quotationWalking with God .com - helping families walk with God and share their faith with one another

"Christian Fellowship for Disabled" Camp & the Death of Riad

 October 2010 

Want your family to receive this each month by email? Subscribe here

Daily devotional quiet time sheets are available for free.

Do you have a friend who might like to read these newsletters?
Click here to suggest the newsletter to your friend

It was a privilege and blessing for our family to attend and take a seminar at the annual Christian Fellowship for Disabled (CFFD) Camp at Totara Springs, Matamata. The camp was held over a long weekend from Friday evening to Monday afternoon with over 300 in attendance.

It is quite remarkable how this camp is run and organized. As many of the people are severely disabled, they are each given at least one helper but usually two. These helpers are needed to care for the disabled people (buddies) over the whole weekend. They sleep in the same cabins, caring for them throughout the night. Many of them need to be helped with showering and toileting. At meal times many of them have to be fed as their arms & hands are disabled. They had to be helped in and out of wheel chairs.

Jeremy with his buddy Manuele

Our children, their three cousins and a large number of young people were greatly blessed at the camp through being helpers. Many of them had never had to help people with disabilities. They came to understand a little of the trials that disabled people continually face. By the time the camp finished many of the helpers expressed they had been more blessed than the buddies they were helping.

On the Saturday we ran an elective showing people how to have a daily Quiet Time(QT). We were thrilled with the response by the number of people who had a desire to connect with God. Some of them were helpers.

We emphasized that gratitude is the key to making Jesus our greatest joy. Even though many of them had daily trials of the kind that most of us never have to face, their lives could still be filled with a deep joy and purpose.One man in a wheel chair has since told me that he is loving hearing from God each day and now wants to get his friends having Quiet Times and sharing together on a regular basis.

There were games on Saturday afternoon and in the evening we had a wonderful time of music and fun at the camp concert. Most people participated in this and it was a special time for everyone.

Even more special were the baptisms conducted the following day on Sunday afternoon. Ten people were baptised. A special hoist had been constructed, and it was a great joy to see these disabled people committing their lives to Christ through baptism.

We met a lot of wonderful people at the camp. One couple shared how they had 8 adult children. Many years ago they had adopted a Down's Syndrome boy into their family. Their family had grown to deeply love him. He is now a grown man and as a family they have been involved with CFFD for many years.

Hoist by the swimming pool

A very disturbing programme is quietly being slipped into New Zealand's health system. It is aiming at aborting 90% of unborn babies with Down's Syndrome. Garth George, a Christian reporter for the NZ Herald & Challenge Weekly, who also has a son with Down's Syndrome, wrote articles concerning this in both these papers in September (Click to read this article). It appears that the "New Barbarians" are making big inroads in NZ. (See July 2010 Newsletter)

On October 20th, 2010, a dear friend, Riad Siefe, passed away, aged 86. He came to NZ from South Africa with his wife, Petro, nearly 10 years ago. Most of his other adult children also live in NZ. About eight years ago, Riad, Petro and his daughter Michelle began attending our church. Our church family quickly came to love and appreciate them for the special people they were.

Riad Siefe

As with most of us, life has not always been easy for them. They had many trials in South Africa and even in NZ. We have a wonderful superannuation scheme for elderly people in NZ, but immigrants have to live in NZ for 10 years before they qualify for this.

The reason why Riad was such a blessing to our family and to our church was this: The mark of gratitude and thankfulness in his life. Riad told me that God had been so good to him, even though he hadn't deserved it.

He was deeply grateful to God for his wife, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren and all his friends. He was grateful to God for his years in South Africa and now for his time in NZ. He had an operation in South Africa for heart failure and not long after he came to NZ he was in hospital again with heart failure. He was grateful to God for giving him life and keeping him alive.

When he came to our Quiet Time sharing group Riad was in his element. This was because we go around the group each sharing a key blessing we have received from God, and then we would pray and give thanks for our blessing.

Riad would always share how good God had been to him, and when he prayed he always finished with the statement that he had learnt in South Africa: "God is good, all the time, everywhere, especially here." Over a year ago Jeremy wrote a song with those words in it, which he sung at Riad's funeral as a tribute to him.

Has this newsletter blessed you? Place walkingwithgod.com on your website

Christian website links

Or read more newsletters

Print this page