Many foster moms are also special needs moms, and so many special needs moms are “on” 24/7. They are busy scheduling doctor’s appointments, attending school meetings, rushing to therapy appointments, and much more. The moms of adults with developmental disabilities will often have their child living at home into old age. It is easy to see that these mothers deserve a chance to rest and be refreshed.
On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, our disability ministry held our Fifth Annual Spa Day for foster and special needs moms. We covered this event in prayer; our team of amazing volunteers worked diligently to collect donations leading up to the event. On that day, we did our best to spoil those hardworking moms with manicures, a foot spa, a haircut, a car wash, a wonderful lunch, raffle prizes, a painting class, and a gift bag!
This year, we decided to do something extra special for the gift bags—we included a Joni and Friends Beyond Suffering Bible in every bag. As Joni Eareckson Tada wrote about this version of the Bible, it “speaks directly to the hardship of handicapping conditions,” and “exalts God as preeminent and supreme over every disease and disability.”
Following the event, we began receiving feedback from women who attended and received the Beyond Suffering Bible. GeGe, the mother of a four-year-old with Down Syndrome, had never attended one of our Spa Days. She is a single mom, and she was invited by her good friend, Charlotte, who babysits her daughter while she works. Charlotte is also a special needs mom who lovingly cares for her teenage daughter with spina bifida. After receiving her gift bag at Spa Day, GeGe clutched her new Bible and said, “I did not have a Bible, but God heard my prayers. I now have one, and I can meditate on His Word and be more Christ-like.”
I received another note in the mail from a woman who received the Beyond Suffering Bible. She wrote, “After I got home, I started to open the new Bible and just by “chance” happened to open to a scripture, actually a half chapter, of God’s comfort. All my Bibles are aimed at deep study and scholarship and this one, sweetly, is like having a conversation with the Spirit. God is hugging me through it. Thank you so much… it seems appointed for this time.”
Spa Day is always a special treat for these busy moms, but through this feedback we realized that the greatest encouragement always comes from God and can be found in His Word.
What verses bring you the greatest encouragement and comfort? Please share in the comments below so we can mutually encourage one another!
Susan Hewer is the co-leader along with her husband, Scott, of the special needs ministry at Calvary Chapel Oxnard, In His Image. Scott and Susan have enjoyed many years as special education teachers, but feel very blessed to be part of the growing field of disability ministry in their “retirement” years. They have been married for 36 years and have one daughter, Gina, who is involved in full-time ministry.