Pam Halter
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Parents Blog

No Place For Anna
5/26/2013 8:27:52 AM by: pam

Daryl and I were watching TV this morning before church. We usually enjoy listening to Charles Stanley. Today, after his message, there was a video clip about a program InTouch Ministeries has called "Missing Persons."  It focuses on people who are missing from our churches because there's no place for them; the disabled, widows & orphans, the needy, prisioners, etc.

For years, I've been contemplating an article about this. It's pretty much impossible for us to visit a church with Anna. Our own church takes care of Anna on Sundays during the worship service, but we've found no church on vacation or when visiting with family where we can take Anna.

When we were looking for a new church several years ago, we visited a church of approx. 1,500 members. There was no special needs nursery. The church secretary told me, "We don't have a need for it."  I responded, "Oh, but you do. Do you have any idea how many families there are in your community who can't come to your church because there's no place for their children?"  She admitted she never thought of that.

What does a special needs nursery look like? Our former church started one for Anna. They still have it, and several families attend because of it. Why the Lord took us out of that church, I'll never know. Perhaps it's so we can spread the word about the need for such a program. Anyway, it doesn't take medically trained people - just people who are willing to get to know Anna. What she needs, what she enjoys. We will train them ourselves. I can't speak for children who have more severe medical needs, but kids like Anna can participate in a nursery and even a very simple Sunday school with a one on one helper.

Anna loves praise music. She loves crafts. She enjoys prayer, as long as it's short.

I wonder why, of all places, there is not a welcome for disabled people in the church? Maybe it's a lack of knowledge. I understand that. I had no idea what a big world the disabled world was until I had Anna. And people with disabilies are growing larger every day. It's frightening. But the point is, the church needs to become aware. Families with special needs children need to speak up. We need to work together.

Here's the link for the site: http://www.intouch.org/missing-persons/the-disabled/

Thank you, Charles Stanley, for speaking for those who can't speak for themselves.


Comments

Marlene Bagnull From Lansdale PA At 5/26/2013 3:32:19 PM

Sadly, this is so true. I experienced it firsthand with my mother who was bipolar and had a condition similar to Alzheimers. Father, please move Your body to care and to respond to special needs.

Julie Ann Monzi From Gettysburg, PA At 5/26/2013 10:43:59 AM

Great article!

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