Family Cafe Flashback

In our initial two months of ministry Luke 14 Exchange has been privileged to reach 240 people with disabilities and their families. It started in early June at the Florida Family Café, a state supported conference for people with disabilities and their families.

Together Jerry and Joan spoke on the Third Wheel in Marriage: Embracing Disability in Your Marriage. One never knows when speaking at a breakout session how many, if any will come. We were grateful to have the room filled to capacity. How exciting to interact with couples who WANT to strengthen their marriage. Or do you suppose it was the chocolate Hugs and Kisses we distributed? After all, talk of marriage must involve copious amounts of hugs and kisses 🙂

Jerry sharing in our The Third Wheel in Marriage workshop at the June 2019 Family Cafe in Orlando

Jerry shared a breakout the next day on Nineteen Life Hacks for living with disability. His room too was full of people of all ages and ability/disability ranges. As the session neared the conclusion, a parent was overheard asking his late elementary aged son questions to see if he was ready to process what he heard. He went on to encourage his son to understand that this young boy was not alone in what he was feeling, experiencing and how he was growing up. A seed of hope for the future was planted in both this boy and his dad.

Everyone needs mentors and role models, whether in marriage or life. Through Luke 14 Exchange we want to connect people affected by disability with mentors they can identify with who can help them navigate the challenges and blessings of life.

We want to hear from you.

Whether or not you have a disability, who is your mentor? You don’t need to tell us their name, but describe who they are or the impact they have had on your life.

If you don’t have a mentor, why not? What are you looking for in a mentor?

And So We Begin . . .

Jerry and Joan Borton, the co-founders of Luke 14 Exchange, Inc were not looking to start a new ministry in the latter stages of their career life. They enjoyed the many years of working with people with all types of disabilities in churches, camps, residential settings and other community activities.

But there was always that one nagging area in which they rarely saw anyone ministering . . . people with physical disabilities.

In some ways it seemed like a “no brainer.” As long as someone with a physical disability has the equipment they need, and access to life in the community that was all that was needed.

Oh that that were true!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Besides the fact that proper access and equipment are not afforded to everyone who has that need, there is a bigger issue. That is engagement in the community. And in particular the Christian community.

To test that idea, think for a minute about when you last saw someone with a physical disability serving as a pastor, elder, deacon, usher, missions committee member etc, at church. Certainly there are some – Joni Eareckson Tada, Jerry Borton, Doug Goddard, Mike King, Scott Mitchell. But stories of people with disabilities in ministry leadership seem few and far between. And where are the new leaders with disability who will follow their wheel prints?

In the weeks to come we’ll share details from some studies we have done, and also some of the tools we will use to help people affected by disability discover WHOSE they are, and WHO they are. Once confident in those truths we can uncover our gifts, and together find ways to use them in the Kingdom of God.

We hope you’ll journey with us. And please let us hear from you.

What is your experience with people with disabilities in ministry leadership?