For over thirty-four years Men’s Ministry Catalyst (a.k.a. Let’s Go Fishing Ministries) has provided Special Kids Day Events at several Bay Area locations, which have impacted almost 40,000 children with disabilities.
It is so inspiring to see community volunteers and several high school students assist the many young people many of whom have multiple disabilities. After each event we receive numerous communications from parents and the schools as to how these one-day programs helped bring great joy and encouragement to many of the children.
Through our multi-faceted programs of lawn games, fishing, boat rides, nature study, and face-painting activities kids are treated to unconditional tenderness and encouragement that demonstrates a Christ-like love. We make sure to tell them each and every time that God’s loves them and so do we. It is our desire that each child will leave the event filled with hope, perseverance, and see the importance of teamwork.
The popular song In Christ Alone written by Shawn Craig and Don Koch and sung by Michael English projects the message we endeavor to transmit to each person involved in these programs.
In Christ Alone
In Christ alone will I glory,
Though I could pride myself in battle won.
For I have been blessed beyond measure,
And by His strength alone I overcome.
Oh, I could stop and count successes,
Like diamonds in my hand.
But those trophies could not equal,
To the grace by which I stand.
When I think of stories of hope, perseverance, and teamwork I’m reminded of a story about a Special Olympics held in Seattle several years ago. 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 and win – all, 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.” – Philippians 2:4 That is a good reminder from God who wants us to have a serious, caring involvement in some of the things others are concerned about. One way that can happen is to take our eyes off our often-excessive lives and think about how we can effectively love, serve, and encourage others.
Who is it in your life that needs a helping hand right now? What are the ways you can show genuine love, encouragement, and support to others? Could you take some time off your job to join our LGFM volunteers to help out in one of our five SKD events? Give us a call and let us help place you at an event of your choice.
Blessings! ~Dr. Jim Grassi