An interview with Thompson U. Kay, volunteer director of Disabilities Ministries for the Mid-America Union
What’s the most exciting thing that happened in your ministry to disabled people during the past quinquennium?
We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work in an evangelistic meeting where 25 precious souls were baptized. Four training seminars were also held and 12 sign language classes.
What do you find most fulfilling about what you are doing in your department?
Providing a ministry for people with a disability and educating church leaders and members about their needs.
What is your greatest frustration?
It is very difficult to find enough workers who are interested in people who have physical challenges. It also difficult when individuals with a disability feel the church does not care about their needs.
Looking forward to the next five years, what are the greatest opportunities before you?
I see five of them in particular:
- Providing educational materials
- Providing in-service workshops
- Developing a union newsletter for Disabilities Ministry
- Conducting leadership training seminars
- Realizing the goal of every church having a Disabilities Ministry
What are the greatest threats you are facing?
It is becoming more and more difficult for the ministry when the funds are limited.
How could Mid-America’s members, pastors and leaders be more supportive of your ministry?
It would be wonderful if every church could have:
- A coordinator in the congregation for persons with disabilities
- Interested persons attending training seminars
- Persons with disabilities becoming involved in church services
- A visit from the union director to train volunteers interested in the ministry
Church leaders on all levels could also help educate members about the needs of persons with disabilities. Camp meetings, workers’ meetings and officers’ meetings are excellent opportunities for instruction about ministry to persons with a disability.
What do you hope to accomplish in your ministry during the next five years?
Our goals are for more workers, and also for more persons with disabilities to accept Christ as their Savior and become baptized members of the Adventist Church.
We also hope that every conference will have a coordinator for Disabilities Ministry.
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