25 Reasons why I love ministering within the mentally challenged community:

  1. Yesterday, as she worked to put up our sound equipment, Lori, a choir member, said, “Thank you, Linda, for letting me help you.”  Our members believe it is a privilege to be able to serve.
  2. Our members want to learn about Jesus.
  3. Our members LOVE to come to Special Gathering and study the Bible.
  4. Many of our members cry if they have to miss church.
  5. Our members don’t make life complicated.  They live simple lives.
  6. Our members laugh easily and cry easily. 
  7. People who are mentally challenged will work themselves to death to please others.
  8. Volunteers at Special Gathering are willing to do almost anything for only a thank you and a smile.
  9. We have lots of pot luck dinners.
  10. Our population is hungry to hear the gospel.
  11. Richard Stimson, the founder of Special Gathering, is an organizational genius and it is an hour to work with him and his wife, Nancy.
  12. Things are changing all the time.  I get to do new things almost daily.
  13. We are growing.
  14. I get to direct a choir.
  15. I get to give weekly devotions. 
  16. I can out think a few of our members.
  17. I’ve been able to meet some really  important people like Dee and Felicia and Terri and Tommy.
  18. I’ve been able to meet people who have struggled hard to overcome overwhelming obstacles, like Tracy, Danny, Chrissy and Alissa, Lloyd and George.
  19. Because Melvin has his picture on the Internet, he is sure that he will soon be headed for Hollywood.
  20. Debbie calls me several times a week to tell me why she can’t come to church, only to call me on Saturday to let me know that she will be making me really happy because she is coming after all.
  21. Sam puts his hand on my head almost every time he sees me to pray for me and bless me.
  22. The ministry heads around the US and Canada that I’ve met are the most organized and enthusiastic church leadership I’ve ever had the privilege to meet.
  23. Andrew calls me every Saturday afternoon to find out what time the bus will pick him up.
  24. A 3 to 5 minute telephone conversation is all that’s needed to satisfy a Special Gathering member.  They just want to touch base and then get on with their lives.
  25. We get to do all the fun things that people in junior high love to do–like Disney and Sea World.
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