Mickey was adopted by a loving Christian family 21 years ago.  He was diagnosed with no brain stem three months after his birth.  His three siblings who were teenagers and his parents refused to believe that there was no hope for him.  They worked passionately with the baby.  Miraculously Mickey responded.  He now walks with the aid of a walker, speaks in two-word couplets and generally attempts to lead every group in which he is involved.   Like many of our members who don’t speak, I’ve said of Mickey that if he could talk he would rule the world. 

As we were finishing up our refreshments in our Saturday program, I was standing at the front of the room preparing to teach.  Mickey was sitting in the back of the room.  I overheard Mickey conversing with a volunteer.  She was cleaning up his chips and juice.  He said, “Messy.” 

She responded, “You did make a mess today, didn’t you?” 

Knowing Mickey, I said to the volunteer, “Oh, he wasn’t saying that HE was messy.  Mickey was saying that YOU are messy.” 

Mickey smiled and loudly responded, “That’s right.”

Of course, we were thrilled with his interaction with us but that wasn’t the end of his discourses for the day.

From our membership, we vote on our deacons.  We’ve never had deacons in our Vero program, so I’ve spent several months inserting snippets of teaching and reading, reviewing and talking about the qualifications of deacons.  Last week, I spent the entire Bible study time.  I taught about the qualifications and responsibilities of a deacon.  I read the portion from I Timothy and asked our members to apply each requirement to their lives.  After writing their responses on the white board, I said, “Look at these qualifications.  Do you know anyone in Special Gathering  that you believe qualifies to become a deacon?”

Immediately, a confident, loud voice came from the back of the room, “Yeah, me.”   Mickey had voiced his desire to be a deacon. 

I explained to the rest of the class that the Bible says that a person who desires a position in the church body, desires a good thing.  Therefore, it is proper to believe that you may qualify to become a deacon if you are willing to accept the added responsibility. 

The mentally challenged community speaks often in one work or two-word couplets.  However, more often than not, it is important to hear the words spoken.  They may be needed correction or joyful words of assurance of God’s love.