For our Men’s Ministry Catalyst Team, the summer months are a great time of program planning and reflection. Our work in helping local churches ignite vibrant men’s ministry programs continues to take most of our time. With all that is happening in our culture it is an exciting and challenging time to be in ministry.
This year our organization will help host and staff five Special Kids Day Programs for the Disabled. These events are always extraordinary times for the participants, the staff, and the helpful volunteers. It is a time of serving and assisting those who have special needs. We have had the privilege of leading these events for thirty-three years.
Most of the kids involved are often from single parent homes. They desperately desire attention and affection. As the young people experience our program and the loving people who assist them, they become very animated and joyful. Throughout the day the love of God is demonstrated to the participants in some very tangible ways.
Preparing for our upcoming fall SKD programs reminds me of a story I recently heard. A few years ago, at the Seattle Special Olympics, nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100-yard dash. At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash but with a relish to run the race to the finish, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over a couple of times, and began to weep.
The other eight heard the boy cry. They slowed down and looked back. Then they all turned around and went back — every one of them. One girl with Down’s Syndrome bent down and kissed him on the forehead and said, “This will make it better.” Then all nine linked arms and walked together to the finish line.
Everyone in the stadium stood, and the cheering went on for several minutes. People who were there are still telling the story. Why? Because deep down they knew this one thing: What matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What matters in this life is helping others to win, even if it means slowing down and changing our course.
The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4 That is a good reminder from God who wants us to have a serious, caring involvement in some of the goals others are concerned about. One way that can happen is to take our eyes off our often-excessive concern for ourselves and for self-esteem, and think about how we can effectively love, serve, and encourage others.
We always need more volunteers to assist us with our Special Kids Day Programs. Contact us today if you would like to help.
What is it that you are doing that is assisting others with their goals?
Are you sensitive to the world around you? Who in your sphere of influence is hurting and needs a word of comfort from you?
What verses come to mind in comforting yourself and others? Have you read: 2 Cor.1:3-4, Is.66:13-14, or Ps. 23:4? These verses and many more helpful passages from God’s word are readily available on a variety of electronic devices. Just go to http://mensministrycatalyst.org/bible-ready-reference-guide/