Joni and Friends Helps Organize Group to Facilitate Disability Ministry Worldwide
By Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST and ASSIST News Service
WESTLAKE VILLAGE,CA (ANS – Feb 27, 2015) Organizers
of the Global Access Conference, a first-of-its-kind event held last
week to promote disability ministry worldwide, launched a new
association at the conference that could prove to be its lasting legacy.
to a news release from A. Larry Ross Communications, more than 1,000
people from about 50 countries attended the conference, organized by the
Joni and Friends ministry, at Calvary Community Church in Westlake
Village. Almost half of them – 450 -- signed up for the new group, the
Global Access Association.
“The world's 1 billion people with disabilities are desperately
crying out for help and hope,” said Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and CEO
of Joni and Friends. “This is why the Global Access Association is
critically needed – we simply must resource, network with, and help one
another reach for Christ this global population!”
Members of the staff of Joni and Friends, who had planned for the
four-day conference for five years, said that the association will
facilitate the growth of disability ministry as a worldwide movement by:
* edifying participants with practical knowledge and resources to accelerate their ministry;
* engaging participants in a global network of like-minded people and organizations; and
* encouraging the worldwide mission of the body of Christ through people with disabilities.
The conference – subtitled “Where Disabilities and Possibilities
Meet” -- brought together disability leaders, ministers, educators and
practitioners to share experiences, forge relationships and learn how to
practically and effectively promote disability ministry in the
The Global Access Association was a natural outgrowth of the gathering. For more information, please visit www.gaa.community.
heard speakers such as Nick Vujicic, international speaker and founder
of Life without Limbs; Dr. Joseph D'souza, International President of
the Dalit Freedom Network; and Hyatt Moore, former president of Wycliffe
Bible Translators who painted a 17-by-6-foot mural of the banquet from
Luke 14 during the conference.
Conference participants also attended a pre-release screening of “The
Drop Box,” a highly praised documentary about the “baby box” in South
Korea where unwanted infants – many of them disabled – are left
anonymously in the care of Pastor Lee Jong-rak. Joni and Friends also
released a short film, “Ebenezer,” about the 100,000th wheelchair
delivered under its Wheels for the World program.
For 35 years, Joni and Friends has worked to accelerate ministry to
the disability community around the world, offering a wide array of
life-affirming ministries, including the Christian Institute on
Disability; the International Disability Center; international radio and
television programs filled with inspirational stories; and Family
Retreats, where families affected by disability learn they are not
alone. For more information, please visit http://www.joniandfriends.org/.
Note to Editors: For more information or to arrange
an interview with Joni and Friends representatives, please contact
Melany Ethridge of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo captions: 1) Joni chatting with Dr. Charles Ware, one of the keynote speakers for the Global Access Conference 2015. 2) Ken
Tada and Joni Eareckson Tada with Dan and Peter Wooding at NRB 2015 in
Nashville after Dan had interviewed them and Peter had videoed it.