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When God brought our first child, Nicole, into our lives with multiple disabilities, my wife and I advocated on her behalf with medical and therapy staff, teachers, social workers, and even with friends and family. For example, because Nicole was extremely fragile in her early years, anyone with the sniffles was not allowed inside our house.

Now advocacy has become part of my identity.

As director of the Christian Reformed Church Office of Disabilities Concerns, along with RCA Disability Concerns ministries, I advocate for people who have disabilities so that churches can grow toward true Christian community in which people with and without disabilities equally belong and engage their gifts in ministry.

Advocacy is needed with local, state and provincial, and federal governments so that people with disabilities can participate meaningfully in society and in the church. People with disabilities cannot participate in church life if they are without support in the rest of their lives.

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