MONTICELLO-For One Day: Serve Local on Saturday, April 9th, we at Weevil Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) had a unique opportunity to serve alongside one of our local churches to reach a special group of individuals here in South Arkansas.
I use the term “unique” because this is the first time that I had heard of a church doing an event like this. Immanuel Baptist Church in Monticello hosted an egg hunt to serve special needs individuals and their families. The church hosted this event at Miracle League Field that hosts a special needs baseball league that serves these same incredible families.
I was able to sit down with Telese Huffman, a member at Immanuel Baptist and mother to a special needs son, to visit with her about the vision behind this event. Huffman has a vision to create awareness of the need to serve special needs individuals and their families in south Arkansas. She compared special needs families to an unreached people group. Huffman desires for churches to be aware of the need to promote an atmosphere that is welcoming to special needs families.
This egg hunt is a great example of what a church can do to serve families of special needs children. When talking to Huffman, she said, “You take most egg hunts that a local church would put on for the community, these hunts hardly are accommodating to special needs families.” Huffman also mentioned a troubling reality, “If you ask these families that will bring their child to these special needs egg hunts or to a Miracle League game, where they go to church? The answer would be, ‘Nowhere’.”
The main purpose and vision behind doing events like these for Huffman and her church is to raise awareness and to encourage churches to do more to reach families of special needs children and to accommodate them in our churches.
Weevil BCM has had over thirty students participate in serving families with special needs children through the egg hunt and the Miracle League. I can tell it is making a huge difference in the lives of these students and we pray that they are as much of a blessing to the families as their children are to them. We also pray that more churches will continue to desire to take part to reach these families with the gospel.
The egg hunt was a great success! Immanuel Baptist recorded 36 guests, 21 of those being special needs participants. Volunteers from the church and community worked to set up the event and served with a gracious heart.
Will you pray along with us, for Arkansas Baptists to respond and take up this great opportunity to reach special needs families across our state?