Welcome to the Audio Encourager Magazine No. 176

  1. Welcome to Encourager Magazine No.176 0:23
  2. Welcome by Kirsty Armitage 2:41
  3. Excel in Prayer - Devotion by Margie Willers 2:39
  4. Announcement - Disability Awareness Sunday 0:17
  5. Margie Willers – From Pain to Pearls Elevate Christian Disability Trust 18:04
  6. Technology opens up a new world for Marci 3:40
  7. Volunteer Spotlight - Heather Major 4:29
  8. Get Involved 4:03
  9. National Camp 2023 Come Celebrate 2:11
  10. Hear some Good News Elevate Christian Disability Trust 2:39

Encourager Magazine No. 176, March 2023

The Encourager Magazine No. 176, March 2023 is now available.

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Connecting to Jesus

By Jean Griffith

I have heard from people that on waking they must have their first cup of coffee before they can start the day. That zap of caffeine is what seems to connect them to become fully awake. No doubt while they’re having that stimulus, they turn on their devices to connect to the world.  These days devices have become their lifeline, they cannot function without it.  As this devotion is about Connection, it made me think about how much we rely on connecting with many things to help us in our daily lives. 

When we were in lockdown, okay, these devices did have their place, but after a while, they weren’t a means to an end. People wanted to connect to a real person face to face. The joy of doing things together, sharing laughter and food together, having a hug from someone, playing board games together and the many things that connect us when we are with each other, that is what makes us happy and alive because it’s real. 

Mark 5: 25-34 is about the woman with the issue of blood. She had a medical bleeding condition which she had had for 12yrs. She had sought healing from physicians and spent all she had. According to Jewish laws, if she touched anybody, that person would have also been deemed unclean. I can imagine that ostracized stigma would have been far more painful than the condition itself. When she heard Jesus was in town, she knew what she had to do. She wasn’t going to allow her low social status to stop what she so desired. She was pushed and scuffled along with the crowds but had only one thing on her mind. She was focused on Jesus. She was determined to reach out towards him.  

The woman’s desperation propelled her forward, she persevered, and her faith was unwavering. She became a risk taker because she was going against the rules of her time. She thrust her way through the crowds, although she could have been crushed to death.  She focused on her goal; she was trusting Jesus for her healing with outstretched arms. She wasn’t going to give up… 

 One touch of that garment was all it needed. Then it happened… she touched the source of the healing power; her faith was activated. 

 Jesus responded! Suddenly he felt power zap from him. There had been a connection with the woman who had touched him, where she had great faith that he was the one who could heal her. He responded to her faith and restored her to wholeness. 

Wow what a lesson for us to learn! How desperate are we to connect with God? Jesus is our ultimate power source that can get us going in the morning, he is the one we can reach out to and to guide us through the day. He is the one who restores us, gives us fulfilment and complete wholeness! 


Jean Griffiths is a wonderful volunteer based in Auckland. She’s the communication liaison for CFFD branches as well as serving on Auckland CFFD committee.

We Need Each Other

By Manuele Teofilo 

I enjoy meeting up with other Christians. Either at a small group, connect group or even just a coffee catch-up. These are always wonderful opportunities to share encouragement to build each other up. Or to listen to the hardships that our friend is going through and to pray for them.

In my late teenage years, I was weighed down with a big question.  How do I serve? Seeing everyone at church serving in practical ways, I didn’t feel like I could do anything to serve my church community. Blinded by thinking that practical acts of service were the only way to serve, I couldn’t see how I fitted into the body of the church.

My friends and I had discussions about how I was feeling and about the question that plagued me.  They first empathised with me in my confusion. Then they started to tell me how I blessed them. My courage to give things a go and praying for others were some ways I encouraged them. I began to see that even the little things can be a big encouragement to others.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:12 “Both of us need help. I can help make your faith strong and you can do the same for me. We need each other.” Paul! The guy who wrote a number of letters in the New Testament. He needed help!

