When I was in college, I worked for a non-profit that served infants who had special needs due to prenatal contact with drugs and/or alcohol. I was immersed in this inner city population for eight years, and I fell in love with these small children. They were such a light to my life. Once I had my own children, I took a hiatus from work, but knew I would go back eventually when the time was right. When I did return, my intention was to pick up where I’d left off, but the commute was too long for me as a mom. Instead, I started working for an autism diagnostic center that provided speech therapy. During this time, my church was in the process of expanding their special needs ministry. My name came up for consideration and they approached me shortly after. I had no intention of leaving my job, and I even prayed against this new opportunity. But God kept calling me. Once I finally accepted the position, it was clear Jesus wanted me here. Doors really started to open. I’ve been here for three years, and can honestly say it’s been the most important work in my entire life! God has been amazing through this process. Kids who are non-verbal are learning Scripture! Our church congregation is seeing that each child has a purpose and that they are amazing individuals who are not to be ignored or pitied. Unfortunately, many churches are very behind in this type of ministry. I have some kids who travel over 50 miles to be a part of our program. While this makes me happy, it also grieves me that there are no ministries closer to their home. The special needs community is often times marginalized and overlooked. I am passionate about getting the word out about this very real need. Nothing delights me more than to educate and support churches looking to learn and get involved with this remarkable ministry.
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