At the age of nine, Hope Peacock went in for a routine surgery to remove her tonsils. But only two days later, Hope went into cardiac arrest, suffering a severe brain injury that left doctors thinking she would never again speak, see, walk, or eat on her own. It was a harrowing experience for the Peacock family who had just recently planted a church in Calgary, Canada. But through it all, they saw God’s hand at work. Church members rallied in prayer; others signed up to provide meals. And little by little, Hope began to improve.
Today, Hope is a vivacious 14-year-old who is growing in her love for Christ and excelling in school. While being legally blind and using a wheelchair is challenging, this teen’s sense of humor and creativity bless everyone around her. Hope serves on her church’s ‘Welcome Team,’ relying on her sense of hearing to notice when people walk through the doors. She personally greets everyone — and sometimes ends up greeting people twice, but that’s okay because Hope just smiles and uses her ‘extra’ greeting to start up a conversation. I love that!
Friend, everyone — disabled or not — has unique, God-given gifts that can bless the church body (1 Cor. 12). It’s why I was so encouraged by this article written by Hope’s mom on “8 Ways to Welcome People with Disabilities into Your Church.” It’s a great resource that I’m sure will help your church be more welcoming — more irresistible — to people affected by disability in your community. So, read it and pass it along!
Originally posted on Joni Eareckson Tada’s blog