Finding out information that is valuable opens our eyes to many possibilities; new possibilities that we didn't see before. Either, we see a way of attempting something we thought we couldn't do or, we discover something very useful to us that we didn't even know existed.
The other night at our young adults night, the guest speaker got us to write our dreams on a whiteboard. Many of us wrote what we hope to achieve in our lives. To know this information already is a blessing to us.
Knowing our dreams can enable us to set a direction for our lives. We find out the steps we need to take. Then we follow through with the steps to get the job or vision that we desire.
Three years ago, I realised that I wanted to work with people with disabilities. This lead me to search for a field of study relevant to making disabled people more included in society.
When we find out our purpose in life, it can bring a relief like a heavy weight being lifted off our shoulders. That's what it felt like for me. I also feel this way when I find out information that is useful in achieving my dream.
I also found out what funds were available to support me in university. Finding that out made going to university seem more doable. For example, some of my transport to uni was funded; a note taker was provided in all my lectures.
Studying at Uni is challenging for anyone. However, it would have been impossible to be a university student had I not known about the services that supported me.
Not knowing information
Not everyone knows what their dreams are yet. Everyone will realise what they are really passionate about at different times. There could be various ways that people can be hit by that lightning strike.
Not having knowledge of things such as service can be a huge barrier to doing things. People in the disability community can be limited in what they can do because they lack knowledge about services. In the western world, there are many disability services that can support disabled people to achieve their goals.
It is unfortunate that if they don't know about the right service to meet their needs or they don’t know how to access a service then they won't receive support - not until they discover the services. I guess this is the same case for searching for any type of service.
Finding the information
People go searching for the services that they need. They can search the web and hope to find a good result. However, some people don't have the ability to do their own search on the web.
We can ask people we know if they know of a service that could meet our needs. It is a blessing if they do know and lead us to the service.
However, they may not know or people can ask us and we don't know. But we can support our friends in what they are searching for.
Sharing information is important
If we think we know of a service or something that may be helpful, we must say. It would bring a lot of relief to the person. The amount of information you give about anything beneficial to a person doesn't matter. Any information would give someone an avenue to try and it could get them to what they need.
The University of Auckland did a huge favour for me, by telling me about the Bachelor of Human Services. I had never heard of it before. But this course was perfect as it taught me the prominent issues for people with disabilities today. It also helped me to see where I could play a part in the disability community.
I also believe it’s important to tell people if we think that they're good at a skill or talent. Encourage people to see that they are talented. We can also pray that one day they will know their dream.
Preaching the Gospel
In Romans 10, Paul writes about how one receives salvation. Verse 9 says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is the gift that we have been given by the grace of God.
However, there is the same issue of people not knowing about this gift. There are still people out there who don't believe and may have never heard the Good News. Verse 14 breaks down the dilemma, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
When an engagement or a disability service has helped me, I pass it on to people who may benefit from it too. The same way, knowing what our Saviour is doing in my life, makes me want to tell others about Him!
Manuele Teofilo lives in South Auckland with his parents and siblings. He has graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Service. Now, he works at Elevate Christian Disability Trust. He enjoys getting around in his electric wheelchair and having fun with people.