MISSION CANADA URBAN WORKER
Ministry Location: Nationwide
Ministry Focus: Reaching Canadians with Disabilities
From Calgary, Alberta, Sheldon Penner is a Mission Canada urban worker reaching Canadians with disabilities. Sheldon, a lifelong cerebral palsy survivor, is an inspirational speaker and is leading a ministry called Journey of Hope Canada. His mission is to:
• Share his story of God’s grace with local church congregations, youth groups and in high schools
• Give people a good understanding of disabilities and show them practical steps on how to handle the world of disabilities
• Show people how they can overcome their challenges, hurts and struggles.
Born a healthy child, Sheldon stopped breathing for unknown reasons, causing him brain damage and leaving him with cerebral palsy which limited his speech. Although Sheldon has lost his ability to speak, he doesn’t allow his disability to stop him. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree and a diploma in Biblical studies. Today, with the use of various forms of technology, Sheldon communicates with audiences about God’s unconditional love and a hope for living—all with his laptop, smart phone, tablet and projection programs. His messages communicate a strong purpose for living, while helping many realize they can overcome the struggles they may face.
As a Mission Canada worker, Sheldon is excited about the opportunities this role and platform provide. He wants others to be comfortable around those with disabilities, building strong relationships together, where each one benefits the other. When you have seen Sheldon communicate in a crowd, you know this is possible! As God enables him, Sheldon is all about inspiring people with disabilities to live their lives without being held down. Sheldon communicates his story with a sense of humour and honesty. His message is told through visual media, his energetic body language, and his outgoing spirit. His presentations draw in those of all ages. Sheldon will have you both laughing and crying!
His message of hope always comes back to helping people see the love and light of Christ—that shines through him with brilliance. Sheldon loves to proclaim, “…but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)