It’s amazing what God can do with willing hearts! More than 10 years ago, I met Serhii and his disabled wife, Natalia, when they were visiting our Joni and Friends headquarters. The Joni book in Russian had helped them tremendously as a couple — and they shared with us their dream of starting disability ministry in their country of Ukraine. Well, a few years back, this sweet couple attended our Global Access Conference, where leaders from around the world gathered to learn more about accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community. They soaked up all the info they could, learned best practices, networked with other leaders, and now? Serhii and Natalia have helped bring International Family Retreats to Ukraine; they’ve worked with their church to build a ministry center for special needs families; and they just finished hosting the very first Beyond Suffering Conference in Lutsk, Ukraine. Wow!
Oh friend, you have to see it for yourself in this video highlighting the recent conference (I don’t speak Ukrainian, but the subtitles sure help :-)! The images brought tears to my eyes to see the enthusiasm on so many faces — eager men and women excited to provide hope and encouragement to people with disabilities. And it’s all because Serhii and Natalia took initiative on the dream that God planted in their hearts. If, like Serhii and Natalia, God is calling you to disability ministry, we want to help. Our Christian Institute on Disability has all kinds of training materials, including online courses and videos to equip you for disability ministry. And don’t forget to also check out our “Irresistible Church” blog, where you can sign up for free books and other valuable resources for church leaders. Because as Hebrews 13:21 says, “God will equip you with everything good for doing his will!”
Check out the Global Access Association website where you can find additional resources for education and training, including the Beyond Suffering Introduction for Christian Leaders, translated into 7 languages!
If you have not yet signed up to be a member of the Global Access Association, please sign up here. Members can access the Beyond Suffering Introduction for Christian Leaders here and our Resource Library here.