Love Your NeighbourMessages

Love Your Disabled Neighbour

By October 9, 2013 2 Comments

Guest Speaker: Dave D’Amour

*Bonus Content*
In addition to the recorded audio, we have also filmed Bonus Content for this message. Please scroll down to view, or to listen to the message.

It’s easy to avoid someone who seems very different from us. Usually it’s because we’re scared of saying or doing the wrong thing, and either looking like an idiot – or hurting someone else.  It’s this fear that makes us forget that 15% of Canadians are disabled. That’s 1 in 6 of us. Do you know how to help to the 1 in 6 people in your life who are disabled? How different would our world look if we could eliminate irrational fears and take water to the people in our lives who have a disability? Join us this Sunday as we delve into the life and story of Dave D’Amour…one guy who has spent more than 20 years in a wheelchair…and whose daily life will probably shock you. And whose open and honest dialogue will help you live your neighbor with a disability like never before.

Bonus Content:


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Lee-Ann says:

    I can’t wait to hear this message. I have been waiting many years to hear one like this. Let me tell you why.

    I used to take care of a disabled man, he had both mental health issues and a developmental disability, and was possibly one of the kindest, gentlest, more generous person I have ever met. He lived with me for 3 years. During this time I used to invite him to come to church with me (not Friends Church, but another church in Calgary). He would come an enjoy the music, the usually go outside to have a cigarette during the message :), then come back in for coffee at the end. He was a regular attender at our small groups, at first he hovered on the outside, but eventually became part of the “family”.

    Then our church went through some changes, in leadership and in attendees, and one day he said he was too tired to go to church. No problem. The next week the same thing. Next time he wanted to watch tv, etc, etc. At first I didn’t mind because going to church wasn’t a “rule” in our house, but after a couple of months I gently asked him if there was another reason why he didn’t want to go. He was reluctant to say, but he told me that he felt “bad” when he went. When he went outside to smoke he said some people gave him looks that made him feel like he was a bad person. I asked him if he had ever felt like that anywhere else when he smoked outside, he said no one had ever made him feel like that before.

    I nearly cried. First of all, although this guy was an adult, he was developmentally 10-12 years old in his capacity. His mental illness resulted in a lack of dopamine in his brain, which nicotine actually provided him with – he was almost biologically predisposed to be addicted to cigarettes and helped him calm down and think more clearly. He was well known in his community, but the only people that ever made him feel bad were my fellow church goers. I brought this to the attention to the leadership, and to be honest, I got the sense it was not important to them because my friend was not an important member (i.e. no money, limited communication skills, didn’t participate like others) of their community. I also eventually stopped going to this church. How could I be part of a community where my friend could not be accepted? Where people could hurt him and others not even care that he had been hurt? That would only see the outside and not his beautiful heart?

    This man has taught me more about love and simple living than anyone else I have known. I thank God for having brought him into my life and to have been blessed through him.

    • friendschurch says:

      Hi Lee-Ann,
      Thank-you for sharing your beautiful and sad story. We are excited for Dave’s interview as well.

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