Articles About Who We Are and Why We’re Here!
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
About Where is God Ministries
Often the most difficult part of living with disabling illness or injury is the lack of understanding from others that the person encounters. As healthy, able-bodied people, we might think we have to see an outward sign, like a bleeding limb or grey-toned face, before we can believe a person is hurting. As a result, when to us they “look just fine,” we often disregard what a friend or even a family member is trying to say.
Let’s face it, most of us cannot comprehend what it is like to be sick or in pain for weeks, months or even years, because we are accustomed to going to the doctor, taking some medication and soon feeling better. Consequently, unless we are educated about what life-changes a chronic condition can cause, we often may inadvertently treat our recently diagnosed loved one as if they just need to “snap out of it” or “stop complaining.”
Moreover, when the person is a believer, some people often jump to the conclusion that he or she must not “have enough faith” or must be “in sin.” Otherwise, why wouldn’t God provide healing? Sadly, these assumptions can be exceedingly hurtful and damaging. After all, believers debilitated by illness and pain often live as we all should – with a dependence on God’s strength to carry them through it all.
To address all these issues, Wayne Connell founded Where Is God Ministries. He is joined by several pastors and medical professionals to reach out to the world with its message of God’s strength through suffering. WIGM was designed to help friends and family develop a better understanding of those living with chronic conditions. It also helps us take a deeper look into the Word and acknowledge the extraordinary faith our brothers and sisters have, by God’s hand.
WIGM provides many articles to help encourage those in their walk with illness and pain, as well as their loved ones to better know how to be a source of encouragement. It also makes available helpful links to sites, resources and organizations, as well as an online support group.
Most of all, it offers informative articles and a 85 page booklet, Not By Sight! A Guide to Ministering to Believers Living with Chronic Illness and Pain. It can be handed out to friends, family, church members, support groups and even fellow employees, in order to help them to understand the challenges and difficulties of living with a disease or injury that can be debilitating. This booklet serves as a guide to understanding and encouraging those who are limited by their condition. Even more, it helps people see the strength and faith their loved has displayed, despite their losses, limitations and daily challenges.
We pray those with chronic conditions will see God’s grace through trials and tribulations and loved ones will see His strength through their friend or family member. Let us not accuse them of lacking faith or being caught up in sin, when that is not the case. Instead, let us take a closer look at what great faith it takes to live with a physical limitation! Finally, we must remember that as we hope and pray for healing, we must also love and support them with prayer for perseverance, peace and joy.
How Did We Get Started?
Wayne Connell is the Founder and President of Where Is God Ministries. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from the Colorado Christian University. Wayne developed WIGM as a place of compassion and understanding for believers living with chronic illness and pain. He was inspired to create this organization, because of his wife’s battles with illness from a very young age.
All of her life, Sherri was an extremely active person who loved her careers, singing and dancing in musicals, riding her horse and lifting weights. In college, she studied Music Theatre, then obtained 2 Bachelor Degrees in Business, with a Minor in Liberal Arts.
Although Sherri had enormous plans for her life, just as she was plotting out her Master’sDegree, she was stopped in her tracks at the age of 27. Starting with another winter bout of pneumonia, Sherri became paralyzed, so sick she could barely sit up and was in horrible pain. She was hospitalized and diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Late-Chronic Lyme Disease. Suddenly, she went from “on the go” 24/7 to struggling just to get to a doctor’s appointment or take a shower. Shortly after the onset of Sherri’s disability, to help her cope with her losses and un-welcomed changes, she began to write in her journal.
Despite the seriousness of Sherri’s illness, people often had difficulty understanding how she could “look good” to them, even though she was very sick. Unfortunately, because of these misconceptions, people often jumped to the conclusion that she was just being lazy, unmotivated or was not trying hard enough. For a goal oriented, talented, career driven person like Sherri, these notions were absolutely devastating.
When Wayne realized there were so many other people around the world being hurt by the same lack of understanding that Sherri was experiencing, his passion quickly grew from being his wife’s supporter, to being an advocate for all who are living with disabilities. Therefore, Wayne found it imperative to develop an organization to educate friends, family, and churches, in order to bring lives together with compassion and understanding.
Wayne is joined by pastors and medical professionals with the desire to create a sense of compassion for a person’s losses, belief that their limitations are very real and respect for their relationship with God. IDA also utilizes the experiences and knowledge of those living with a debilitating conditions to to establish awareness of the incredible faith people living with chronic illness and pain display, in the midst of their circumstances.
Additional Information About WIGM
Alumni Profile. An article about Sherri from the Colorado Christian University’s magazine, Alumni Connections.
Where WIGM is Featured. Where IDA is Being Featured in Publications, Conventions, Seminars & Other Sites!
What People Are Saying. Read how this site has encouraged believers living with chronic conditions, as well as their loved ones.
A Voice for Others Living with Invisible Disabilities. A Story of One Couple’s Journey to Give a Voice to Others Living With Invisible Disabilities.
An American Heroine. Dr. Jeffrey Boyd writes about Sherri, as well as the struggles and challenges of chronic illness in America.
Coping with Invisible Disabilities. Wayne and Sherri’s journey with chronic illness, published by the Elbert County News.
The Disabilities are Invisible, the Outreach Isn’t. Article published in HopeKeepers Magazine in the Fall of 2004, about Wayne’s inspiration for creating this ministry.
Just As I Am. Sherri’s testimony of her struggle with disabling illness and God’s blessings through her journey. Read Now
2005 Hal O’Leary Inspiration Award -Sherri Connell. The Hal O’Leary Awards Dinner Recognizes People Making a Difference in the Disabled Community.
Seeing Invisible Disabilities. An insightful article written by Douglas Groothuis, PhD, and author, theologian and professor whose wife lives with Fibromyalgia. This is the Forward of our book, Not by Sight and it appeared in MOODY magazine.
When Your Wife Is Ill. Wayne Connell knows how difficult marriage can be. Toss in a chronic illness and everything seems even harder. In this article, Wayne testifies of his love for his disabled wife and for God.