Earlier this week I was talking to Brenda Fischer, our very fine and godly coordinator for the disability ministry at Bethlehem. She spends a lot of time with hurting people.
She shared about a hard situation on one of Bethlehem’s campuses, and the seeming lack of any good solution for the people involved. Real people, with despairing hearts, and no answers evident with the resources available. She longs for them to find peace and comfort in their lives, and for Bethlehem to be a conduit of God’s grace and mercy.
In those moments we pray desperate prayers, like this from 2 Chronicles 20:12 - We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.
And she also shared that she spent time last Sunday with a little guy with disabilities that manifest in some really difficult behaviors. At one point he lost control. This got the interest of the other children but it didn’t phase the adult volunteers at all.
Brenda shared that she was seeing this all over Bethlehem: volunteers demonstrating through their own reactions that all the children are welcome even when a child’s disabilities bring on disruptive behaviors. Not perfectly, of course – we are a church full of finite, sinful human beings after all! But such a difference from when she started as coordinator nearly five years ago and many people had no experience or training in disability. God IS helping us!
We have yet to experience a season of ‘coasting’ with this ministry. The pain and the suffering in families continues and even seems to grow. But the victories God grants also are accumulating.
God in his kindness uses our disability ministry to help us really feel and understand what Paul meant:
as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:10 ESV)