Kingdom values have helped bring radical transformation in society precisely when Christians understood their calling to be salt and light in the public square.
At times, additional needs parents can play many of the familiar roles of circus performers.
James’ journey through life has not been an accident; it has and continues to have purpose.
Yes, he did. He made you perfectly, he made you wonderfully.
It should be about that genuine, heartfelt, willingness to work together to create an environment where everyone can join in.
It’s not your fault that our child is Autistic. It’s not your fault that he has Learning Difficulties and struggles to communicate effectively. None of these things are your fault, or mine; they are no-one’s fault.
What do you see when you first meet a child with additional needs or a disability?
It is important to provide a child with additional needs with someone they can trust who can help them understand what is happening, where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing.
For many of us, our child with additional needs or disability is not our only child.
The European Evangelical Alliance honours the work of a platform that offers “training of ministry workers and leadership, provision of a biblical perspective on disability, and mobilization of prayer and support”.
Members of churches often ask what one change can make the most difference, can have the greatest impact, can enable lasting transformation.
We might find ourselves washed up on the beach from time-to-time, but we and our child jump up and run back in to the surf once more to try again.
Jelena Sivulka, counsellor and founder of Hanina nada, talks about finding hope in Christ when dealing with disabilities. “God loves us for who we are. I share that with families of kids with special needs”, she says.
We have experienced a change of destination, we’ve ended up somewhere we didn’t expect, or initially want, to go… How will we respond? How will it affect us?
A question many Christian parents of a child with additional needs or a disability ask.
A visual timetable may also be really helpful for some children with additional needs, helping them to know what is happening now, what is coming up next, and how much longer the session is going to last.
Do we see that what every child brings to Jesus, whether they have additional needs or not, is enough and can be used by him?
James’ Autism is neurodiversity, a different way of ‘being’. His brain is wired differently to mine, he thinks differently to me, sees and responds to the world differently to me.
James’ favourite song for me to sing with him is “Jesus loves me, this I know”.
For us as parents of a child with additional needs, there are certainly many times to weep, times to be sad. But there is so much more to life than the tears if we are willing.
In the early stages there is the trigger for relationship breakdown as we are struggling with understanding what is going on with our child.
One of the things about parenting a child or young person with additional needs, is that life is never predictable.
There is always hope, hope for every child. No matter how profoundly they are impacted by their additional needs or disabilities, the love of Christ can and does reach them as powerfully as anyone else.
Why not help them to use a Brick Bible which tells Bible stories through Lego pictures?
Maybe we should think about our own motivation for praying for healing for others; is there a risk that we are praying for healing for a loved one because that might make our life a little easier?
If disabled people were a nation, they would be the third most populous in the world (after China and India). Surely they deserve for us to keep fighting with them to change perceptions, change reality, and yes, change the world.