Don’t underestimate how you can encourage another believer. Even if they have a major role in the church. Or if you feel you don’t give as much practically or spiritually as them. The Church in Rome, like us today, looked up to Paul as a great teacher. However, he welcomed encouragement from other believers. We may feel our way of serving is insignificant compared to others. Yet, we don’t know what impact we have on people with even just a smile.

Like Paul, we should let others support and encourage us in our faith. At the same time, we need to support and build others up in their faith.


Manuele Teofilo is Communications Coordinator at the Elevate National Support Office. He attends Gracecity Church in Auckland and lives with Cerebral Palsy.

Welcome to the Audio Encourager Magazine No. 175

  1. Welcome to The Encourager No.175 Elevate Christian Disability Trust 0:09
  2. Three Images on the Front Cover Elevate Christian Disability Trust 0:38
  3. Welcome by Kirsty Armitage Elevate Christian Disability Trust 2:47
  4. God Calls Us to Work Together - A Devotion by Jan Bridgman Elevate Christian Disability Trust 3:55
  5. An Experience I Will Never Forget by Blair Woolley Elevate Christian Disability Trust 6:03
  6. Stronger Together Elevate Christian Disability Trust 6:17
  7. Reflections on Prayer Elevate Christian Disability Trust 5:27
  8. Kevin Park's Communication Ministry Elevate Christian Disability Trust 5:17
  9. Volunteer Spotlight - Dave Palmer Elevate Christian Disability Trust 4:25
  10. The Anchor - Jenny Hook's Poetry Book Elevate Christian Disability Trust 4:18
  11. Hear some Good News Elevate Christian Disability Trust 2:39

The Wise Men Went Together

By Manuele Teofilo 

In Matthew 2 it tells us the story about the wise men following the star that led them to the new-born baby. Verse 10 and 11 read, “When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

They journeyed together! In this short passage of scripture, the word “they” is mentioned multiple times. “They saw”, “they entered”, they worshipped and they gave gifts to the new-born King! If a wise man travelled alone, he wouldn’t have anyone to talk to. Or, have no one to encourage him to keep going when he felt like giving up.

There’s something about doing things together. There’s more excitement and more strength. The group could carry more gifts. It was easier to face up to a king who didn’t like the news about a new king with others beside them.

The Joy and excitement of the wise men when they finally saw baby Jesus would’ve been so great! The group would’ve been celebrating together for making it to Bethlehem after a long trip. But also filled with hope and joy to see the Saviour of the world right before their eyes.

Who are you celebrating Christmas with this year? With your family, friends or church community. If you don’t have anyone to celebrate and remember the birth of Christ with, I encourage you to reach out. Or, you may know someone that has no family to be with on Christmas day. Please consider inviting them to your celebrations.

Whatever you do to remember Jesus this Christmas make sure you do it with others. Because celebrating the birth of our Saviour is way better together!

Manuele Teofilo is Communications Coordinator at the Elevate National Support Office. He attends Gracecity Church in Auckland and lives with Cerebral Palsy.

Encourager Magazine No. 175, November 2022

The Encourager Magazine No. 175, November 2022 is now available.

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My Sheep Know My Voice

By Sarah Houston

John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,  and they follow me” (NIV)

I was walking in Cornwall Park enjoying seeing the new lambs in the fields, so carefree and content having their mother close by their side. This reminded me I have a Good Shepherd too, who takes good care of me. He is loving, caring, patient, kind, my helper, friend, protector

Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (ESV)

Luke 12:32 “Fear not little flock” (ESV). Jesus has promised that he will always take good care of us.

In the bible, we read passages about sheep, lambs, flocks, and the good shepherd. Many times, we are liken to sheep.

Below are some examples:

  1. Sheep don’t have any sense of direction they will just follow each other. That’s why we need a shepherd to guide us.

Isaiah 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray” (ESV)

  1. Sheep are helpless, they need a shepherd.

Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (NIV)

Sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice.

