The Mentally Challenged

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by tyndale1946, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Actually the word is handicapped and it has been changed down through the ages... Retarded... Dumb... Mute... Deaf... Blind and any other name you can throw in here.

    Jesus was drawn to these kinds of people... The lepers of our society and they were drawn to him. So how do you and your church go out of your way for the lepers of our society?... What services do you have to make them feel they are also part of your God loving congregation?... Do you get to know them like Jesus did or do you withdraw from them like others in our society?

    I have two Mentally Challenged adults myself and was very concerned about this as I have seen the ball dropped in the past and this segment of God children's needs ignored or forgotten!... So how are you and your church up and about the Fathers business for those who are lepers?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. Charlotte Marcel

    Charlotte Marcel
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    Well first of all, I don't really like your equating mental retardation, blindness, deafness and being mute with leprosy. Although I'm guessing that the point you were trying to make was that some people treat people who deal with these things as if they were contagious deseases. Am I right?

    Our church has special classes and services for mentally retarded people. We have signing for the deaf. We don't really have special classes for the blind or the mute or lepers. We do have children's classes, teenager classes, adult classes for singles and married, empty nesters, Widows, Seniors, we have a Spanish church, and a Filipino church, we have a bus ministry, and we do community outreach at the High Schools. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that we try to have something where everyone will get what they need at out church. We are what I think all churches should try to be, and many don't. We are a refuge and a family, where everyone feels accepted and loved. We are God's house.
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    That is exactly the point I am trying to make... Lepers of society are those mentally challenged people that give us a challenge to what kind of christian you are!... Are you a bible believing bible walking christian?... Do you practice what you preach for all God children?... I'm glad to see your church helps all those who need help. Maybe some mentally challenge brother or sister will come on here and give us their story... All that sound nice but is christianity cut and dried like you imply... I think not... But it is a high ideal!... Brother Glen :(
     
  4. Gina B

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    The deaf ministry is something that has really weighed on me, lightly at first but now it's something I think about almost daily. I need to pursue it and get a ministry going out here, but right now Anna is my focus.
    I see the need for it, but don't see it happening around here.
    Working with the mentally disabled probably isn't something I could handle doing.
    Gina
     
  5. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Gina... Now is the best time to teach your children sign language... When they are young they pick it up very quickly and love to sign. If you are thinking of starting a Deaf Ministry you better know how to sign!... Just a friendly reminder from your friend... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  6. Lorelei

    Lorelei
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    At our church we have a lady that interprets for a couple that is deaf. As for those with "special needs" (that seems to be the latest PC way to describe people with disabilities) we do not have any special programs.

    I have a 20 month old daughter with Down Syndrome and my desire is that there be no special programs to cater to her. We as a body of believers will love and care for her as she needs it, but she will remain with all the other children and not only learn herself, she will teach other children that children with DS are just that, they are children.

    My old church had a few adults with mental disabilities attend. They came to our normal Sunday School class and enjoyed it immensly. One of the gentleman even sang in the choir. Someone had the audacity to tell the pastor they did not think he should be in the choir, but thankfully our pastor did not agree.

    It is great to reach out to those with special needs, society in and out of the church needs to realize that they are people too. Though they have some difficulties in certain areas (don't we all??) they are just people the same as me and you. Showing people with "special needs" true scriptural love is a worthy desire! Believe me, we ALL have special needs!

    It blesses my heart to see it discussed, I hope and pray this encourages everyone to find a way to minister to all of those in need!

    ~Lorelei
     
  7. TaterTot

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    My brother-in-law (hubby's brother) has "special needs". He is 27. Our church is small and country, so we dont have the "programs" that larger churches do, (and we have been a part of these in the past) but every time he is visiting us, our church folks go out of their way to include him. My husband always call on him to pray in church, lets him hand out bulletins or read scripture, and once, our church even gave him a little birthday party with presents and all! They hardly knew him!
    There is a deaf lady who is a memmber as well, who is now in a nursing home, but they took care of her, too. (And still do.) I love our little country church!!
     
