Bonnie says she is honored to join the ADN board of directors. As a parent of a young adult with a disability and as a special education teacher, she understands the importance of advocating for persons with disabilities and their families. Bonnie believes that the need for inclusion of people with disabilities is greater today than ever before and that inclusion is not just a practice, but an attitude.
Along with her husband, Lyle Miller, Bonnie has been an active member at Waterford Mennonite Church for over thirty years. Bonnie said she is extremely grateful to the Waterford congregation for the ways they’ve supported the accessibility needs of her sons, even when it would have been easy for them to be forgotten or marginalized.
In her new role on the ADN board of directors, Bonnie looks forward to continuing to nurture an attitude of inclusion for people with disabilities, not only at Waterford Mennonite Church, but also in the wider network of Anabaptist congregations.
Bonnie and Lyle live in Goshen, Indiana and have two young adult sons, Tony and Ryan.
New Field Associate: Debbie Eisenbise, Kalamazoo, MI.
As a pastor for 17 years, Debbie has encountered people from all walks of life and of all abilities. She first became involved with disabilities ministries through assisting congregants of her church experiencing age-related disabilities. During these years, Debbie and her congregation learned about how to remove barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities.
Debbie’s church also developed a relationship with a local group home when a man diagnosed with schizophrenia began attending. Debbie remarked that this man ministered to the congregation with psalms of his own creation that he would share in worship and sometimes submit for the church newsletter. The church community journeyed alongside this man’s last years of life and celebrated his passing onto the next.
Debbie also has experience leading Bible studies at a group home for people with traumatic brain injuries. Here she discovered that people with disabilities often go unnoticed, despite wanting connection and communion with others. Debbie believes that reaching out to include people with disabilities in our congregations is a way of fulfilling the call to invite all into life in Christ.
Leaving pastoral employment to work with disabilities ministries for the Church of the Brethren denomination was an expansion of what Debbie had come to love. In this role, Debbie presented workshops on disabilities awareness and ministry with individuals with disabilities to Church of the Brethren camp staff, district and conference leaders, and pastors. Debbie found pride and inspiration from working with the many Open Roof Fellowship congregations who minister to, and with, those of all abilities.
As an ADN Field Associate, Debbie hopes to continue engaging with her love for evangelization of disabilities ministries.
New Field Associate: Chou Hallegra Gabikiny
Chou joins ADN’s team of Field Associates with over a decade of experience providing counseling, consulting, case management, and job coaching to individuals and families affected by intellectual and emotional disabilities.
Chou is the founder of Grace & Hope Consulting
, LLC. She is a board certified Christian Counselor, a certified Cognitive-Behavioral Group Therapist, a certified trainer for Person-Centered Thinking, and a certified Supports Broker.
Having personally experienced some debilitating and chronic health conditions, Chou is passionate about helping others to achieve emotional wellness. As a parent of children with complex needs, she understands first-hand the challenges of providing caregiving to loved ones with disabilities. She strives to support and care for the families of people with disabilities.
Chou completed a master's degree in human services at Liberty University and an advanced diploma in biblical counseling at Light University. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in rehabilitation counseling from Utah State University. Chou completed additional trauma-related training including Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Skills Training in Affect and Interpersonal Regulation (STAIR), and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for traumatized children.
Chou attends West Shore Brethren in Christ Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
New Field Associate: Milt Stolztfus, Brownstown, PA.
Milt Stoltzfus continues his long history of service to ADN by becoming an ADN Field Associate. Milt Stoltzfus presently serves as the Coordinator of Spiritual Nurture and Community Life for Friendship Community, which is a Lancaster County-based provider of residential and support services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. His role includes facilitating pastoral care, intentional faith practices and resources, church relations and community involvement for those served by Friendship Community.
Milt with his sister Marian
Milt grew up with two older sisters who were diagnosed in early childhood with "brain damage." Over the years, their church offered much support, grace, and courage to his family. This experience of having sisters with developmental disabilities was a shaping factor in Milt’s life.
Milt is the current chair of the Lancaster Christian Council on Disabilities, and he served on the board of directors of Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADN) for fifteen years.
Milt shares his life with his wife, Lois, and their cats in Brownstown, Pennsylvania. They worship at New Beginnings Brethren in Christ Church in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
Want to learn more about becoming a field associate or board member of ADN? Contact Kathy at KathyNY@ADNetOnline.org