Life did not go according to my plan, but God's plan did come to pass. His beautiful, painful, and perfect plan was that he would give me a new heart, again.
Understanding Joseph as an individual on the autism spectrum helps to illuminate not only the text of the Torah but also many comments and teachings about Joseph found in the classical Jewish sources I had previously studied.
I am confident that God has called me to what many people refer to as “special” education. Really, it is just education for all.
On Monday, December 3rd 2018, the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Church Network for Disability Support will be offering a webinar on ‘Universal Design for Ministry: A Three-part Whole-community Strategy to Ministering with Families with Disabilities.’
Everybody finds fulfillment in using the unique gifts that God has given her or him. All people find value in meaningful paid or volunteer work that serves their community.
In the winter of 1999, I found myself on a Greyhound bus travelling from Three Rivers, Michigan to Richmond Hill, Ontario. I was moving to L’Arche Daybreak, one of the many communities of people considered intellectually disabled and nondisabled who share life and faith together. A little excited and a little frightened, I went looking for Christian community and a way to live the Gospel. I wound up finding both those things – and a whole lot more.
In 1985 the CRC pledged “to be the caring community according to I Corinthians 12, paying special attention to the needs and gifts of people with physical, sensory, mental, and emotional impairments,” and committed to removing physical, architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers “in order to use the gifts of all people in our life together as God's family.”
80% of the world’s citizens who experience disabilities, people like Hiwot, live in developing countries. One person in seven has a disability here at home. My small sacrifice of removing one thing from my life (frankly, an unhealthy practice anyway) in order to turn my attention outward and upward on their behalf …well, it seems to make some sense.
This Epiphany, let your divine "aha!" be the realization that God loves you. And as you grow in the knowledge of that love, spread it around a little — not because it’ll make God love you more, but because the world needs it.
I share my story, not because I need to be heard, but because people still haven’t noticed how hard it is for some bodies to be in a church building, or participate in corporate worship services or activities.