By Rebecca Massouh

Inside the hall of Saydet El Inaya church in Maghdouche, many families of children and adults with special needs and learning difficulties began to gather. Yet there was one family who caught my attention.

 They were all laughing, enjoying dinner and each other’s company as loud, joyful music played in the background. Exuberant joy was evident on their faces, as this was a special day for them that they always looked forward to where they will be celebrated for their uniqueness.

One family’s experience raising a child with special needs

This family has a daughter with Down Syndrome called Christy. She is full of life and self-confidence. When I asked her parents about her, I was both surprised yet filled with joy to hear their answers.

When asked what life is like for Christy, her father gladly said that it is normal.

Her mother added confidently, “She is not different at all from her siblings. You wouldn’t know the difference among them.” 

Surprisingly, she doesn’t face bullying or mistreatment outside her home or at her school, but rather, school for her is a safe place. She enjoys going there, loves to study, and has a strong memory. Her father said that she doesn’t see herself as different from others. How wonderful that is!

Her mother shared with me more about how she has a servant-minded and obedient heart as she helps her in the kitchen by peeling potatoes and squeezing lemon. My heart leapt with joy hearing that she is that close to cooking all by herself.

Laboring Together

This special event led by founder of SKILD and CEO of LSESD, Dr. Nabil Costa in partnership with the “Faith and Light” Organization across Lebanon, was held specifically in Maghdouche village at the Saydet El Mantara Church on August 2, 2022.

This event is two-faceted, as it brings both the Evangelical Church and the Catholic Church in Lebanon together. Where there was once cultural disagreement and a wall built between them over differing theological beliefs, this partnership found a way to break down this wall. This gathering is also a great cause that both exalts the Lord Jesus and brings joy to the hearts of those who have disabilities, thus offering them spiritual and moral support.