Guidelight helps families and churches navigate childhood disability. We serve at home and abroad, which gives us an understanding of the global impact of disability and helps us make meaningful difference in the lives of those affected.
TEF Retreats are designed to provide deep spiritual refreshment in a relaxing and intimate environment. We partner with local churches and like-minded organizations to provide an impactful and life-giving time for each family. Retreats are three days/three nights in length and include children’s programming, family outings, one-on-one volunteer care of each child with special needs, and a guest speaker focusing on the biblical encouragement through the lens of disability.
Guidelight training utilizes the latest research-based techniques and our team’s extensive experience on how to serve people with varying disabilities, with a foundation rooted deeply in Christ. Our training video series is free of charge as the opportunity to help people serve those with special needs and to learn what the Bible says about disability.
Guidelight seeks to equip indigenous peoples, churches, or missionaries for effective work among those with disabilities in their communities – both orphans and families. Providing a biblical framework on disability and practical training of working with disabilities allows for these people to be empowered to serve their disabled population more effectively. We currently have programming in Eastern Europe and have new ministry developing in Southeast Asia.
GL Connect is a space for leaders to gather together, to encourage one another, to share joys and struggles, as we strive to more faithfully reach out to those living with disability. Our prayer is that as we connect, the Body of Christ will be built up in love, as each unique member is valued and cherished, utilizing their God-given gifts for the health of Christ’s church and the glory of God. All are welcome and all are needed.
We are to treat all human beings with respect for the whole of their lives, regardless of their particular characteristics. It is not our respect that gives them dignity, rather it is because they have dignity that we owe them respect.
With the value of a person firmly settled by the fact that they have been made in the image of God we begin to see that what we call “disability” is a strategy on God’s part to gain glory for his great name.”
— Dr. Megan Best, author of Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
THE WORLD’S LARGEST MINORITY
According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people live with disability.
Across the globe, persons with disabilities generally experience poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities, and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities, a United Nations report found. 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries, and most of them live in poverty.
Despite the gains people with disabilities can make when assisted by therapy and education, many are deprived of these resources in the developing world. Instead, they are commonly institutionalized and don’t get developmental care. Worst of all, those caring for the disabled often abuse or neglect these precious children and adults.
When people are barred from education, they are barred from the knowledge and skills essential to gainful employment, forcing them to remain dependent on others. Independent living is not possible without employment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The Market Project, a trauma-informed business consultancy, states that working in an emotionally and physically safe community brings transformation, strengthens agency in the individual, and offers opportunity for these men and women to contribute to or fully support themselves.
AT GUIDELIGHT, WE BELIEVE:
- There is a large, global population of people impacted by disability.
- There is an overall disregard for their care.
- We must do justice and extend the gospel of grace to them.
- We must work to provide the resources they need.
WHERE WE FIT IN
Everyone needs a loving and safe environment in which to grow up and develop. But the reality for caretakers of those with disability is that the challenges do not let up. Oftentimes, there is no hope for a cure and no end in sight. Consequently, many caretakers can experience despair.
Guidelight exists to strengthen the caretakers of those with disability and equips the church to do the same.
“…at times our path in life with our special blessing of a child seems relentless…never letting up…not a momentary inconvenience but a life of need each day with our child deeply dependent on us.”
At Guidelight Retreats, we step into the chaos and invite families into an intimate escape. We offer refreshment and renewal by designing every detail of the weekend specifically to meet the unique needs of families affected by disability. A team of more than twenty volunteers work tirelessly and passionately to serve our families.
“There are many hurting…marriages in families of disabled children, and now there is a ministry serving this unique niche. It’s necessary in a world that can feel so dark and lonely…”
Our volunteers experience transformation as well.
“Serving at Guidelight retreats has changed my life forever. I now have a biblical framework for disability, and better understand the challenges associated with raising a child with disability. Most of all, my eyes and heart have been opened to the beauty and great worth of those with disabilities, and to the role they can play in the body of Christ.”