“Is she normally this hyper?” asked one of the Capernaum leaders.
“No, she is just very happy.”
With that Sarah came around the corner running and skipping. Seeing that she might run into other kids, I stood in front of her and tried to stop her and she dove into a bean bag that was just to the left of me. She burst into her guttural laugh that sounded a bit like a hyena.
Correction: She was very, very happy!
Mary, a member at the church I previously worked at, wanted to share with me a ministry she was involved in with Young Life. This program, called Capernaum, specializes in ministering to special needs teens and adults and has a local chapter at an area church. This was the first time I met Mary face to face (all our correspondence prior to this was via email) and I was awestruck by this beautiful young woman as she shared her heart about this ministry. She truly loves it! It was very evident that she deeply cares for her Capernaum friends. Her face lit up as she spoke about a recent a girls’ movie night watching “Frozen” and how much fun she had with them. Her excitement was infectious and I left our time optimistic for Sarah to try Capernaum out.
The night of the next Capernaum meeting I told Sarah that we were going to a place for her to make some new friends. Sarah blankly looked at me but turned around to grab her boots.
Okay, looks like she’s in!
As we walked into the church Sarah grew in excitement. She held my hand but started to skip and pull me. I opened the door to the classroom and Sarah took off like a bullet! She ran, skipped and laughed. Actually, lots of laughing. Kendall came, too, and stayed with her while I joined the other parents for a parent meeting about guardianship, SSI benefits, trusts and many other things we need to think about as she quickly approaches age 18. It was overwhelming (more like “mind-blowing, ‘I need prayer’” overwhelming) but I am so glad I went! David and I now have a starting point.
When I picked up Sarah at the end of the meeting she was in the sensory room. The church has a sensory room! Wow!! (The church uses these rooms for their special needs ministry on Sunday mornings.) She came out of the sensory room calmer but still very happy. She had a blue plastic necklace on. I asked about it and Mary said that they strung fruit loops on them but Sarah ate all of hers off her necklace. Yup, that’s my girl!
The rest of the night Sarah laughed and clapped as she just couldn’t contain her excitement. She was so pleased with herself! One point she came into the Family room where Kendall and I were watching a TV show and she did this jump and twirl in the air and landed with a loud thud. (She gets her gracefulness from her mother obviously) Then she ran out of the room again laughing.
Kendall and I looked at each other and smiled. I said, “I think we found a place for Sarah.”
What an answer to prayer! This is something that Sarah can do and enjoy. I am so deeply grateful for Mary for reaching out to me about this!
This month’s praise and prayer requests I mentioned a praise that on the Sundays we do not have an aide for Sarah at our church I have been attending a Family Service (basically a cry room) that allows me to bring Sarah. It has been such a blessing and I do love this church! It is my extended church family! My friend, Jill W, read this praise and wanted to let me know about her church’s special needs ministry that could benefit and be a blessing to Sarah. Jill W has such a tender heart towards our girl! She is the one that sent the “The Big Game” blog about the basketball game to Sarah’s principal so she could read it.
I am humbled and grateful that the Church is not defined by brick or mortar but by a common love and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. I LOVE my church. It is our home. It is our family. Yet, I am thankful for the larger corporate body of Christ that offers ministries like these that we can participate in to create… a place for Sarah.
I see a lot of laughing, clapping and the occasional one foot axel jump in our future!
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:11
**I made a new page that lists past blogs. The archives just give a month’s totals but it does not list out what the blogs were about. This ‘List of Past Blogs’ page names each blog with a brief description. I hope this helps if you are looking for a particular blog. Bless and thank you for reading and praying!!