Don't forget our disabled Christians!greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
Wow! I am having the most incredible God day!! He is worthy to be praised. This morning God laid it on my heart to work more on reaching the disabled in my community. We do a second service on Mondays for the disabled in our town at a rehab facility. I call them my "Lively group" for they have gone through so much, but they have gone through it with God!! Many of you know I am an insulin dependent diabetic, I have been diabetic for 38 years. And this disease has taken it's toll on my body. I have had two heart attacks and open heart surgery 10 years ago (five by-passes), the diabetes has attacked the nerves in my feet, legs and hips and it is painful to walk. But you know what God still uses me. He still strengthens me, he still has work for me to do!!! He could have given my assignment to someone who is not disabled, but he gave it to me. When Jesus was nailed to the cross he was paralyzed and disabled in human form. He did that for us, to show us how much God loves us and values us. Christianity is the great equalizer! When we are one with God we are free of limitations of the physical body. I am asking you to look around your community, in your church. is there someone who is physically, or emotionally disabled that you can reach out to? Is your church wheel chair accessible? Talk your missionary society into fundraising for a wheel chair for someone. It is our attitude with Christ that heals us!! As for me, I move a little slow, but with Christ I am abled. One last thing, I live in a ski resort town and everyone ski's I can't because of the nerve damage in my feet. So I started a snowshoe club, it has been four years and we have 135 members. People laughed when I came up with the idea, for everyone skis. My orthopedic surgeon now tells me I can no longer do that because of the damage in my feet. NO PROBLEM!! I am going to start a water aerobic ballet company. I love you guys, take time to think about a disability outreach ministry. Joy in the name of christ, Denise
-- Anonymous, November 17, 2002
Your story is indeed inspirational. My name is Gerald, and I, like you am an ordained minister. For nearly 20 years I served as a pastor in the A.M.E. denomination. From 1978 to 1995 I served churches in PA, NJ and DE. In 1995, I was forced to retire because my right knee made it difficult for me to fulfill many of my ministerial responsibilities. I should say that I was born with CP (cerebral palsy), developed problems with my left hip, requiring the hip to be fused, and suffer with chronic asthma. In spite of these conditions, I graduated with my H.S. class, attended Temple University, was ordained an Elder in the AME Church, served as pastor, married (2x), and raised my daughter as a single parent from the time she was 10 months old until she was 18. My daughter is now married, the mother of a beautiful daughter, expecting a second child (a son) in June. I am now an elder in a Full Gospel Church, and a graduate of Heath Missions School Of Theology. The Lord has called me to start a church/ministry that will meet the holistic needs of the physically and mentally challenged. The ministry will be a resource to help the challenged with financial, health, and employment issues; but more than that, this ministry will include the challenged in every aspect of the Body of Christ. The ministry will seek those that are challenged and bring salvation and inclusion into their lives. We will raise the challenged to become vital members of the church. They will be ushers, missionaries, choir members, officers and ministers. Yes, physical healing will be taught and received, but our emphasis will be to call the lost to repentance and to make room for them in the life of the church. As Christ Himself said, "First seek ye the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all these things will be added unto you." Putting first things first is our vision... it is our call. Anything you can say or advise me to do that will help me make this vision a reality would be greatly appreciated. Gerald
-- Anonymous, May 08, 2003
Praise God for your testimony Rev. Scott!! And what a joy it is to hear from you, I have to give you a quick update about my walking, I am doing great. I have physical therapy twice a week and my physical therapist is a Christian. He is the director of physical therapy at my hospital and we have been working so hard, my doctors are amazed! I am planting a second church soon.
Our church does a second service during the week for the disabled in our community. And one of the things I emphasize is that God still has a purpose for them! As you know there is a tremendous segment of our population that is disabled, booth physically and mentally and our churches are not reaching them. Two years ago we had a woman give her life to Christ and be baptized at age 65! She was blind. She had gone to church once when she was younger in her 20's but people laughed at her because she had put on the wrong clothes. She never went back. I would see her in in the community and I always loved her and we became friends. It never dawned on me she did not belong to a church until she asked if she could come to ours. She came and joined our church. She was white and she said the A.M.E. church was the only denomination that accepted her for who she was and she was so proud to be A.M.E. she became the VP of our missionary society. She died a year later but she had a year of happiness being A.M.E. Before she died she told me her family was very prejudiced and had a fit she joined an A.M.E. church she knew she was dying and wanted to make sure she would have an A.M.E. funeral! I promised her she would have an A.M.E. funeral and she wanted an altar call at her funeral. I did it the A.M.E. way with gospel music, great preaching and an altar call as was her request. Members of her family gave their life to Christ. God used a disbled person to bring more of his children to him. He used a blind woman to bring down the walls of racism. One of the greatest moments for me as minister is the day I baptized this wonderful woman at the age of 65. my prelate Bishop Bryant was thrilled and my beloved member finally had a denomination that accepted her. Rev. Scott please email me privately, I think it would be great if our denominations worked on a "disability ministry".
Keep up your great work and this is a God thing if I have ever heard of one. P.S. I do know another minister in another denomination who is doing this type of ministry also and we stay in touch and I am especially concerned about the deaf and hearing impaired community.
-- Anonymous, May 08, 2003