As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable1 Corinthians 12:20-22
We are Forest Farm Community group, a small group of Christians based at Forest Farm, the residential home for adults with cerebral palsy, located next to the Pick ‘n Pay on William Nicol Drive and have been growing in Christ since 2009.
Our first few meetings were a little daunting and met with apprehension as you can imagine but we soon got familiar and comfortable with each other. We read and discussed the book of Nehemiah and went through ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ by Rick Warren. It was an amazing 40 Days for both parties and I got to know the small nucleus of regular attendees rather well. I realized soon afterwards that the group, which had grown to about a dozen, were hungry for God’s word so it was important to give it to them in a communication mode that was suitable to the majority of them. I started to bring DVDs to the meetings: Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Bill Hybels, Angus Buchan and Joyce Meyer. The more I brought, the greater their hunger for God’s word. I have become well known throughout Forest Farm by the management, staff and residents; not just our own group which now fluctuates between 15 and 20 attendees…. Glory to our Lord!
As a group, we talk of how we can be a blessing to others by using simple examples such as caring for their friends, talking to and supporting them, making a cup of tea for them when they are down, pushing their wheelchairs or sometimes just a smile. We have built up such a great relationship that we can confide and trust in each other at all times.
This part of my life’s journey has been challenging and at first I wondered why I was prompted to take it on. Through the years I have realized that, as we all have a purpose in life according to God, I see this as part of my calling. I left my homeland many years ago, got married and have a fantastic wife and two wonderful children – one a ‘special needs’ child – but both a blessing to us! Jason has been and continues to be a challenge to us both but without God in our lives, we would never have coped.
The experience I have gained by ministering to this group and the unconditional love flowing in and through them has helped me cope with some of the difficulties that I have faced with Jason and it has brought my own son closer to God in his own way.
I continue to think of Genesis 12 v 3 – I have been Blessed by God and I can only continue to be a Blessing to others in Forest Farm through His name.
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 5:3-5, says that we should “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perserverance; perserverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
The group do have disabilities and are different in many ways but share the same passion as you and I – for the Love of Jesus Christ!