This young girl's response not only shows that most people have the capacity to understand how to provide effective support to another person simply by observing and interacting with them thereby demystifying some of the potential challenges to supporting people with disabilities. The principle of watching and learning is also valuable when it comes to matters of faith.
This webinar explores how the church as the body of Christ can support families who are raising children with disabilities and share their joy and suffering. Two models of support ministry will be presented, followed by a brief panel discussion and time for questions.
“People with various disabilities are those who are immensely gifted, obviously, to see things and do things that maybe I can’t see. But the bottom line is that I am able to see God’s presence at work in them… and then they’re able to engage me and a space is opened up, a very unique space. And this is the way that God has created the world, for us to be in these social spaces of transformation.”
Disability and the Way of Jesus is a must-read for anyone who has wrestled with questions around the way God looks to heal people and the world. In particular, for Christians who are looking for an account of healing that takes the Bible seriously but also listens closely to the lives and experiences of people who experience disability.
As someone who works in a Christian ministry serving people with disabilities, I’m thankful that this “Emmaus road” is open to us. While sometimes God works in impressive, earth-changing ways, it is a relief to know that he can also work through our small acts of coming alongside people on their journey.
When I first really dug into exploring Jesus in the Gospels, I encountered someone who offered love, liberation, and wholeness to people who needed it in the midst of structures and systems that didn’t always do the same.
The long-term goal of my project EcumenAbility© is nothing more than to raise the profile of inclusion of people with disabilities to the same level as other social justice issues. Churches and congregations can thus take a leading role in improving the lives of people with disabilities in their present life and give a positive example to the general society.
Carly is the youngest of our three adult children. She is now 21 years old and has Angelman Syndrome. Carly’s life has grown my faith and provided inspiration for much of my writing. Jesus, Let’s Talk explores the very personal and natural ways we express ourselves with God, no matter what our abilities are to communicate.
I hope this post is encouraging to people who are wary of helpers without qualifications being involved in their care or that of a loved one. There are blessings that come from simply doing life together in an informal way; necessary skills can be taught to all kinds of people.
There is a lot to be learned from the community of Vedder Terrace in Chilliwack, British Columbia... The members whom I met shared a lot about their lives. They told me about the community events which they enjoy at the clubhouse, shared community meals three times per week, movie nights and other events that people who do not live at Vedder Terrace can take part in.