Ask Jesus to put all the parts together, so you can minister to and with all people
Do you know the Bible compares the people who make up the church to a human body? Just as every part of the human body is necessary for the entire body to function properly, every child in God’s family is important for the whole Christian body to function the way God wants it to. God wants his family to love each other and work together as one body.
March 9, 2000
Ask Jesus to give you new ears to hear people’s needs
Many people with disabilities haven’t had the opportunity to develop friendships, such as you have. Therefore, I encourage you to seek them out and find out what they need from a friend.
January 20, 2000
Ask Jesus to give you a new heart to care about people with disabilities
When Jesus lived on Earth, he reached out to all kinds of people because he loved them. What did Jesus do whenever he saw people who were treated as outcasts? He felt their hurt. He felt their loneliness. He felt rejected like they did. Jesus understood that people with disabilities need extra attention. He didn’t ignore them. He was not afraid to talk to them. Jesus was happy to meet persons with disabilities.
December 30, 1999
Inclusion in the church of people with disabilities begins with sound plans
I now have a permanent shift, in my mind and heart—from disability ministry being approached as a “program” to a “plan” for successful inclusion. For inclusion to be successful and modeled like Jesus’ example, church leaders must act upon the legitimate need for disability ministry.
December 3, 1998
Understanding is the starting point
While attending Johnson Bible College, I made a presentation for one of my disability ministry courses. I answered the question: “How can Jesus Christ’s believers minister to a family who has a member with a disability?” My answer took the form of an acronym, resulting in the word UNDERSTANDING.
February 5, 1998
Many people overlook this mission field, but not Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit started revealing to me that there is a mission field—inside and outside the church—that is often overlooked. When you study the four Gospels in the Bible, it will become crystal clear that Jesus interacted with people with all disabilities during a majority of his earthly ministry. I realized that the church, which is called to continue his ministry, had somehow lost the value of reaching people with disabilities in the same spirit of Christ.
September 26, 1997
Ask Jesus to give you new hands and new feet to serve people with disability
You can be the hands and feet—even the voice—of a person with disabilities. Once you get to know the person, you will be able to come up with many practical and creative ideas to help. Every person is different. Some may welcome your help and some may not. Try not to feel badly if people refuse your help. Be like Jesus. He never forced his help on anyone. Jesus let people know he loved them by his words and actions.
February 24, 2000
Ask Jesus to give you new eyes to see the person and not the disability
Asking Jesus to give you new eyes to see the person takes time, because we are all used to treating people in certain ways based on the way they look and/or act. For example, what do you think about the following people? Some people are blind. Some people are deaf. Others are slow learners or highly intelligent. Others had accidents that left them in wheelchairs or on crutches.
January 6, 2000
Ask Jesus to give you a new mind to understand more about disabilities
Did you know that you can’t catch a disability? If you are around someone who is blind, you will not become blind. If you touch someone who learns slowly, it will not affect your brain. People tend to be afraid because they don’t understand why people are disabled.
December 23, 1999
Why is inclusion so hard for churches to accomplish?
Dear friends, I need to share my grief with you. As I become more involved in disability ministry, I realize how very far we as believers in Jesus Christ are from His model of including all people in His house. I see only handfuls of Christians scattered throughout the world who really want to follow in His footsteps. Their desire and effort are eventually squelched by the lack of support from their church leaders. The Lord must be weeping over this “disgraceful” reality!
August 6, 1998
There is no such thing as a disabled soul!
In trying to answer our questions about how Christians can interact and minister to people whose disabilities are this severe, our professor gave us a simple response. “There is no such thing as a disabled soul,” he said with quiet passion.
December 5, 1997
The endless diversity of God’s family is mirrored in the fabric of nature
At that moment, those multi-colored leaves became all the uniquely different people in our communities—both people with disabilities and people without disabilities. Each person is beautifully created by God, but his or her impact on the people around intensifies and magnifies only when the glorious grace and truth of the Son shines down on each individual. The Holy Spirit reminded me that this is the glorious beauty Christ intends for his body of believers.