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Rev. Mark Stephenson has been appointed director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Stephenson began his three-year term July 1. He feels that his work as a pastor and writer has prepared him to handle the new post.

“I feel that God has been preparing me. I just sense God’s leading and guiding,” said Stephenson. “You just have to trust God.”

Stephenson’s first experience in helping people with mental and physical disabilities came when his first daughter, Nicole, was born prematurly at 26 weeks gestation, suffering from lung, brain, and eye damage. She cannot speak or walk independently. Working with the government, church, and school while raising Nicole has prepared Stephenson to work in the CRCNA with disability concerns.

“I’ve been jotting down notes on the position for the past two years,” said Stephenson, noting that he began preparing himself for when his predecessor, Rev. James Vanderlaan, was planning on retirement and submitted his résumé when the position became available.

Stephenson, 47, has been a pastor in the CRC since 1996, serving most recently at West Olive (Mich.) CRC.

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