  8. Artimaeus

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    The greatest thing you can do for the "special" people in our society is to realize that they are not special. I taught Special Ed for 15 years and I never had two kids who were alike. Some were very nice and well behaved and a joy to be around and some were little brats just like "normal" kids.

    Guess what I taught them? The same things that were taught in the other classes, I just went slower and use slightly different techniques, but I treated them just like "real' people. I talked to them just like I liked them and do you know why? Because I did like them. Except for this one kid, I had him for 5 years and he just grated on my nerves no end. They have the same emotions for the same reasons that everyone else does. They like some things and don't like others. They are "normal" with just a little difference. Don't treat them as "different" with just a little normal. Some were good students some were not, just like everyone else.

    Treat people that SEEM different at first, just like you do everyone else. If a deaf person is a jerk, thret them just like you would any other jerk. The worst thing you can do for a handicapped person is to treat them special. Make the very small allowances that their disability requires but NO MORE. If a handicapped person CAN do something then EXPECT them to do it.

    I could go on and on. I am VERY well acquainted with special education from both sides of the classroom.
     
  9. LauraB

    LauraB
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    I actually have a daughter that is mildly retarded and physically challenged. I and the church treats her normal.

    We also have another church member that is physically challenged and his body is twisted. He requires a cane to walk. We treat him pretty normal too. I can only speak for myself and my family, but I can also see how the church reacts to him. I look past his disability.
    We do all we can to ensure he can participate in everything. He is in our choir, and in the band. He doesn't play an instrument, so we give him a tamborine, or marraccas or something like that.
    We also recently has a baseball game, and he would bat, and someone would run for him.

    People like him are very very special. I have an uncle that was born with no knee caps and some of his fingers and toes were fused together. He is considered a midget and was made fun of most his childhood. Doctors said he wouldn't ammount to anything. Well, he is the best person I know. He is a successful buisness man, is married to a woman he met at a little peoples convention, has a daughter and granddaughter a beautiful house and a great car. What a glorious wonderful life God has givin to him.

    Ok, sorry I went off the beaten path a bit. I treat all people for what they are worth. Even Gays! Thay are human and I treat them as such. I may not agree with their choices or lifestyles, but I am not to judge anyone. [​IMG]

    Plus they make great friends... ;)
     
  10. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    We have several 'group homes' in our town for the 'mentally challenged'. Several years ago we reached out to them. The ones who were able to come to church have each been 'adopted' by a different family in our church.

    That family picks up 'their child' each Sunday morning and brings them to church. They have their own Sunday School Class but they sit with their 'adopted families' in the auditorium during church.

    Their 'adopted family' then takes them out to dinner and delivers them safely back to the group home. They also make sure they have a nice birthday, Christmas, etc. as some of these people no longer have families of their own.

    [​IMG]
    Sue
     
  11. Pete

    Pete
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    Now and then some good friends and self minister at a local disabled fellowship. It is right up there with teaching Sunday school as one of the greatest privileges God has given me [​IMG]

    One of the best parts of child or disabled ministries is the instant feedback, you know straight away if something is working or not [​IMG] The last time our group was in there a couple of people chatted with my mate Charlie Chimp (a puppet) for a while in the middle of a show [​IMG]

    Pete
     
  12. Deacon

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    When we built our main church building we did not build any steps from the parking lot to the meeting hall, its a flat surface entrance. This allows those in wheel chairs and those with other disabilities to easily attend services. You would be surprised at how many people attend for the very reason that they can get into the buliding without a lot of fuss.

    We have a number of disabled children within our congregation, including a pastors child. They are not forgotten!

    The parents of these children need loads of assistance too, it's so easy to become over-burdened with concern and fatigue. I am humbled at the love and perseverance shown by one woman who has an unsaved husband and a child with autism. The love of God shines through her.

    God blesses each in different ways, personally I find it exhausting to care for children. Bless those of you who care for the special children that God loves too.

