Skip to content Skip to cookie consent

Podcast

How to make people feel welcome

A story of disability and inclusion in the Jordanian church

2022

How to build community - a podcast series with Arukah Network
How to build community - a podcast series with Arukah Network

From: How to build community

A podcast series for anyone wanting to help their community to thrive 

Muna AbuGhazaleh was born with various disabilities and her parents were told that she might never talk, walk or live an independent life. In this podcast episode Muna talks about how the radical love and support of her church and family helped her to overcome these challenges. She also explains how embracing and celebrating diversity results in stronger churches and communities.

Podcast highlights

  • From the moment Muna was born, her church made it very clear that she and her family were not alone. She says, ‘We saw the church welcoming and embracing me. They were really supportive. Not only to me but to the whole family. They didn’t define me by my disability; they looked at me as a person.’ 

    Through growing up being loved and mixing with others, Muna was able to focus more on her ability than her disability. She began to develop, grow and do things that the doctors said she would never do. 

    Muna is currently a Communications Officer for Tearfund and an expert in the theology of inclusion. Her Masters Dissertation from the University of Manchester, UK, is about the inclusion of people with physical and intellectual disabilities in the Jordanian church.

    From the moment Muna was born, her church made it very clear that she and her family were not alone. She says, ‘We saw the church welcoming and embracing me. They were really supportive. Not only to me but to the whole family. They didn’t define me by my disability; they looked at me as a person.’ 

    Through growing up being loved and mixing with others, Muna was able to focus more on her ability than her disability. She began to develop, grow and do things that the doctors said she would never do. 

    Muna is currently a Communications Officer for Tearfund and an expert in the theology of inclusion. Her Masters Dissertation from the University of Manchester, UK, is about the inclusion of people with physical and intellectual disabilities in the Jordanian church.

  • ‘I define inclusion as embracing our differences and welcoming people,’ says Muna. ‘I always reflect on the Bible saying we are different parts of the body but one body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), and that means we cannot function in church or community without each other. So it is about accepting and embracing that we are different. And that is the thing of hospitality and welcoming. No matter where you are coming from and your background, still you are welcomed and accepted.’

    The Jordanian church is currently supporting many refugees from other countries in the region. Muna says, ‘The church treats people with value and dignity and, with time, we become friends.’ 

    ‘I define inclusion as embracing our differences and welcoming people,’ says Muna. ‘I always reflect on the Bible saying we are different parts of the body but one body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), and that means we cannot function in church or community without each other. So it is about accepting and embracing that we are different. And that is the thing of hospitality and welcoming. No matter where you are coming from and your background, still you are welcomed and accepted.’

    The Jordanian church is currently supporting many refugees from other countries in the region. Muna says, ‘The church treats people with value and dignity and, with time, we become friends.’ 

  • ‘Start by being present and listen carefully to the words they are saying,’ says Muna. ‘Do not be afraid to ask what their needs are. 

    ‘Ask before you offer help. For example, if people see someone in a wheelchair, they think it is fine to go and help them directly by pushing the wheelchair etc. However, some wheelchair users wouldn’t like that because they are feeling that you are not valuing them, because some of them can move independently and have found a way to live with their disability. 

    ‘It is important to learn how to respond to people with disabilities - there is a lot of information online. Try to read more about their needs. 

    ‘Start always with friendship and acceptance. Even if you don’t see the impact immediately, be there and offer support.’

    ‘Start by being present and listen carefully to the words they are saying,’ says Muna. ‘Do not be afraid to ask what their needs are. 

    ‘Ask before you offer help. For example, if people see someone in a wheelchair, they think it is fine to go and help them directly by pushing the wheelchair etc. However, some wheelchair users wouldn’t like that because they are feeling that you are not valuing them, because some of them can move independently and have found a way to live with their disability. 

    ‘It is important to learn how to respond to people with disabilities - there is a lot of information online. Try to read more about their needs. 

    ‘Start always with friendship and acceptance. Even if you don’t see the impact immediately, be there and offer support.’

About this podcast

How to build community is a podcast and radio show from Arukah Network and Tearfund’s Footsteps magazine. The podcast gives people the opportunity to inspire and motivate others by talking about their community projects and ideas.

Please get in touch if you have any ideas for future podcast episodes.

Man wearing black jumper and back heaphones holds phone in hands

Never miss an episode!

Subscribe to Tearfund Learn emails and be the first to hear about our latest podcasts and publications.

Sign up

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Get our email updates

Be the first to hear about our latest learning and resources

Sign up now

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.