by Jackie Storer
Xenos Access ministry is a group that is focused on leading people with disabilities to Christ and providing them with the help needed to understand the Bible and God’s role in their lives.
Greg Roth, who leads Xenos Access ministry and oversees all of the branches of the ministry, says his burden for reaching people with disabilities came after a retreat with families with disabilities. He felt the need for a ministry to help Xenos members reach out to families affected by disability and support them.
“It came together as a result of many like-minded individuals who converged and thought it would be a good thing to get started. God brought us together,” Roth said.
Since Access ministry began, it has developed four branches: adult, young adult, Oasis, and interpreting for the deaf.
According to Roth, the ultimate goal of this ministry is to get people with disabilities involved in home groups, where they can continue to grow in their relationships with God. Before being sent to home groups, the ministry offers meetings twice a month to give people with disabilities the chance to experience fellowship, get a taste of God’s word, and begin relationships with God.
Some of the biggest challenges stem from the Oasis and interpreting branches in that they are consistently looking for volunteers to help. As of now, the Oasis program has a small pool of people they can contact to pair children up with “buddies” for the day. In one Oasis classroom, called the “hub room,” the students, along with their buddy can learn about God in a less stimulating, quieter environment where the Bible is simplified.
For the interpreting branch, the ministry is seeking volunteers to help interpret classes offered through Xenos, as well as interpreters for Sunday’s Central Teachings and home groups. Roth says getting volunteers for classes is difficult because “it’s a very high level of interpretation because of all the scholarly teachings Xenos offers, [the interpreters] have to be top notch.”
Even though there are challenges, Roth says there are many positive rewards that come from it. Last year, the interpreting branch saw one person begin a relationship with God, and the young adult branch baptized six members, including the father of one of the girls getting baptized.
"We get to see God’s spirit move through people and see things we wouldn’t expect. They change and blossom into people that God is using in ministry,” Roth said.