On October 14, about 20 ministry leaders flew into Chicago O’Hare Airport to steal a day of fellowship and learning. This third annual event developed from the need of several people who wanted an excuse to spend more time together in an informal setting.
Deliberately, I didn’t take notes because I wanted to garner from these women and men the essence of where disability may be headed. Some of what I saw was surprising. This is where I learned things that were unexpected for me.
1. Each leader could have talked about the things that went wrong during the year. Rather, they chose to face the future with a bold expectation. One leader had been struck with a shocking blow that week but even she had come leaning forward anxious to see what God will do in the future.
2. Because most of our members also have physical concerns, keeping our friends who are part of our ministries safe is paramount in their list of needs. However, these problems were not looked on as unattainable obstacles but mere distractions with which they had to deal. In fact, while safety was the undercurrent of each topic, it was not even openly discussed.
3. There was no one who desired to monopolize the time or conversation; but each one genuinely came to learn from their peers.
4. Some of those people who know the most about disability ministry seemed to be the most anxious to observe and learn.
5. Genuine friendship and respect have been forged among these men and women.
6. They are extremely gifted. Yet they have allowed the Lord to change their life’s direction to serve a people who worship without guile.
Many people prophetically say that God is about to do great things in the world. After spending a day with these leaders, I know the Lord has drawn away people with great spiritual gifts to lead these growing ministries. I am looking forward to see how God will bless their sacrifices by reaching out and using people with disabilities.