News Release


• Trinity welcomes Joni Eareckson Tada for Disability Ministry Summit
• Nearly 500 hundred attend two-day summit
• 28 workshops offered to church staff, ministry leaders, caregivers, and people with a disability

"We can look at the disability," said President Steven Timmermans following the Disability Ministry Summit held at Trinity in September, "but transformation occurs when we stop looking at what's wrong and look instead at what's possible."

Those possibilities were especially evident in Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, whose message inspired the 500 people attending the summit. Nearly 40 years ago, a diving accident left Tada a quadriplegic at the age of 17.

"We are in a life or death ministry."

"We are in a life or death ministry," said Tada, who believes it is more difficult today for those with disabilities. In a society where abortion is commonplace and suffering is despised, Tada believes the world is only a step away from "despising people who are disabled."

Tada invited participants to partner with her to defend the poor and needy. "Be an extender of God's grace to a broken world," she urged. "Be an ambassador of transformation."

The second day of the summit, Nick Vujicic, founder and CEO of Life Without Limbs, shared his astounding testimony of how God has used him, despite the fact that Vujicic has no arms or legs.

Church staff, ministry leaders, workers in disability-related fields, caregivers, and persons with a disability also benefited from the 28 workshop offered. Comments by attendees included:

• "It was a privilege to be a part of this life-changing, spirit-filled conference. The speakers had such a profound impact on my heart. Words cannot express how this conference has changed MY life."
• "I got much-needed information to develop a disability ministry in my church. I needed this!"
• "The dynamic speakers challenged my thoughts and beliefs and taught me how to engage in action. They demonstrated how a disability can be used in a positive way."
• "Thank you for the sensitivity to a wide variety of issues, needs, and situations. The Summit was faith-filled and Spirit-led!"

The event was co-hosted by the College's Church Connection Initiative and the Alexander DeJong Center for Special Education.

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