Well, I would like to tell you how I have been led to such a ministry as "The Special Gatherings". One day in June of 1997 while I was in the Sunday morning service at the local church. Our pastor has announced beforehand that there will be special guest speaker to tell about the special outreach ministry. On that day, Linda G. Howard was a featureed guest speaker to talk about the ministry. She has brought "The Special Gatherings" choir to sing at our church. They sang several songs selection about Jesus. They sang beautifullly despite the fact that they are mentally challenged.
Then, Linda G. Howard, preached on the "God Makes Things Holy" It was beautifully done… She uses the New Century Version Bible which is the easiest Bible for which most of the mentally challenged folks can read and understand. While she was preaching on the "God Makes Things Holy"; I heard a quiet voice speaking to me so I listened. "This is it." And sure enough, I knew that it was the Cosmic Guidance who was speaking to me.
So I prayed about it and decided to call Linda and asked her if I can volunteer to help. Sure enough, she gladly accepted.
The Special Gatherings is now incorporated as an outreach ministry for the mentally challenged folks of all faiths and walks of life which has begun many years ago in Lakeland by Richard Stimson. Many of these follks were unchurched or has not set foot in the religious setting and this ministry is designed to make disciples of such folks.
I am now an Elder and I teach at the Volusia County’s Special Gathering. I teach a Sunday school styled class to those who cannot speak and has low mental capacities. I mainly use the object and/or pictorial lessons to convey the messages from the Bible so that they can understand. I really do enjoy teaching these folks, and they love Jesus with all their hearts.
The Speical Gatherings meets as if we’re in the church. We fellowship before we begin with the Praise and Worship music. Then, we continue in worship as the deacons pray for the various prayer needs and someone passing the offering plates for the offerings. Then, Linda preaches from the Bible after a few quick announcements. Next we prayed before we fellowship with snacks before breaking into the various classes. We have some that can read, others that can understand the Bible without being able to read.. and of course the non-verbal, low mental function class which I’m teaching now. And at last, we take them home.
So now you know of one of my ministries. Yes, there are others that I will tell you more of them.
May God bless you always.