Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Shiloh Hosts First Disabilities Ministries Day

Story by LaTasha Hewitt 

The Allegheny East Conference (AEC) recently held its first Disabilities Ministries Day at the Shiloh church in Petersburg, Va. Deborah Whitfield, the North American Division’s Disabilities Ministries coordinator and Shiloh member, designed the event to recognize and honor people with disabilities, and their caregivers.

The church celebrated many individuals, including Celia Yette, who has no arms, but types on a computer, drives a car with her feet and works for the Virginia Employment Commission. Yette says, “God is to be honored, because it is through Him, and Him alone, that I am able to do what I do.”

Event organizers also honored Wilma Turner, a caregiver to a Shiloh member who has Alzheimer’s disease. Turner not only brings her client to prayer meetings, but also participates in the service. Other honorees included Darlene Wilson, John Scott, John Brown and Shiloh’s parking lot security team.

Speaker Gene Donaldson, pastor of the Ephesus church in Richmond, Va., delivered the message. Using the story of blind Bartimaeus, he shared the vision of what God has for not only disabled individuals, but for all individuals.

During the evening program, Naveda Evans, from the Westminster Presbyterian church, gave her testimony about how her legs gave out one day. It was later determined that she had several tumors in her spine. Recent technology has allowed her to be one of the first patients statewide to use robotic assistance to walk.

“They know what it means to walk by faith and not by sight. These individuals are truly overcoming by the blood of the Lamb,” says Whitfield. 

(Photo: Colin Brathwaite, AEC Disabilities Ministries director, and Deborah Whitfield, NAD Disabilities Ministries coordinator, recognize honorees.) 

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