Disability Ministry – Introduction
>>It’s a pleasure to be with you today.
What a wonderful conference we’re having, amen? My name is Steve Bundy. I serve Joni
and Friends International Disability Center based out of the United States, and today
I bring you greetings from Joni Eareckson Tada and all the staff at Joni and Friends.
And Joni wishes she could be here with us today, but as many of you may know, Joni is
currently receiving treatment for cancer and is not able to be here today, but is doing
quite well by God’s grace and by God’s strength. So Joni will join us via pre-prepared
DVD in just a moment. A presentation she prepared for us here today. This session is titled Beyond Suffering, Hope
for the Global Disability Community. It is a little bit of a hybrid between our multiplex
and the dialogue session because it is being videotaped for the GlobaLink family out there
around the world. So we’re going to spend probably about half the time on presentation
and then half our time in discussion and dialogue. So that’s how we will do it today. So if you’re here with us, chances are you
are passionate about disability ministry like we are at Joni and Friends, or you are just
kind of tipping your toe into the water and want to hear a little more about disability,
or all the other sessions were full. And if it’s the latter, we trust in divine providence
that God has you here for a specific reason. We’re very passionate about ministry to,
through and with those affected by disability at Joni and Friends, and so you’re going
to hear some passion today from Joni and from myself and hopefully from you as we have dialogue.
I was on the plane here going over my notes and took out my yellow highlighter and I thought
well, I better highlight some things I really want to emphasize today. And I ended up with
nothing but yellow sheets of paper. You understand that. I have a 7-year-old son who is already
at the age of 7 very passionate about the Word of God and when he reads scripture he
highlights everything that he reads. So, you turn the pages they’re all highlighted because
he’s learned that a highlighter means it’s important, and all the Word of God is important.
Today we’ll be highlighting a lot from the Word of God. Well, for those joining us via GlobaLink allow
me to read the introduction to the session today and then we’ll move into a video presentation
by Joni. Hope. It’s what keeps life enjoyable, meaningful
and purposeful. People build dreams upon it and wish for more of it. But for many of the
670 million people in the world affected by disability, hope seems very distant. Their
very daily challenges and discouragements and abuses can strip away hope, leaving them
marginalized in society as well as in their families and communities. We cannot discuss
the topics such as human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, poverty and injustice without addressing the
needs of those most affected by these atrocities, the disabled. In this session we’ll tackle the real needs
of the global disability community, the shocking statistics of our day and the faces that make
up these numbers. We will also move beyond the discouragement and pain to the hope we
have in Jesus Christ. This hope is available to everyone through his word, his Spirit and
his body. A hope that promises peace, joy and community. A hope that goes beyond suffering.