Today Preston and I had the privilege of eating lunch with a new friend who is very interested in our trip. He is from Lebanon and is also the cousin of the man who is the owner of the new school Preston is designing. Our friend, Jon, told us the following story.
Eleven years ago he was asked to lead a funeral. As part of the funeral he asked if anyone wanted to share a brief 30-45 second recollection of what this man meant in their life. With tears in his eyes he continued to tell us that 45 minutes later people were still taking turns sharing their brief rememberence of the significance of this man. He said this was a God defining moment of his life. To be able to touch people with that profound of an impact is certainly amazing.
Three years ago while back in Lebanon he was interviewed on television regarding the events of the funeral and life of the man who touched so many. The man was his brother, Sam. Sam had Down Syndrome. At the time Sam was growing up, special needs kids were treated very differently than they are here. Until very recently special needs kids were seen as a disgrace to the family and the family would not acknowledge their existence. Jon told us most special needs kids were locked in a room and given bread and water to eat. They would mess on themselves because no one would take care of them. For centuries this was the treatment of all special needs people. Sam's parents saw worth and value in him and he was not treated this way. Fortunately this is now changing. Families are beginning to see worth in their special needs kids!
We feel God is giving us such a wonderful opportunity to minister to and with these families. All our children are a perfect blessing from God and we are so privileged and honored to be a part of their lives! We feel we are uniquely equipped for this task. We are so honored and privileged that God is planning to use us.
On this journey, I am always amazed to see how many lives my boys touch. I know they are significant in the lives of many. The challenge to me is, am I living a life that is as significant as theirs?