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The Cry of Special Needs Children
Rev Jenny Ching
“I am four. I have autism. Sometimes when the children’s Sunday School gets very noisy, I feel uncomfortable, and I scream. When I scream, I can see the astonished eyes of many kids looking at me. This scares me even more, and I scream even more loudly. Then everybody looks at me. I don’t know what to do until the teacher takes me out of the classroom to calm me down. It’s only in the quiet corridor that I begin to feel better. Oh how I wish there were fewer kids there! I like quiet classrooms. I would feel more at ease. Later, the teacher would take me back to the classroom, and I would keep repeating my words until the teacher says, ‘Quiet, please! Too loud! There’s no need to repeat yourself like that!’ My repetitions – yes, but I was only trying to talk! The lesson finally comes to the end. Mom is there, but she doesn’t like it. ‘You screamed at Sunday School again? The teacher has complained many times. You do that one more time and I won’t take you to church anymore!’ Then, Dad would say, ‘Hey, you’re hard on your boy again. He can’t stop it. How nice it would be if there is a Sunday School ministry for children with special needs!’”
The above monologue is reconstructed from real-life stories. Over the past few years, the Disability Ministry has received requests from parents but in view of the staffing and resource situation, we have been unable to start a Sunday School for special needs children. As a result, some families have dropped out. Some other families even took their children to churches that do not teach sound doctrines. This made us anxious. How can we respond to the cry of special needs children? Thanks be to God, this October, we will start a Special Needs Children’s Sunday School during the fourth worship session on Sunday (i.e., 12:15-1:30pm). It is our hope to walk with these children and their parents.
1. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14) We welcome special needs children. We want them to know God and experience His love and grace all life long.
2. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Teach special needs children from young to walk in the truth of God so they become our blessing.
3. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) Encourage these parents and children to put worship first, and to experience His grace and mighty power so that they can face life’s various challenges.
On March 11 (Sunday) afternoon, we have a sharing session on serving special needs children to let brothers and sisters who have the burden to serve them know more. You are cordially invited to attend. An announcement is made in the Chinese Bulletin. Please pray earnestly for us. May God provide us with the preparatory committee’s core members, the venue, appropriate teaching material and about 30 teachers. We pray for 15 children (at K1-3, with mild autism, mental disability, hyperactivity or learning difficulties) for Phase 1 of the enrolment. May God move us to respond to the cry of special needs children together.