Note: This would be a good article to share with your church, co-op, etc and those who do not have struggling learners or special needs children.)
One of my favorite passages in Scripture (though I have many) is Matthew 25:31-46 where the Son of God is sitting on the throne and all nations, righteous and unrighteous are gathered before Him to be separated one from the other. As an indication of their saving faith in Him, He invites those who gave Him drink, meat, clothing or shelter, to enter into His kingdom. They ask when they did this for Him, and He states, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, my brethren you did it to me.” Simply stated, we serve God through serving others. Whether serving on a foreign mission field, teaching a local Bible study, serving in a nursing home or crisis pregnancy center, pastoring or witnessing to a neighbor, all are opportunities for service to the King.
Let me encourage you to encourage and serve others! If you are not already doing so, please prayerfully consider mentoring a family with special struggles. The number of families homeschooling special needs or struggling learners is growing. Even though your children may not be struggling learners; even though your child’s struggles may not be severe; and even though you may already have a great routine with supportive friends, there may be a family that needs you!
Those of us at JoyQuest desire to minister to homeschooling families whenever possible. JoyQuest’s two main objectives are to, first, offer help to parents through encouragement and tools for training and educating their children. One way we do this is through offering seminars with qualified speakers. The second objective is to network people so they can help and encourage each other.
God gives those who choose to serve Him so many opportunities to minister and blesses those who do so with joy! “I delight to do Your will, O my God,…” Psalms 40:8. If you believe the Lord is leading you to minister to a family with special needs, but do not know one, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help!
The following is an excerpt from an article written by a homeschooling mom of a moderate/severe special needs child. This faithful mom has some wonderful insights as to how families can serve one another. I would encourage you to read Jane’s entire article at www.iche.org, (click on “special needs” in the side bar, then scroll down to” articles,”) where she shares not only her needs, but also testimonies from those who have come alongside to help bear her load.
“Let’s assume you meet a family with a special needs child. Maybe you’ve never had close contact with a special individual, but you are willing and eager to reach out. Where do you begin? Begin by expressing your desire to pray for them. Ask what the child’s special problems are and how you can pray specifically for each member of their family. Have your family begin to pray for them on a regular basis.
“Talk to your children about what it must feel like to be a special needs child or to be their brother or sister. Ask how they would want to be treated. Have as your goal to see your children develop compassion and become accepting and even comfortable around such individuals. Role play with your children, helping them to think of ways to communicate and play with this child. Children are very creative and will most certainly surprise you with their good ideas.
“The gift of your time in prayer on behalf of such a family or individual is a special and worthy service. It is not, however, the only area where one might minister to such a family. Ask God to give clear direction. He may want you to serve in other ways as well. Does He want your family to reach out to this family as a unit, or to one or more of the siblings? Do you have a daughter that God is directing to offer to go one afternoon a month and help the mother with cleaning, or baking a supply of home baked goods for their freezer? Maybe one of your children will be called to go and play or help with the special child occasionally to free the mother to concentrate on the other children or just to relax. Or maybe, God will ask your family to offer to take this child into your home for a few hours a month.
“Of course, there are many things in the mix that determine the level of help you can give at any time. The most important is, knowing where God is directing you. It is possible that God just wants to know that you are willing even though this is not an area where he is going to call you to serve.”