Dear Friends,

“My mom threw me away.”

That’s not a metaphor or exaggeration.

It’s the quote of a boy from Africa who was born with no legs.

In some countries babies who are born handicapped are considered throw away children.

I have seen and held such children in Haiti, where sometimes there is also this sad attitude.

Emmanuel Hilton was born in the Congo without any legs.

He further reports, “My mom couldn’t take care of me and she threw me in the middle of the road, like when a car passes somebody can hit me and I can die.”

But Emmanuel survived…and was rescued by a women who took him to a Methodist orphanage. Several years later a US couple, Michelle and Gary Hilton, decided to adopt him.  Gary is the Associate Pastor of Chippewa United Methodist Church in Chippewa Township, Pennsylvania.

Now, life is very different for Emmanuel than it would have been in the Congo.  He has plenty of food to eat and a place to sleep. He has a loving family and plenty of friends.  He has prosthetic devises to help him walk.

And when he entered Blackhawk High School he learned that they had a soccer team.

So Emmanuel tried out…and soon became a part of the Junior Varsity team – as a goalie!!

There, with typical enthusiasm of youth soccer players, he gives it his all, being allowed by special rules to “kick” with his hands.
When on the soccer field, Emmanuel doesn’t see himself as disabled.  For legs or not, he can still stop the opposing team from scoring…which he often does.

“I don’t feel like I’m missing legs, he says, “I feel like I am the same.”

Emmanuel may be smaller than most others his age…but his is actually bigger….

Because of his big heart, that believes that with God’s help, he can do anything.

Blessings,

Rev. Frank Fowler