Deb, who graduated from University of Illinois–Champaign/Urbana with a degree in journalism, works as a freelance blogger, as well as a disability ministry coordinator for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Illinois and Indiana. Her writing has been featured in several magazines and she was a columnist with the Kane County Chronicle.
She also contributes to Key Ministry’s blog at keyministry.org/specialneedsparenting.
Deb received a certificate for completing the Beyond Suffering Course run by Joni and Friends International and is one of the administrators of the largest online special needs ministry leader forum, with over 1,000 members.
She lives in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, Mike, their two sons, Brandon, 18, and Luke, 14, plus a crazy English bulldog named Crystal. When not otherwise occupied you will probably find her with her nose buried in a book.
Kelli Ra Anderson
Kelli Ra Anderson is a freelance journalist, speaker, author and award-winning blogger. Her articles on faith, autism, marriage and parenting have appeared in Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal, Today’s Christian Woman, and Focus on the Family. She has been a featured speaker on Moody Radio and at various seminars. Passionate to help the Church embrace the gifts and essential role of all God’s people, she founded and administrates the largest online forum for special needs ministry leaders, now merged with Key Ministry. (See Facebook, “Special Needs and Disability Ministry Leaders”.)
Her memoir-devotional, Divine Duct Tape, (2012), explores a life lived in the daily tension of faith, parenting, and autism. With honesty and humor, readers are invited into a personal dialogue with God, asking our tough questions, discovering unexpected answers, and realizing God’s ultimate desire is not the picture-perfect Christian life, but a life lived in harmony with the One who truly knows us, loves us, and is with us, every step of the way.
Kelli and Adrian, married 28 years, have three children, two of whom have special needs They live in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
Kevin O’Brien is a husband, father, ordained minister, writer and volunteer theologian. He holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary where he won the Th.M. award in 1997. He has also done graduate work at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. He is currently a brand manager on the Bible team at Tyndale House Publishers. During his time at Tyndale he has helped to develop several Bibles and has written articles which have appeared in The Way, the iShine Bible, and the Illustrated Study Bible. He also wrote a series of devotionals for WAYFM’s World’s Biggest Small Group and is currently at work on a devotional series and several unfinished novels which WILL be finished someday.
Kevin lives in the far western suburbs of Chicago with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat. He would prefer to spend his time reading, writing, woodworking and watching the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kathleen Deyer Bolduc
Kathy’s son, Joel, who has autism, has been the inspiration behind her writing/speaking ministry for twenty-five years. It is her heart’s desire to minister hope to other parents who are traveling the journey with disability. Kathy’s published work includes The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities (Judson Press), Autism & Alleluias (Judson Press), A Place Called Acceptance: Ministry with Families of Children with Disabilities (Bridge Resources), and His Name is Joel: Searching for God in a Son’s Disability (Bridge Resources).
She has a master’s degree in Religious Studies from The College of Mount St. Joseph. As a spiritual director, and owner, with her husband, of Cloudland, a contemplative retreat center in southwest Ohio, Kathy creates a safe space for believers to explore and deepen their relationship with God. Contemplative prayer and Lectio Divina(sacred reading of Scripture) have been transformational on her journey as the mother of a son with autism. Her blog can be found at http://www.kathleenbolduc.com, as well as at http://www.specialneedsparenting.net
And her previous books can be found at: Kathleen Deyer Bolduc Books
Rick and Michele Bovell
Michele and Rick are parents to five adult and teenage sons, including two on the autism spectrum. In addition to his career as an IT professional, Rick is ordained to the preaching ministry and has served for years in church leadership. As a family, the Bovells volunteer with various disability ministries, including Joni and Friends—speaking, writing, and serving as short-term missionaries–both in Africa and in the US. Currently, Rick and Michele minister in local group homes, sharing Christ’s love with adults with intellectual disabilities and helping them do what they are designed to do: worship the Lord.
Barbara K. Dittrich
The mother of three children, all of whom have a variety of chronic illnesses or special needs, Barbara Dittrich founded Snappin’ Ministries (Special Needs Parents Network) in 2002 prior to its merge with Key Ministry in 2018. In October of 2009, Snappin’ was one of three finalists for World Magazine’s Hope Award for Effective Compassion in conjunction with the American Bible Society. With a unique vision for serving parents of children with chronic illness, disability, or special needs, she led her team in developing an innovative parent mentor curriculum. She lives with her husband of over 25 years in Southeastern Wisconsin, writes and speaks nationwide, and has contributed to a number of blogs since 2002. Barb also opines on her personal blog www.barbdittrich.com.
Mike Abbs, who graduated from University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana with a psychology degree, has been a police officer for 23 years. Currently he is a police lieutenant, and he served on the SWAT team for 18 years. When his wife Deb isn’t asking him to write vignettes, he enjoys spending time with his family, eating healthy, physical fitness, playing fantasy football and watching old movies.