Scott's Story

  • Oct. 1, 2018
  • #9501

Scott provides a great example of how young people with disabilities can contribute their skills for employment and for service to the Lord.

To see Scott getting into his truck after a day at work, click on the picture below:

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a guest I can’t wait for you to meet!

This is National Disability Employment Month and as you’d guess, I am a big advocate of hiring qualified people with disabilities – it’s what we do at Joni and Friends and our ministry has some wonderful wheelchair users who make great co-workers, like Scott Bankhead. He uses a wheelchair because of spina bifida, but Scott has a degree in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and he serves in our Response department. Scott, thank you for taking time off from your work to run up here to the recording studio to be with me; glad you are here.  

SCOTT:  Thanks so much for having me. It’s my pleasure.

JONI: I love it that you have your degree in biblical counseling, but tell me how the Word of God helps you every day?

SCOTT: That’s a great question and I think of biblical counseling and providing biblical care I’m often reminded of the story of Job and how important the ministry of presence really is, because so much of providing comfort is providing comfort in the absence of answers and providing comfort when the answers that we do have are perhaps unsatisfying. And so I think that it so speaks to the importance of being able to provide a heaven-sent sort of comfort that really does surpass understanding. And if I am to be able to do that scripture has to be my guide.

JONI: Well, Scott, I’m looking at you saying this in your wheelchair and I know you work downstairs in the Response Department. And thank you for being a presence, as you put it, to the many young people with disabilities who write us with problems about depression, discouragement and despair. Do you find your work fulfilling?

SCOTT: Tremendously fulfilling and you know, Joni, it’s amazing to be able to end those conversations and be able to say when someone comes to us with problems with disability and the inherent problems that it brings. I understand what those fears are like. I understand those problems. I know those lessons that you are learning and to be able to say “I get it”. But not only do I get it, but Christ your Savior understands what it is like to be in that position too. That’s a tremendous privilege.

JONI: Well you must have a great skill with God’s Word and it really helps you help others to get to the root of the problem, no doubt.  You’ve served on a couple of the “Wheels for the World” teams; I think you went on a “Wheels” team with my husband, Ken. And I love it that you, I don’t know, just take charge. You are out there showing others with disabilities that they can make it.

SCOTT: Absolutely. And that was something that I found just to be so surprising about a “Wheels for the World” trip is just how important it is for families affected by disability to see that there is life and hope beyond disability, and to have the ability to gain the freedom that we do provide in giving them a wheelchair is amazing. But then to come with the hope of the Gospel which is an even greater hope than that is incredible and truly an experience of a lifetime.

JONI: Well, I love it. I’ve seen photos of you handing out Bibles on “Wheels for the World” trips. You do a great job. I tell you what; I love it that you took your job here at the ministry by driving yourself all the way out from Texas in your big truck. It’s not easy to get in and out of from your wheelchair. How do you to this?

SCOTT: You know it’s not easy and I have a crane that is installed in the back that removes my wheelchair from the driver’s side door once I get out and puts it in the bed of my pickup for when I need it again and for anyone listening for what that process looks like, a video has been posted to the Joni and Friends radio page.  

JONI: Friend listening you just have to go to joniradio.org and see this incredible video. It is just fascinating. Scott, I’m so proud that since this is National Disability Employment Month, you are such a great example of how when people with disabilities are qualified they can really put their skills set to great use serving in Christ’s Kingdom. Thank you for doing that.

SCOTT: You are so very welcome, Joni. Working here every day is a tremendous privilege.

JONI: Hey, friend listening when you go to joniradio.org download a free copy of “Life Transitions.” Scott and I recommend it ‘cause it will help the disabled young people you know learn how to live like he does. Scott thanks for sharing with us today.

SCOTT: Thanks so much for having me.

© Joni and Friends

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