    Rob
     
  13. Dina

    Dina
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    I saw this topic and couldn't help but read it and join in as I have a 10 year old child with Autism and a question about something that I encountered recently.
    My husband and I, with our 2 children recently moved to Fl. We began searching for a church. Found one that we really liked and went on Easter. We put our 6 year old daughter in her class, and then talked to the people that were to be in charge of our sons class. We told them that he has Autism and may need a bit more "one-on-one". We were assured that he would be fine as they had older kids (teens) in there to help. All was fine. The next sunday we went back to visit again as we really liked the church, the pastor, and the people. After the service my husband went to get our son and I went to get our daughter. While getting our daughter I saw my husband in the hall and assumed that he had our son. With all the people I lost sight of him and after getting our daughter looked around outside the room for him, when I didn't see him I started towards the car, he was not there either. So I headed back to the last place that I saw him. On the way, I felt someone tug on my arm and then my husband was whispering in my ear "Don't panic, I can't find our son" I flipped!! We went back to the room where our son was supposed to be and before we could get there a woman approached us and asked if we were Dalton's parents (not our son's name) we said no, that we were Dathon's parents. She then, in a very agressive and hostile voice proceeded to tell us that the sunday before they extra help in that class due to it being Easter, but that they were unable to have Dathon in their class. That we would have to hire someone to watch him during the service. It was our second Sunday there and I felt so (the only word to decribe my feeling) discriminated against. I could not beleive the hostility and agressiveness that this situation was handled with. Needless to say we have not gone back, but are still looking for a church, but also would really like to go back to that church. We are not sure what to do. We would really like to go back to that church. If it helps, the woman who told us that they couldn't deal with our son was the head of the childrens ministry. Should we attempt to call someone else in the church and discuss it with them? Or just leave well enough alone and hope that we find a church? [​IMG]
     
  14. stubbornkelly

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    I'd say something about it to someone else. No one else may know - this could have happened before, and people chalked it up to, "well, they must not have liked our service/agreed with our doctrine/whatever else." Someone above her needs to be told, and - now this may not be for you to do - this woman's service should be questioned.

    Secondly, I'd take your son with you to your own class in the meantime, and if you're questioned, tell people why.

    If it will not be resolved, that's when I would leave and let the pastor and, really, all others in a leadership position, know why you are leaving.
     
  15. Dina

    Dina
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    &gt;&gt;Secondly, I'd take your son with you to your own class in the meantime, and if you're questioned, tell people why.&lt;&lt;

    This occured during the main service and the kids were in childrens church. We thought about just taking him with us to the main service with a coloring book/books to read.

    Thanks for the advice/opinion. I think I will call and try to talk to someone about it.
     
  16. ByGrace3

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    Our church has several mentally handicapped people who come regularly. I believe they keep coming because they know that we accept them and love them just as they are. We don't have any special programs for them; they attend all the same SS classes and worship services as the rest of us.

    My stepbrother is mentally handicapped also. He is 35 years old, with the mental ability of a 10 year old. He will always live with my parents, who are missionaries in Mexico. Everywhere my parents have been, through all the churches on deputation, Ben has been treated like "normal" and taken under the wings of many pastors and laymen. He has even "graduated" from college through the efforts of a pastor who allowed Ben to work by correspondence. The amazing thing to this pastor was that Ben's thoughts were just as clear and doctrinally sound as many of his "normal" students!! [​IMG]

    I remember Dr. Harold Sightler, my pastor as a child, saying many times that we are to "comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." He was a great champion of the feebleminded!

    Susan
     
  17. Deacon

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    Dina, Sometimes special children need special helpers. A larger church may have those gifted with the willingness and abilities to minister to these children on a one-on-one basis, and with a helper that can consistantly be assigned to the child. Check with the pastor and see if an arrangment can be worked out.

    Some of these churches have a type of paging system that silently notifies the parent if a problem occurs that they can't handle (similar to the pages given to you in a busy eattery). It allows the parent to attend services and still know that they can be contacted quickly if problems develop. If a pager system isn't available you could probably improvise with a cell phone.

    Rob
     
  18. bapterian

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    Quite honestly, I don't think my church would be up to the task at this point. I know our people would be compassionate and understanding towards "lepers"(as you put it), but we would not be able to minister to them adequately. I've noticed that folks that visit us with severe disabilities (in wheelchairs, etc.) do not come back.
     

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