One of the things the Jerry and I love most about being in central Florida is the connections we are re-establishing with disability ministry friends we have known over the years. In late June we spent the week serving alongside Jim and Rhonette Hukill and their fabulous team at LIFT Disability Network. The event was Breakaway, a week of camp for families and individuals affected by disability.
The theme was Beyond! Each day focused on how, through God, we can go beyond our environment, perspective and abilities. Jerry preached one morning on going beyond his perspective. He shared his dream to be a Major League Baseball player, and how God used that dream, over many years and many circumstances to bring him to where he is today.
In addition to preaching, we were privileged to serve as the pastoral care team. We taught a mid afternoon Bible study each day. Many young adults with disabilities joined us in those studies. How refreshing it was to see their heart to follow after God. What a joy to explore Scripture and pray with these brothers and sisters.
The remainder of our week was spent with the families, or individuals in attendance. We listened to their stories, cried, laughed, brainstormed and prayed together. Two stories from that week.
Phyllis asked to speak with us She felt abandoned by God due to her mental illness and divorce. She was working in a job that was not her dream. She wondered if God still loved her, or could have a purpose for her. She needed someone to listen and then remind her of she was intentionally knit together in her mother’s womb (Psalm 139), and as a daughter of the King of Kings she is loved, gifted and the apple of her Heavenly Father’s eye.. She left with a renewed purpose, and a rowing sprout of hope.
Mealtimes are always a great place to fellowship. Over one lunch a small conversation with two women branched out to all those at the table. What topic created so much interest? What disability ministry might look like in a local church. Discussion revolved around the steps to take to assess what type of ministry is needed, how to initiate a ministry, and ways to get others involved.
We may never know how God takes these seeds and grows them BEYOND what we expected. But we are thankful for these opportunities He gives us to plant seeds wherever we are.
Your Turn . . .
What about you? How have you seen God take you BEYOND your circumstances, perspective or abilities? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please share!