Vital Link 85 Winter 2022

The Newsletter for Through the Roof

vital link

The Newsletter for Through the Roof


Celebrating our 500th Roofbreaker !
Chairs to Ukraine
Coming home
Signing the way to inclusion
No : 85 WINTER 2022

‘ If God is for us , who can be against us ?’

Training to be an ordained minister was not easy for Revd Neil Robinson as he is profoundly Deaf , but he shared his message of hope with us at our anniversary service , ( pictured above , with Graham Kendrick leading worship , second from right ), and quoted from Romans 8:31 – ‘ If God is for us , who can be against us ?’ Neil , now a chaplain to the Deaf Community , gave his address in BSL ( British Sign Language ) – he shared how we can break down barriers , and how “ God can use us regardless ” of our hesitation and doubts .
Neil explained with wit and humility how God had called him to ministry three times before he finally accepted that call . The barriers on that journey included negative attitudes Neil experienced from the hearing community . But these no longer hold Neil back . He has been determined to reach the heights of God ’ s vison for him , including doing a tandem sky dive in May 2019 ! Neil has just jumped into a new project , producing a Deaf Awareness Video for churches — more information on that later in this issue .
Neil ’ s talk , and the verse from Romans 8:31 , was a great encouragement for the next 25 years of Through the Roof . The message was shared with over 100 friends and supporters who met together at the anniversary Thanksgiving service in October at St George ’ s , Ashtead , UK to give thanks for God ’ s faithfulness . Graham Kendrick , singer / song-writer , led the opening worship with his classic ‘ Meekness & Majesty ’, and ended the opening set with ‘ From Heaven you Came ’, prompting us to praise and worship ‘ the Servant King ’, Jesus : the model for TTR ’ s work and witness .
We looked back over 25 years celebrated in videos . First , Joni Eareckson Tada gave a video
Celebrating 25 years of Through the Roof
message from the charity Joni and Friends , which gave the initial seed funding for TTR . We then heard from Lazarus , a boy given a wheelchair from a Wheels for the World distribution , so he can get to school and take his exams ; he hopes to become a lawyer . All aspects of TTR ’ s work were celebrated in an anniversary video : TTR holidays and groups , the impact of the Roofbreaker programme , and TTR ’ s transformative international work . The videos will be shared on youtube . com / TTRChangesLives .
Towards the end of the service , Tim Wood ( Chief Executive ) and Mike Townsend ( Chair of Trustees ) shared their visions and prayers for the next 25 years of God ’ s work transforming lives through Jesus with disabled people . Tim shared exciting news about a trust fund application for funding for three part-time regional Roofbreaker Co-ordinators , so we can increase from 500 to potentially 1500 Roofbreaker disability champions in churches across the UK . Mike then prayed for TTR , that our message of disability inclusion will be shared far and wide , so we are no longer a ‘ best kept secret ’. Trustee Simon Dennis then led the closing worship , and quoted Micah 6:8 – ‘ Do justice , love mercy and walk humbly with our God ’.
Guests enjoyed refreshments and a chance to meet old and new friends who support TTR . We were also excited to share displays about all the different parts of the charity , including encouraging messages TTR volunteers wrote on ‘ rooftiles ’ about what TTR ’ s work means to them . Thank you for your support over this last 25 years – we ’ re looking forward to working with you all over the next 25 !
www . throughtheroof . org