Did you know that, there are 1 billion disabled people living in the world today, and 12 million in the UK (18% of the population)? Statistics show that globally a disabled person is more likely to live in poverty and isolation and to be a victim of crime and discrimination. They are less likely to be in employment and have less access to education, transport, appropriate housing and the internet (Office of Disability Issues). The cost of bringing up a disabled child is three times greater than bringing up a non-disabled child (Scope).
Through the Roof is a registered charity that exists to ‘transform lives through Jesus with disabled people’.
The charity’s name comes from the Bible account where some men break through the roof to help their disabled friend meet Jesus according to Luke 5. We recognise that every person is made in the image of God and has inherent value and worth, which includes people who have personal experience of disability.
“they went up on the roof and lowered the paralysed man on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus”-Luke 5
Many of our dedicated trustees, staff team, volunteers and donors have personal experience of disability and seek to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people and their families by:
- Providing life-changing opportunities for disabled people
- Equipping the Christian community to fully involve disabled people
We achieve these aims by delivering three activity programmes:
Through the Roof is part of the Churches for All network. Follow this link to find out more about CFA.
According to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, “90% – 95% of the world’s disabled people never hear the Gospel“. It is vitally important that our churches and ministries include them.
This ministry is the brainchild of Joni B. Eareckson Tada. She is an international author and speaker and the founder and Chief Executive of Joni and Friends International Disability Centre in the USA. We are privileged at Through the Roof to be an affiliate of JAF since being founded in 1997, after Joni’s European speaking tour in 1994.
At the age of 17 a diving accident left Joni quadriplegic and in a wheelchair. She founded Joni and Friends in 1979 to provide Christ-centred programmes to families with disabled children, as well as training to churches. Joni and Friends serves thousands of families with disabled children through Family Retreats, and has delivered over 100,000 wheelchairs and Bibles to disabled people in developing countries, as part of their Wheels for the World programme, which Through the Roof UK ‘imported’ in 1997. Joni’s lifelong passion is to bring the Gospel to the world’s one billion disabled people. What a great way to Deal with Disability in the Church!
Joni survived stage 3 breast cancer in 2010, yet keeps a very active ministry schedule. She and her husband Ken were married in 1982 and reside in California.
You can learn more about Joni’s ministry at www.joniandfriends.org or can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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