“Yesterday and today programs were very informative and enjoyable — I learned a lot — thank you!” -Donna Lackman
This past weekend (June 10th-11th) With Everything Inc held its very first disability awareness weekend at First Church West (FCW). The weekend was filled with trainings, practical experiences, and uplifting testimonies from individuals that have learned through out the years to put God at the center by not forgetting to love His special needs community.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a 4-hour training on blindness sensitivity provided by Dolores McDiarmid, Public Awareness specialist at the LightHouse of Broward.
At this training, our participants learned about what it is like to live with Blindness through a variety of firsthand experiences as well as to how to make individuals with vision impairments and blindness feel more welcomed and included in the church and bring self to a greater comfort level with people who live with blindness or vision impairments.
Mrs. McDiarmid covered topics such as degrees of blindness, health induced vision loss, and difference between vision impairment and blindness. The participants also got a chance to watch a couple of interesting videos on what to do when you see a blind person and Seeing Eye dogs. They experience blindness through low vision simulator goggles and put into practice sighted guide skills as they each wore blindfolds and led their partner through a walk in the training room. The training concluded with information on blindness etiquette, meaning of canes colors, long vs support cane usage, and ten commandments and tips for welcoming a person who is blind. Dolores McDiarmid’s book Moved by the Spirit is available on Amazon.
On Sunday, our day was jump started with a Q&A session on Disabilities by With Everything’s founder, Saurym Quezada. Ms. Quezada addressed the congregation on the various definitions of disabilities, the Laws that represent and support this individuals, and the social initiatives that have been put in place to give this individuals their God-given value and dignity back. The day’s activities were followed by a heart warming testimony by Sarah Quick on her invisible disabilities (Epilepsy) and how being a Christian helped her deal with the ways epilepsy has impacted her life. The day’s activities concluded with a powerful and encouraging message by Pastor Norm Wise on The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14), helping us understand how disabilities is part of God’s plan East of Eden (not an accident); yet we can come to the throne room and find sabbath of soul in Christ. You can find this and many other messages by FCW here.
We do not want to close this blog without taking the time to thank FCW for their disposition and support through this weekend activities. Their love for Christ and broken souls greatly shows through their continuous and arduous labors to let the gospel (All aspects of it) be known and spread. We love the congregation and rejoice in our partnership each day. May God continue to richly bless you.