I love this picture of Ellie Bennett! And I think you will too. Please let me tell you why…
As you know by now, we are thrilled to be the recipients of the 2010 Women in the Church Love Gift. At the 2010 Women in the Church Leadership Conference, I had the opportunity to share a talk entitled, Everyone Loves a Good Story. Here’s an excerpt from the end of that talk.
“MNA Special Needs Ministries came about through the power of the Gospel at work in the lives of God’s Covenant people, engaged in relationship with each other, empowered by the Holy Spirit, whose paths were plowed before them by Providence. And it will continue to grow in the same way. MNA Special Needs Ministries isn’t my ministry-it’s God’s-and it happens through people like you. We’re here to engage, educate, equip and encourage you. But the real ministry happens when Faithful Followers of Christ our Savior become the hands and feet of Jesus to others. Making the Gospel-the good news of the coming of the kingdom-accessible to all, in word and deed, happens when you:
- visit the mom of a newborn with Down’s.
- share the Gospel with your neighbor who has MS.
- build a ramp to the front door of your church.
- reach out to that parent who is struggling with caring for their child with autism.
- modify your Sunday School curriculum so that a boy who has cerebral palsy can know Jesus.
- faithfully visit that woman with dementia in the nursing home, year after year, validating the image of God in her, honoring “what’s left not what’s lost.”
Everyone loves a good story…go to the CEP website for the rest of the story!
And by God’s grace, everyone in this room who knows Christ as Savior and experiences the reign of God in them has one. Not just a good story-a great story. Whether you get to tell it from a podium or around your kitchen table-it has eternal significance either way. He created every one of us-complete with our abilities and disabilities-as people with a purpose, not objects with an objective. We have lives that are meant to be lived with active, vibrant love for and faith in Him-that pours over, with intentionality, into our walk alongside of others.
Where would God have you be? Be a Faithful Follower of Christ our Savior-asking, seeking, knocking-believing in faith that God will answer, show, and open the doors. Then, by faith, He will reign in you more and more, and bring His kingdom through you day by day. So that, together, we can look back years from now, and say with God-glorifying praise, “Look at what God did-because His people were there.”
Afterwards, a collection of women stood in line for an hour to talk with me-either about their passion for special needs ministry in the Church, their family members with disabilities, or both. Anne Wickholm was one the latter. You see, her oldest granddaughter, Ellie, was born with multiple heart defects and severe cerebral palsy. And the day I gave that talk at WIC LT would have been Ellie’s 10th birthday-if the Lord had not taken her home to be with Him 16 months earlier. Anne then gave a generous financial gift because “members of my family that have (she also has another granddaughter who has autism) or have had special needs…have given me a heart to make it possible for people with special needs to be incorporated into the church family and church life to the extent possible. My donation is in honor of Ellie on the occasion of what would have been her 10th birthday.”
MNA Special Needs Ministries exists to make the Gospel accessible to little girls like Ellie and their families. It’s really that simple. Your gifts-to the 2010 WIC Love Gift for MNA Special Needs Ministries-or to support MNA Special Needs Ministries directly-make a world of difference. Will you join us? So that, together, we can say, “Look at what God did-because His people were there.”
Stephanie O. Hubach
MNA Special Needs Ministries Director
This year, there are two GREAT opportunities to give:
To give to MNA Special Needs Ministries:
by mail: MNA Special Needs Ministries
1700 North Brown Road, Suite 102
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
To give or learn about the 2010 WIC Love Gift please go to:
“Making the Gospel-the good news of the coming of the kingdom-accessible to all, in word and deed”
 Kim Asch, “Memory Keepers,” The Hill, Volume XVIII, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2004, pg. 19.