A Place for Me

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One Child At A Time

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Pam and Alex attended the Christian school at my church but
rarely visited Sunday school. One Friday I invited the children to
Christmas services and even offered to pick them up at their
house.

“I don’t think we can come because of our brother, Jerry,” Pam
said sadly. “Dad says if we can’t go as a family, we’ll all just
stay home.”

On Saturday I visited Pam and Alex’s home where I met Jerry, one
of the most beautiful children I’d ever seen. Jerry’s big, dark
eyes remained fixed on a colored piece of yarn as the 8-year-old
rocked back and forth on the floor.

“Jerry is autistic,” explained his weary mother. “He lives in
his own little world and can get aggressive with strangers.” She
went on to tell me that she grew up in a country church and longed
for her family to worship together, but she felt trapped by her
child’s special needs.

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Our church and school worked together that Christmas to give
Jerry’s family the gift of one-on-one care. We found an available
classroom, recruited caregivers who rotated one Sunday each month,
and held a training night with Jerry’s parents. As the months
passed, Jerry’s mom and dad often knelt at the altar for special
prayer support. Pam and Alex smiled more and talked openly about
Jerry with their friends. Jerry challenged his caregivers, but they
all agreed that their investment was worth it.

If your church offers a special needs ministry, chances are it
began with one family like this one that touched the heart of your
congregation. That’s what happened to Kevin Moore, the children’s
pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Kevin tells about a family who came to see him; the couple had
questions about how their special needs daughter might fit into his
children’s ministry.

     

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