I was shot when I was 17 years old, and paralyzed from the neck down. In a matter of seconds, I went from a healthy young man with his life in front of him to someone whose dreams were shattered. At first, I was angry—at my circumstances, at the man that shot me and even at God. Why would a loving God want me to live this way? How could He let this happen? Slowly, that anger gave way to a deep and dark depression. I didn’t want to live if I couldn’t walk again. I planned my suicide. But that morning, in my darkest time, God spoke to me and changed my whole perspective. He told me that I needed to learn to live again before ever thinking about learning to walk again. I was crying out to Him about my hopelessness and discouragement, that there wasn’t any help or resources for someone like me. And then He planted the idea that altered my life. Why couldn’t I provide that hope and encouragement to others who were paralyzed. After a lot of research, my buddy David and I began an information referral service for individuals who were paralyzed. We connected people to resources that existed to help them. As this grew and I was able to help counsel some people, I got my certificate of ordination, and we became the Is-Able Ministries. The name comes from taking off the two “D” letters in the word “disabled.” We have been around for 19 years now, and this February, we opened up the Is-Able Center. We still provide all the resources to connect people to their needs. But now, we have a building where counselors and ministers donate their time to provide counseling to individuals with disabilities as well as their caregivers. We offer education to people working on their GED and trying to get into college. We provide computer classes, skills training, resume assistance, job hunting tips and career planning–everything for free. We are funded entirely by donations and the six incredible volunteers who pour themselves into this ministry. God has a wonderful plan for each of us. Sometimes, that’s tough to see. But if we are still and listen, His plan is usually revealed to us.
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