Though Nevan and Kairah’s son, Jimi, was 42 years old, they still provided basic care for him, such as feeding, clothing and bathing him. They loved their son, but his condition required constant hands-on care, keeping Nevan and Kairah from working regular jobs. It drained their energy and their resources, but what else could they do? He was their son.
Burdened by Care
Jimi was born with physical and mental disabilities. He couldn’t talk, walk or do anything by himself.
In a society where such impairment often brings discrimination and shame, Nevan and Kairah did the best they could for Jimi. Still, managing all of Jimi’s care brought daily challenges. Navigating the wheelchair around their small house was difficult. The medications he needed were expensive.
Many nights, they couldn’t even sleep. Jimi would sometimes disturb others at night by shouting and spitting, forcing his parents to watch over him and attempt to calm their son. Sometimes Jimi soiled his clothes and Nevan and Kairah had to change his clothes in the presence of others, leading to everyone’s discomfort.
The couple’s two younger children, now married, helped financially support their parents and older brother, but it wasn’t enough. Then their riverside house was submerged in more than four feet of floodwater, adding to the family’s troubles. Fortunately, they had shifted their valuables to higher ground, but life was still difficult.
The burdens of these challenges pushed Nevan and Kairah to the brink of despair. Though weary, they held on to hope, praying for help. They loved their son, but as they aged it became only more challenging to care for him. Their small shanty was overcrowded, but it was all they could afford.
A Room of His Own
Unbeknownst to Nevan and Kairah, local Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers had seen their struggle and sought to help. They requested financial support from church leadership to build an annex to the family’s existing house for Jimi. They even specified the structure should be at least three feet above ground level to protect it from flooding.
Soon, a 10’x16’ adjoining structure was constructed, complete with a ramp for Jimi’s wheelchair and passage to the bathroom. With the separate living quarters for Jimi, the family’s difficulties were alleviated. Joy abounded for Jimi and the entire family.
“We are very happy that we were able to build this house for our disabled son,” Kairah said. “After 42 years, we will take care of him in a new, safe and clean environment. We owe all our gratitude and thankfulness to [the church] for this wonderful gift.”
Through this gift, Gospel for Asia (GFA) workers demonstrated Christ’s love for people with disabilities—people whom society may disregard—and those who care for them. The burden Nevan and Kairah bear has been eased by caring neighbors willing to share the load in Christ’s name, and Jimi can live with greater dignity in his own space.