Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Story Behind the Forum

On 1st February there will be a forum for any one who works with, or has an interest in, children who have additional needs and their families. (Details Here - Book Here)

Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about facilitating children who have additional needs.  I want to make a difference. I want things to change. The thing is - I’m getting impatient and I want things to change more quickly.

I want people to catch the vision. Not a vision for tackling a problem but a vision for facilitating children who have additional needs to find faith, to grow in faith and be all that God has created them to be. 

And I’m impatient for more people to catch that vision and spread it.

I have story upon story of faith from children who have additional needs, I have stories of parents in tears because of the gratitude they feel when people ‘get it’. I have the written vision of a parent who wants their child who is severely autistic to walk with God and serve Him - a powerful missive!

Yep - I’m passionate about this….

It all started when I was 14 years old and helped on a camp for children who had physical disabilities. It was run by the church I attended at the time and children were turning to God. But - it was difficult to link them to churches local to them as those churches just couldn’t cope.

It also occurred to me at that time that when you looked at how many children had an additional need in our communities, it was obvious that this was not reflected in our churches and ‘The Church’ was poorer as a result. It is still the same today over 30 years later.

From that point on I knew what I had to do, I trained as a nurse and specialised in caring for children who have additional needs of every variety. There was an urgency to what we were doing on the camp I helped on as a teenager, as many of the children had a very short life span. Later, as a nurse I had the ‘privilege’ of being with some of them as they went to meet their creator - sad for me, but what was more troubling was those children we just couldn’t reach in time. 

I’ve held too many dying children for me to just sit back and do nothing.

21 years ago…. God called me to be a Children’s evangelist, and He left in my heart that burning desire to do something.

Whilst there are pockets of excellent work with these children and lots of organisations doing bits and pieces, it still isn’t enough. I still hear stories of children and their families turned away from churches, I still hear of evangelism policies and plans that don’t include intentional outreach to children with additional needs. I hear of schools work set up, but no one even thinking of going into the ‘special’ schools. I still hear of children treated as a problem rather that God’s creation. These children are in our communities, are in our schools and have families who are often in crisis with no help in sight.

I want that to change. 

This year the damn finally burst. At the Children Matter forum in May I poured my heart out about this. I wanted to pull together every one who would listen so we could do something. I want the best for these children!

Are you with me?

Well that’s why we are organising this forum. We want to start a conversation that will begin a process of change, not just for the children but for their families too. Yes, there are people out there doing some great stuff but we need to be talking together and working together to achieve even more… spread the word and make a bigger impact.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Kay, I found a link to this on Joanna in Latvia's fb. I'm not really in a position to do much kid's outreach work at the mo but have been passionately involved in it for many years. This sounds brilliant. Go for it. Hope you manage to stir up interest and action.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.