Okay.  Again, I say, I’m not a techno person.  I try to keep learning but I can’t seem to keep up with onslaught of changes, tweaks and tweets.  Several months ago I linked into Facebook, thinking it would be simple enough for me to be able to navigate.  My purpose was to hopefully create a wider audience for this blog and to link with other people who are interested or involved in ministry within the mentally challenged community.  I also wanted to establish an additional connection with my children and grandchildren who were active on this social network. 

However, most of the people who have requested that I become their friend have been adults that I taught when they were teenagers.  It’s been a lovely bonus to see their families and become reacquinted with them.  Additionally, I’ve been able to reconnect with a group of friends that I lost contact with many years ago.

This past week, while my husband was in critical condition in the hospital because he broke his hip and leg, I posted that we were in the hospital.  Within moments, I found that people from all over the world were praying for him.  There were people all over the US, in China, Canada, Uruguay, Peru, Thailand and Mexico.  That encourage me to continue to post updates and pictures.  People would begin to reply within seconds that they were praying.  In the middle of the night, we would receive encouragement and messages of faith and hope.  I read each one to Frank.  He was so uplifted by the people who responded with love and care.

A good friend, Jan, told me the other day,  “I don’t ever post anything.  I just read the things that are posted on other people’s pages.  I feel as though I’m cheating.”  However, when I posted my daily updates on my husband’s condition, I was happy to know that Jan was keeping up with us and that she would be praying.  This is the value of a social network. 

My original intent has also been served.  There are ministry heads, special needs professionals and volunteers with whom I’m connected.  I’m especially thrilled that several of our Special Gathering members are regularly on Facebook.  It’s fun to be in contact with them on a daily basis.   

While this connection to the world of the Internet hasn’t worked exactly the way I envisioned, it is perhaps an additional way to help educate the outside society to the important subculture in which we minister.  And even more important when there is a push or crisis and your time is limited, a social network takes minutes to muster worldwide prayer support.

More than once this week, I’ve told the Lord, “Praise God for text messages and thank you, Lord, for Facebook.”  Additionally, thanks to so many people who prayed and took the time to give us a message, a prayer or a word of encouragement.