Friday, June 8, 2012

Orlando day 7

As I sit to write this I feel my mind has expanded by learning a lot from the ministries we are visiting. Basically we have seen two models here in the Orlando area. The church we visited taught us about the inclusion model. That is how to assist the special needs student into the church she works for in Longwood, Florida.She has primarily done this with the addition of a "buddy". A person who helps the special needs child with the surroundings and who assists them with their special needs. Most of these children actually attend their age groups class. Though some of the students who have "behaviors" not conducive to their classroom meet in a separate special classroom and study their lesson in that class. All the special needs people were learning something and we got some great material to help others use this method. The organization we met with today believes the churches of a community need to band together and minister to it's special needs congregants. As a result the churches in one community band together and support a ministry called "Special Gathering" to have a chapel service for their special needs congregants. Learning this philosophy is eye opening because of the inter-denominational cooperation it takes to run. I may write more about this philosophy later, but for now let me say this.... We are truly being challenged and love to see both ministries succeeding! As always, God Bless - Will post pictures later!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Orlando Trip (day 2)

Wow, we had a two hour layover in Denver and got to our hotel at 2:30 am. Up the next morning and went to a very interesting festival. It's sponsored by a ministry here in Orlando that is staffed by 4 people. It is called Nathaniel's hope "Make them smile" This 10 year festival now draws over 12,000 people around a lake near downtown Orlando. Every disabled child was treated like a "VIP". It was not only informational where hundreds of businesses, social services and churches showed how they can help children with disabilities. It had activities that the disabled children could do! We talked to Lady who helped with organizing it and they had over 400 leaders and volunteers at the park at 5:00 am to prepare for this event. It looked like it accomplished what it set out to! This morning we learned a lot as we observed two different children services (1-5th grade) (4 and 5 year olds). They have also installed a "Buddy Program". This program allows less special needs children to attend their services and regular Sunday Classes. They also have a separate classroom for more difficult special needs children. I wish I could share what we learned (Sue and I). We are pleased to have had the opportunity to see how others accomplish the task of Special Needs people. Until Tuesday - God Bless!Pastor Craig
Nathaniel's Hope 10 year cake.