Annual Appeal – March 2023

It has always been our belief at Elevate Christian Disability Trust that every person needs genuine connection and relationship, with both God and others.  

The last few years and recent events have only increased our awareness of this need. None of us are meant to do life alone or isolated.  

This belief is foundational, as we seek to see people with disability, and their whānau (family), leading, contributing, growing, and belonging in Christian community and wider society. As a Ministry Partner (regular donor) or supporter, you partner with us to create opportunities and spaces where these connections and relationships can happen.  

Just recently, we were in contact with a previous international speaker for Elevate National Camp. During the conversation we realised the speaker had been the person praying with Manuele, our Communications Coordinator, when he gave his life to God at camp! Manuele had come to camp on an invitation from a teacher at his school when he was 10 years old.  

“I experienced an encounter with God for the first time” says Manuele. The speaker remembers the moment Manuele asked for prayer and recalls that “the presence of the Lord was powerful and deeply close.”  

He shared with us that his time at Elevate National Camp changed his life and calling. Two lives both changed forever in this moment! 

Isn’t this beautiful! I get so excited when I hear about moments like this in our camps, ministry groups and drop-in centre. There have been so many moments like this throughout the years of our ministry and we continue to pray for many more in the years to come. We are so grateful for our Ministry Partners and supporters, partnering with us through donations and prayers, to continue to see people with disability and their whānau connecting with God and each other.  

You will see in this issue of The Encourager that Margie Willers, co-founder of Elevate, recently passed away and has gone to be with her Lord. We are so glad to have interviewed her before her passing and captured her thoughts as she looked back on her life and ministry. As you read her article, I hope you will join with me in celebrating Margie, a woman who lived a life in honour and service of her Saviour.   

In an article by Margie Willers written for our 30th celebration, she wrote “As I pondered and prayed, I shared my dreams and goals with my close friend, Di Willis. Now, Di was more than enthusiastic to launch out into this new adventure. During those early pioneering days we were definitely a “two-some”. Together we strove to meet the undeniable need for a Christian organisation which would cater for and meet the needs of people with all types of disability.”

Together we strove to meet the undeniable need for a Christian organisation which would cater for and meet the needs of people with all types of disability.”  

Together Margie, Di and Hugh, began what was to become Elevate Christian Disability Trust. Each of them brought their different skills and strengths. Their friendship surely more than coincidence. 

Many of you gave last year towards capturing Di’s story and the beginning of our ministry. We were blown away by your generosity for this project. Thank you to those of you who gave towards this! Filming is about to start for this video, and we look forward to sharing it with you later this year.  

As we reviewed those early days of the ministry, once again we have been reminded of the importance of connections. 

Your prayers and support enable this ministry to continue creating opportunities for people with disabilities and their whānau to develop and grow genuine connections, both with God and others.  

Would you consider giving to our annual appeal this year? Or perhaps this year you might like to become a Ministry Partner of Elevate by committing to a regular donation?  

Thank you again for your prayers and support of the Elevate Christian Disability Trust community.   


Elevate logo

Blessings and Ngā mihi nui,  

Kirsty Armitage  |  Director  

Elevate Christian Disability Trust