Sabbath, April 25, is special in our Church calendar. It’s Possibility Ministries Day—a day to remember those in your church with a special need—mental or physical, and their families; a day to celebrate and realise their special contribution and place in our personal and church lives. It is a day to highlight the full inclusion and integration of all in our church programs and life, and to demonstrate Christian care for their families.
Adventist Possibility Ministries (APM) is the General Conference’s ministry to those with special needs.
“It’s is a life-changing ministry,” says Dr Larry Evans, who coordinates the ministry worldwide. While worldwide APM includes seven broad ministry categories—to the Deaf, the blind, the physically challenged, the emotionally and mentally challenged, orphans and vulnerable children, the widowed, and caregivers—the South Pacific Division (SPD) currently serves only the blind and deaf communities.
APM’s motto encapsulates its underlying principle, that “all are gifted, needed and treasured!” It is for this reason that this special Sabbath exists.
Those unable to see or hear, walk or communicate have been referred to as the “disabled”. While it’s important to recognise one’s limitations, being identified this way may be disrespectful and demoralising. It draws attention to what a person can’t do or doesn’t have, rather than what they can do and the possibilities that lie before them. This day is about changing that perspective, demonstrating care and inclusion. It is about helping individuals, regardless of physical, emotional or mental limitations, discover their untapped “possibilities”.
“It’s time for churches to get onboard,” says Lee Dunstan, who cares for Christian Services for the Blind and Hearing Impaired (CSFBHI). CSFBHI is the SPD entity to contact for resources—program outlines, stories and sermons to use—for Possibility Ministries Day. They encourage churches to develop a program that includes everyone a positive and natural way, and to include those with disabilities and their families.
CSFBHI provides audiobooks and Sabbath school lessons for the blind, closed captioning of video resources and signing interpreters for the Deaf, and hearing augmentation equipment for the hard of hearing.