Thousands connected to the online festival, themed “All Are Gifted and All Are Accepted” and led by Inter-America’s Possibility Ministries. The ministry encompasses the vision- and hearing-impaired, orphans and vulnerable children, those with mental health and mobility challenges, and widows and widowers, in addition to caregivers of those with special needs.
“We want you to have a place in the church, and we want to accommodate you in all that you need in the church because the Seventh-day Adventist Church cares,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America, as he addressed persons with disabilities and church leaders across the territory. “We all are God’s children, and God loves us the same,” he added, also indicating some churches have been difficult to access for those with physical challenges, but the church is moving forward in opening spaces to minister to each one. “We see you and we love you.”
Empowering Persons with Disabilities
Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Possibility Ministries director for the church in Inter-America and main organizer of the event, said the “festival was meant to empower and assist persons with disabilities throughout the IAD to use their abilities and acquire skills and spiritual gifts to give glory to God.”
The festival included morning and afternoon programs with special music, testimonies, Sabbath School presentations, a worship service, tips for addressing those with special needs, as well as regional reports on the growth of Possibility Ministries in Inter-America. The live program featured interpreters from 20 different countries, viewed by deaf individuals on the Zoom platform and carried on YouTube channels in English, Spanish, and French.