Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Privilege of Raising a Child With Special Needs...

My brother came to visit. He had gone to Peru to check out a possibility for himself and his family to work at a hospital in a small village in the Andes mountains. Samuel is a anesthesiologist but his heart has always been beating for missions. As we talked through his thoughts on Peru I reflected on our path that led us to finally follow God's calling to go to Germany. Just like Samuel we always had a passion for Missions. We knew that there would be a day we would go. We started going, stepping out in small steps through our English Camps we started at Creekside Community Church. Every time we saw the need in Germany our heart was aching. 
I personally grew up on the mission field. My parents were missionaries to the Chuuk Islands in Micronesia. We stayed on one of the outer island called Polowat. My memories of missions work and living in a foreign country are filled with wonder and amazement. When we returned to Germany I knew God was calling me, but I also had the feeling he was calling me to a "first world country". I kind of felt bad about that for going to a first world country. It looked like I wanted the comfort and security of all the fancy things these kind of societies can offer.
and then we had Ana.
We know a wonderful family who was prepping to go to Africa. They were expecting their 4th child and were excited to go as bible translators to a remote place. Their 4th child had Down Syndrome. She also had a severe heart problem and with a deep feeling of failure and a huge amount of questions like: "WHY GOD, WHY!" they had to give up their dream of being missionaries in a third world country.
Having said this, are we not in God's will if we plan for something, convinced God is leading, and then stand still and have to do something else....
everything that God does is a perfect way of leading us to the actual goal he has for us. Now we look back and understand why I/we have been called to a first world country. Even though we need all the medical support and educational advances a first world can provide for our special needs child, she also is opening doors we could never have dreamed of.
Children in general open doors we could never have dreamed of. We are excited to live and reach out to the community we are going to be part of just because we are a family with small children...just because God has granted us the privilege to raise a child with special needs.
Germany is a very success driven country. Many things they do they do very well. Imperfection is a sign of failure and an automatic disadvantage.
And again,
what a privilege to live as a family who embraces their child with special needs. To show that we love her because GOD MADE HER! He made our family to fit together and live for his glory. Lydia and Caleb will be little lights in a dark world because they love their sister. Yes, there will be an awareness that will come, but by God's grace we will all grow in our appreciation for his ways. 
Please pray for our children. Pray for my brother who is contemplating going into missions, pray for those families who are struggling to accept their child with special needs...pray for continuous joy.


  1. It is a privilege indeed to raise a child with special needs, and the greatest privilege is doing that work alongside you!

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