John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.”

  1. Sheep cannot carry heavy loads.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.” (ESV)

  1. Sheep will take the easiest way, not necessarily the right path.

Psalm 23:4 “He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

  1. Sheep cannot look after themselves when hurt.

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” (NIV)

  1. Sheep are valuable to the shepherd; they provide for all his needs.

John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (ESV)

Jesus has provided a way to heaven for us through His sacrificial death on the cross. Remember to give thanks today for our gentle and loving Good Shepherd, and to always stay close by His side.

The shepherd knows his sheep. He calls them by name. When we see a crowd, we see exactly that, a crowd, filling a stadium or flooding a mall. When we see a crowd, we see people, not persons, but people. A herd of humans, a flock of faces. That’s what we see. But not so with The Shepherd. To him every face is different. Every face is a story. Every face is a child. Every child has a name. The one with the sad eyes, that’s Sally. The old fellow with one eyebrow up and the other down, Harry’s his name. And the young one with the limp? He’s an orphan with no brothers, that’s Joey.

The Shepherd knows his sheep. He knows each one by name. The Shepherd knows you. He knows your name. And he will never forget it. “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” – Isaiah 49:16 (NLT).

Sarah Houston is the Activity Coordinator at our Drop-in Centre in Auckland. She brings great amounts of wisdom and amazing bible teachings to the Drop-in Centre meetings.

What is in your hand?

By Margie Willers

So the Lord said to him, “What is in that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” Exodus 4:2 (NKJV)

God had chosen Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt. But Moses immediately began to enumerate all the reasons why he was not qualified to assume such leadership. Then the Lord asked him, “What is in thine hand?” When Moses looked at his hand, what did he see? A rod – a dead stick. What could be done with it? It was only a rod in Moses’ hand, but when it was given to God it became a rod of power to deliver the Israelites.

Through the years God has challenged His people with the same question. “What is in your hand?” Many have answered and accepted the challenge. An inspiring example is David Livingston who came from the coal mines of Scotland. When God said to him, “What is in your hand? He offered him his heart of love for Africa and accepted His challenge to missionary service. Through him that continent was opened to the Gospel.

God is saying to you today – What is in your hand? He sees your talents and ability. Placed in God’s hand these can be a ‘rod of power’ for Him to use. Your answer to Him may be “nothing – nothing that you can ever use.” But little is much in the Master’s hand – He doesn’t look at our hands as we do. Lift your seemingly empty hands to Him – He will use you. He uses the weakest instruments to accomplish His mightiest works. When God calls, He enables!

The great violinist Paganini was to give a concert. As he was about to begin his programme, to the horror of those present, he deliberately broke all but one string on his violin. Then as he held up his instrument, he said, “One string and Paganini”. What indescribably beautiful music the great musician played on that violin with one string.

What glorious harmonies the Great Musician can bring forth from a life – with its ability and inabilities – when it is completely yielded to Him.


Margie Willers is co-founder of Elevate and lives with cerebral palsy. She has written two books and was a regular guest speaker before retiring.





Welcome to the Audio Encourager Magazine No. 174

  1. Welcome to The Encourager No. 174 ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 0:12
  2. Hugh & Di on Front Cover ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 0:34
  3. Contents ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 0:29
  4. Welcome by Kirsty Armittage ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 3:07
  5. What Is In Your Hand – a Devotion by Margie Willers ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 3:12
  6. Hawkes Bay's Hallelujah Lady ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 7:47
  7. 46 Years in Ministry - Hugh and Di Willis ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 11:34
  8. My First Encounter with Jesus by Manuele Teofilo ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 3:59
  9. Volunteer Spotlight - Jan Bridgeman ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 4:02
  10. Giving Gifts Glorifies God by Carol Westerlund ELEVATE Christian Disability Trust 3:17