In the parable of the Great Banquet a wealthy man decided to have a great feast. In order to ll the banquet, he told his servants to “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.” IAM Able is based on this Kingdom Building parable to see everyone be a part of this Great Banquet. As we fellowship with the crippled, the lame and the blind we are discovering their desire to know God and ful ll the dreams they have been given.
In the summer of 2015, Paul met a gentleman in a wheelchair. His name is Chris Burlingame. After introducing themselves, Paul invited Chris to a dinner and a movie.
Since that rst encounter, Paul and Chris have invited many others to join them for dinner and movie at the Regent Mall, Fredericton as well as in Saint John and Moncton. IAM Able hosts BBQs, Christmas celebrations and cabaret events. As Paul will say, this is a Luke 14 kingdom venture; Simply going out into the streets and providing a place for people to belong, believe, and build.
Another area of expansion has been the Keith Howell Mobility Trust. Paul met Keith while visiting hospital with Chris and an instant friendship took place. This friendship has been instrumental in the further development of the ministry and the creation of the Keith Howell Mobility Trust.
For many physically disabled people there are not many safe places to belong and participate. IAM Able provides a safe place, friendship, and a true sense of love that people might not otherwise be able to nd. Belonging for IAM Able means being able to work together and partner with disabled people. To work and volunteer with other able people and contribute rather than observe gives them a sense of belonging, trust, and being part of a greater dream.
Being constrained with a physical disability can cause people to lose motivation. They can su er from lack of con dence and no sense of purpose. IAM Able brings back purpose into their lives through friendship and love. People are able to dream and believe in their potential. IAM Able believes in the potential that every person, able or disabled, has within them. When people feel encouraged, they can begin to believe their own potentials and their own dreams. IAM Able gives people something even greater than themselves to believe in, our Lord.
It is also our desire that individuals have an opportunity to build friendships, to build dreams and share in the building of IAM Able Ministries. IAM Able looks for potential in every person. One goal of the ministry is to encourage people to use and develop their gifts. Inclusion of individuals is essential to build con dence and acceptance.