The cover image is a painting of trees by Benjamin Koh Chong Jin © 2017. To learn more about Ben, see page 10 . To see more of Ben’s artwork, visit https://www.facebook.com/BenKoh.ArtJourney/ or contact his father Harold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
Ministry to, with, and by People with Disabilities
The Gospel of Matthew introduces the person and work of Jesus by summarizing his preaching and healing roles and how people came to be healed. Later, Jesus passed these ministries on to his apostles whom he charged to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons” (Matt 10:8).
God’s servants have always reached out to others in word and deed. Indeed, God has used many who were sick and became well—like the man freed from demons who Jesus commanded to “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:39)—and others who served despite their sickness—like Paul, with his thorn in the flesh. Gospel ministry has always been to, with, and by people with various disabilities.
A remarkable case in point is one of the first recruits to the China Inland Mission. George Stott was a Scotsman who came to faith at 21 while recuperating from an operation to remove his leg. After working for several years as a teacher, Stott heard about the needs of China and determined to go. When asked how he could do this on one leg, he replied: “I do not see those with two legs going, so I must.” Stott was the first Protestant missionary to work in Wenzhou, a city that now traces its large, vibrant church to this one-legged saint.
Most of the articles in this issue follow in George Stott’s shadow by introducing us to missionaries who have been faithful in ministry despite their handicaps.