Today’s blog is written by Hunter Long. Read as he shares about his experience volunteering with the special needs ministry.
For the past several months I’ve been helping with the special needs ministry at the point. I started out by volunteering in KidsPoint as a helper and did that for a while before I was asked about being a buddy for Lily, a girl in KidsPoint with Down Syndrome. I agreed to help, but to be honest I was kind of nervous because I didn’t feel qualified. I had never really helped with special needs kids or kids in general that much, and I felt really unsure of myself. However, as time went on I realized that interacting with Lily isn’t really different than helping out with any other child. There are a few differences, as Lily is more sensitive to loud sounds and sensory overload, and it is more important for her to have structure and schedules. But she loves to play and have fun just like anyone else does. As time has gone on I’ve gotten to know Lily and her sweet personality even more. She has a really good sense of humor and loves to sing and dance. Sometimes she is fine staying with the other kids at Kids Point, and other times she prefers to be by herself.
Something that has been very helpful for me is how involved Lily’s mom has been from the very start. When I first started helping she gave me and the other helpers a pamphlet that introduced us to Lily and provided a lot of great information about what to expect and how to help Lily succeed. She also asks about how things are going with Lily and offers helpful suggestions. This might not seem like a big deal, but her involvement has made me feel so much more confident in being Lily’s buddy.
Through volunteering with Lily, I feel like I have learned a lot about how God can use us, even if we don’t really feel qualified or gifted in a certain area. All that He asks of us is that we be faithful and willing to let Him work through us, and He will provide the rest.
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”
God, I am so thankful that you ask us to come to you humbly like children. You don’t ask that we be capable in every way, but rather that we would allow you to use us and work through us in spite of our weakness. Help us to depend fully on your grace each day, and not to allow fear to prevent us from following you. Thank you for making your strength perfect in our weakness. In Jesus’ name; amen.