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 haroldkhkoh@gmail.com.

Read about the early mission work in Wenzhou as told by George's wife Grace Stott. Download link is available at:

https://missiology.org.uk/blog/26-years-missionary-work-china-grace-smith/

“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.

Browse articles in this edition

On Human Rights and Identity Politics: How Disability Challenges our Missiology

This article considers what makes a human a human. Though global laws address human rights, they fail to answer this more basic question. This failure is acute, as the nature of personhood is subject to various, and sometimes radical, understandings. Arguing that the philosophical assumptions underlying many of these views inevitably dehumanize people with disabilities, [...]

Viewing Disabilities from the Perspectives of Chinese Culture and Christian Belief

Wang Yea-Hui, who has suffered from polio from her first year, considers various definitions of disability and contrasts traditional Chinese responses with Christian teaching. She desires that people will affirm that every child is valuable, recognize that all life has dignity, and honor everyone’s potential. Yea-Hui Wang (王雅惠) graduated with a BA in history from National Cheng [...]

Interview with Yea-Hui Wang

This interview, which follows up on the previous article by Wang Yea-Hui, gives more insight into her personal situation and ministry. She shares helpful insights for people who are thinking about ministering to people with disabilities as well as for people with disabilities who are thinking about entering Christian ministry. David Eastwood has served for [...]

Following in God’s Way by Foot or by Chair

Ministry can be difficult whether one contracts polio as a child or as an adult. Jean Anderson was in the second category, as she was assaulted by the disease early in her second term of service. Through losing the ability to use her legs, God taught her lessons she couldn’t have learned otherwise and gave [...]

Café and Education Ministry for People with Special Needs

It is one thing to recognize that people with special needs are made in the image of God and another thing to help them function in society and in God’s kingdom. This article gives us insight into how that can be done through running a business that both employs and otherwise supports the needs of [...]

Fish out of Water

Erin tells the story of her family who have served in Asia for the majority of her life and reveals valuable insight into the way disabilities are commonly viewed and treated as she considers the disabilities of local people and her own sister. Erin is a TCK who is currently living in her home country [...]

“He has delivered my soul in peace”—The Life and Ministry of Allison Butler

Marjorie Keeble introduces us to the life of her mother—Alison Pike Butler—who was born to CIM parents, served with the mission after completing education, and continued to serve despite being partially paralyzed after being attacked by a swarm of hornets. It has been a privilege to write the story of my mother Allison Butler to [...]

A Personal Reflection on Experiences of Race and Racism

Nathaniel Jennings tells his personal story of growing up in a mixed-race household. As he discovered, the shade of one’s skin can produce a range of reactions and feelings whether one is in Bangladesh, England, or elsewhere. Christians, he argues, should stand behind those without privilege or power and seek the reconciliation and peace that [...]

The God of Covenant Love

David and Adèle Ellis were married in Java in 1964 and served together for fifty-two years in Indonesia, Singapore, and the UK. In a moving chapter from his recent book Through All the Changing Scenes: A Lifelong Experience of God's Unfailing Care, David shares their experience of how Adèle’s encounter with Alzheimer’s made the things [...]

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

A short devotional on turning to fix our eyes on Jesus in the midst of different circumstances we face in our daily walk. Claire McConnell is the Archivist at the OMF International Center in Singapore. Before coming to Asia she taught mathematics and science in a Northern Ireland grammar school. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus [...]

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