At sometime in our life, we don’t always know exactly when, the age of innocence seems to leave our young lives, and we are thrust into adulthood, in a manner few will know or understand. I have NEVER related this story to anyone. It is known only by my sister, our long past cat, and me.
It was a fall day in San Diego, California. A cool day. A nice day for a sweater. The air was cool and clean, and hardly a cloud passed by. It was 11:15 am pacific time, on that fateful Friday morning, November 22, 1963.
I was preparing to do my job as a crossing guard that day. I was in the 6th grade, and all of 11 years old. As I took my post that day, I was unaware of the tragedy unfolding in Dallas, Texas, a few thousand miles away. My attention was focused on making sure the little ones crossed the street safely that day.
I don’t remember when exactly, but I’d say about 15-20 minutes into my shift, a lone car pulled up to the side, near where I was working. A lady emerged from the ancient station wagon….she was sobbing uncontrollably. I didn’t know someone could be so sad. Rarely in those days, did you see the display of such raw emotion. She spoke to me — in uncontrollable sobs at first — but she was later able to blurt out: “The President’s been shot!” “Oh lady don’t even say such things!” But I could tell by the blank stare in her face, something awful had happened.
She crossed the street, and went into the administration building of the Elementary School I attended in California. I was left wondering about this lady and her mutterings. Could the President really be shot?
As my shift ended, we prepared to go back to class. A general announcement had been made, “President Kennedy had died in Dallas, Texas, at approximately 11 am, pacific time.” I could not believe such a thing! It seems to incredible, it was unbelievable. Your mind doesn’t want to accept something that horrible.
The rest of the school day seems a blur. I was there in body, but my mind continued to wander — What if….what if all these horrible things they are saying are true? Was my sister safe? She went to the same school as me, but she was in the 2nd grade.
My sister Cyndi and I bolted out of school that day, and raced home. We were greeted by our gray and white cat when we arrived home that day. She was a beautiful Persian Angora with long coat. I looked over my shoulder, and there it was: the portrait picture shot of JFK my Mom had hanging in the kitchen. It was the only President we ever had a picture of, in our home.
We only lived about a 5-10 walk from the school. While we were fortunate enough to have a Television in those days (Black and White), Cyndi, I, and the cat tuned into the radio for news. As we stood there, in our garage and listened to that grand old National Shortwave radio, we tuned it to XTRA News, it all seems surreal. Somewhere words like “assassin” and “assassination” find there way into your vocabulary.
We remember hearing on the radio, the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson as President. We knew life would continue, but how?
America would mourn the loss of it’s beloved President that weekend. Names like Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby would be etched into the minds of American’s everywhere.
And somewhere, during this grand adventure, young kids like myself and my sister would grow up and face the uncertainty of yet more unspeakable words like Nuclear Bombs and Shelters.
America lost its innocence that day — and we all grew up facing a decidedly different future.
Special needs. Special and needy but geared only to kids.
Disability viewed as abnormality, but is it?
Life between trees
Garden of Eden Heaven
Tree of Life Fall of Man Tree of Life
Gen 2:9 Gen 3 Rev 22:22
(disability/abnormal) disability/normal disability/abnormal)
Rev 21: God wipes away tears, and no more suffering.
55 y.o. stroke victim. Can’t speak, but otherwise okay. Where do they put him? Special needs ministry for kids.
Less then 15% of churches have a disabled ministry.
53% have no church.
54 million people — 1/2 don’t attend church.
2 in 7 families have a disabled family member.
85% of marriages end in divorce when one disabled child present.
No public places. No baby sitter. No church support.
What do we do?
The role of online church ministry in the world today
As you saw from the previous video, about 20% of the population of the United States is disabled. Some mildly, some severely.
I have Aspergers Syndrome. A form of Autism. I do NOT read social information correctly. Body language and cues, are foreign to me. I stumble through social situations. Always uncomfortable. Always unsure, of what to do or say next.
Some parents of severely autistic children, find it hard to find a place to worship, simply because the church does not accommodate autism, or traumatic brain injury. How to you reach these folks for Christ, is they can not come to a brick and mortar place of worship?
The church instead, goes to them. 24/7/365 online church is streamed live via the internet. For me, it was God sent. I was too far away from my old church, and could not afford to travel that far. I tried to find a church close by, but while you can kick the tires on a car, they don’t like you kicking people in the congregation. Online church allows me to be as engaged in the discussion, or as anonymous as I need to be.
They are no expectations to meet. There are other Christians there to help guide you along the journey to pray for you. Chat Moderators from all over the world, allow services to be global in nature, and not just minister to one locality.
The world is now a global village. And to shun a person or pigeon hole them because of a physical or mental disability, is becoming less of a barrier. How do we reach these people?
One person at a time.
The ABC’s of Communication
A – Adjust your agenda. Make the time to minster to these people. Meet them where they are at. Home, lonely, often dejected. Each has a story that must be told, must he heard, and must be prayed for. Take the time to listen, and meet the needs of the individuals.
B — Build a bridge. Find something you both are genuinely interested in, and cross that bridge together. It could be movies, art, music, tv, books….anything. Find something you both have in common and both enjoy. This requires you to invest time in the life of another person.
C — Communicate the character of Christ. People do not need to see our mouth flapping, they need to see our life working. It means being as transparent and open and honest as possible.
As one author said:
“Tell me how much you pray for a person,
and I will tell you how much you have loved them.”