Developing a holistic educational programme through contextual Bible Study with people with disabilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo : IMAN'ENDA as case study.
Kamba, Micheline Kasongo.
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This research uses Contextual Bible Studies as the main approach in searching for ways in which the Bible may be used as a resource to contribute to a holistic education for people with disabilities (PWDs). It explores the situation of PWDs in the DRC and demonstrates how the image of PWDs has been negatively portrayed, and how PWDs’ situation has been perceived as a misfortune. Consequently, the socio-cultural concept of disability has influenced the biblical interpretation of disability making PWDs seem to be “lesser human beings”. Therefore, the use of three biblical texts, which are Exodus 4, 1-17; 2 Corinthians 12, 1-10 and Acts 3, 1-11, in this study serves to re-read the Bible in a constructive way from the disability perspective. Each Bible study has its main focus related to the question of this study mentioned above: the first biblical text, Exodus 4, 1-17 is designed for IMAN’ENDA members with the aim of helping PWDs to discover their real identity in the light of Bible study. The core verse of this study is verse 10, in which I focused on, “How God views disability”. The second text, 2 Corinthians 12, 1-10, is designed for PWDs as well as for ablebodied people in order to understand suffering as another way of discovering oneself. The main focus of this Bible study is on v. 9, in which I dealt with “Power through weak body”. The third biblical text is Acts 3, 1-11, and is designed for church leaders from the Presbyterian Church in Kinshasa with the aim of helping church leaders to widen their understanding of healing for better integration of and support for PWDs in society. The text focuses on healing that I referred to as “Holistic Healing”. The study also offers a theological reflection on disability in the Bible. This is based, on the one hand, on findings from Bible studies with PWDs and Presbyterian Church leaders and lecturers; and, on the other hand, on interviews conducted with Protestant Church leaders and religion lecturers, and Catholic high school pupils. These investigations were conducted in order to develop a holistic educational programme for PWDs in the DRC, which is proposed as a programme in Social Transformation.