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Special Needs Ministry Training March 6-7 | BASS 2015

    Oh, the belly aching going over here… If you follow me on Facebook, you know last week was the Joni and Friends Global Access Conference.  Nearly 900 of the planet’s most passionate and experienced disabilities ministry advocates, representing 148 countries and 39 US states, all converged in S. California to teach, learn, mutually inspire and be inspired. But I couldn’t…[READ MORE]


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How Superheroes Decompress: Respites & Shawarma (A Tribute to Volunteers)

    Confessions of a Respite Groupie Hello.  My name is Diane.  And I am a self-professed Respite Groupie.  If there’s a church respite event within a 45-minute radius of our home:  We.  Are.  There.  “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night…”  Whatever, man.  We are there.   It’s the only event I’m ever on…[READ MORE]


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How Special Needs Ministry Benefits Volunteers & Churches | Meet Mr. Nick

  In last week’s post, I shared about how Special Needs Ministries are needed to reach the 90% of special needs families who do not attend church.  Most simply can’t.  I also shared a few practical ways that extended –and spiritual– family can help. You can imagine how inclusive churches and special needs ministries bless…[READ MORE]


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How To Support Special Needs Families & Ministries | BASS Conference 2014

  This is my family.  Over the last ten, post-diagnosis years, these fine folks have looked for excuses to line our pockets, knowing full well we have gaping holes in them.  My parents have provided us with uncountable financial support, particularly during our chaotic Early Intervention Years, when we hemorrhaged money for therapies ($7,000.00 a month out-of-pocket.)…[READ MORE]


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Got a Heart for the Disabled? How to OVERWHELM a Special Needs Family

    In summer 2012, our family had the honor of being interviewed by Joni Eareckson Tada.  Getting personal time with Joni and Ken was a privilege already, let alone being featured on her radio program.  But we had no idea that would lead to being selected for the annual Valentines campaign, “Hearts for the Disabled.” Almost…[READ MORE]


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Faith Through Disappointment – Part 3: GET PEOPLE

    Four-part series, “Faith Through Disappointment” continues. Of the “Four Gets,” the first is to Get REAL:  Giving ourselves permission to grieve or get angry. The second, is to Get HELP:  Be willing to lean on others.  We were not meant to carry our burdens alone. The third, is to Get PEOPLE:  God provides help…[READ MORE]


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Goldeluxe & The Three “Must Bears” of Special Needs Ministry

  A tribute to special needs ministry champions who honor our families with “Gold-deluxe” service.   I’ve been each of these three “Must Bears” at some point.   Supporting complex families like ours can be a delicate, sensitive and prickly endeavor.  Thank you for your calling, passion and dedication to serve where many others dare not…[READ MORE]


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Joni Camp STM’s: Hall of Fame (Continued)

  In two earlier posts, I summarized the wonders of Joni Camp, and featured a handful of the amazing STM’s.  The series continues with more STM stories from our recent June 2013 Camp. None of these STM’s were conscious of being watched.  They were focused on their Camper, immersed in just serving and loving them.  But…[READ MORE]


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Joni Camp STM’s (So Totally Mind-blowing)

  In my previous post about Joni Camp, I mentioned the unique hallmark of JAF Family Retreat:  the overwhelming love and dedication of the Short Term Missionaries (STM).  In this post, I highlight just a few of these amazing servant-leaders.     What’s an STM?   An STM is a volunteer at the weeklong Family Retreats held by…[READ MORE]


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Joni Camp: The Best Week of the Year!

    This afternoon, we roll into the Best Week Of The Year:  Family Retreat, AKA, “Joni Camp.” Camp is often described as, “heaven on earth!”  But come on…  How fun could it be to hang out with a bunch of other tired special needs families, who are probably as strung out from 24  x…[READ MORE]


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Siblings: Support Resources (Sib Panel Pt. 4)

  Part IV in Sibling Panel Series In the first post, we shared our adult Sib Panel’s personal insights at growing up with a special needs sibling.  Earnestly and honestly, they shared their struggles as well as blessings gained. In the second post, we highlighted practical recommendations how parents and families can help support Sibs. In the…[READ MORE]


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Siblings: Research & Resources (Sib Panel Pt. 3)

  Part III in the Four-Part Sibling Panel series In the first post, we shared our adult Sib Panel’s personal insights at growing up with a special needs sibling.  Earnestly and honestly, they shared their struggles as well as blessings gained. In the second post, we highlighted practical recommendations how parents and families can help…[READ MORE]


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Siblings: How to Help (Sib Panel Pt. 2)

  Part II of a Four-Part Series on Special Needs Siblings This picture was taken two summer ago when Justin was five.  The boys were swimming at the pool.  An older girl about ten began harassing Jeremy, who is sweet, passive, and non-verbal with autism.  I was ready to launch into Mama Bear Mode when…[READ MORE]


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Testimony @ Joni Eareckson Tada’s Bay Area Tour

 In March 2012, I had the honor of introducing Joni Eareckson Tada during her tour of the San Francisco Bay Area, by sharing my family’s testimony.  Video (10:30) and transcription below: In 2005, when my son Jeremy was 18 months old, our family returned from a year serving abroad in Uzbekistan.  Jeremy still wasn’t talking, so…[READ MORE]


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