check out mygrouphug.ca to find out how you can be a part of a group hug that brings hope and healing to a young life.
Epp says that when someone makes a donation they begin "a series of actions that brings hope to a kid." The ministry provides children with not just medical procedures but follows up with therapy and teaching caregivers how to care for the child.
"Every single child in this world is valued by God and should be valued by us the same. That's an easy thing to say, it's a real hard thing to do," Epp says. "And that's what we're all about: valuing each child just as Jesus does."