This May Mission Month one of our support projects is Company of Grace. Please read this brief overview to be inspired by a ministry that was “started by a person with disability, run by local staff with disability, to help others with disability, have a brighter future”
Peter Hoa Stone founded Company of Grace and had been himself abandoned as an infant and lived in an orphanage during the Vietnam War. Arriving in Adelaide in 1975, he was adopted by an Australian family at an early age and raised here in Adelaide. As he was inflicted with polio as a child, and suffered post-polio syndrome, Hoa was confined to a wheelchair. After a traumatic and dramatic life growing up in Australia, Hoa returned to his homeland as a humanitarian worker in 1998 and relearnt the Vietnamese language. Initially he raised money for wheelchairs and crutches to help the disabled, visited orphanages around Saigon bringing clothing, food and medications, and helped disadvantage families send their children to school. After time, given his own background, Hoa saw that while many people care for orphans, there was limited planning for their ongoing care and support.
In 2008 Company of Grace was established and a training centre built for disabled children and young adults. Hoa trained a team of local people with disability to manage and run the project. Company of Grace helps disadvantaged children with physical disability have a brighter future by providing a variety of life enhancing services. Key services include physical rehabilitation, early/elementary education, and vocational training. The aim is to help disadvantaged children develop the capacity to live independent and fulfilled lives with a positive future.
Currently Company of Grace is developing the ‘Grace Family Home Project’, building a permanent family home for 100 children. Hoa met a group of children who are unable to live with their parents or are orphans. Many live in unsafe shelters and will need care until they become adults. The ‘Grace Family Home’ will enable these children to grow up in a safe, secure, nurturing environment, and give opportunity to make a better life with education and support.
For information on supporting this project go to upbc.org.au/mmm