When I was about 16, I was home sick from school one day and watching public access television… And they did this documentary on the Rehabilitation Centre for Children in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They featured those working with kids with special needs doing wheelchairs, prosthetics, communication devices, and so much more. And I knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My course was set. My heart had planned my way.
Although it didn’t turn out exactly that way, I did end up doing that type of work, mostly with adults, for about 7 years during and after university as a rehabilitation engineer at the Health Sciences Center in Winnipeg. I loved that job. I built technology for people with disabilities: Power wheelchairs, computer access, stuff to turn your lights on and off, all kinds of things. Anything that could improve someone’s quality of life.
I met the Lord a very short time before leaving that job. I’ve always yearned for an opportunity to do that type of work again, but use it to share the Gospel, not just to provide for a physical or emotional need. Did you know that people with disabilities are among the least reached in the world? According to Joni and Friends (a ministry focused on reaching and providing for those with disabilities) in the States only 5-10% of people living with disabilities know Jesus. In other countries the rates are even lower.