Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Heart for Adoption, Worship and Praise in Church...some ramblings

Something that I care about and seem to struggle with is well.... church and the lack of what seems to be Christians who don't "get it" when it comes to orphans and special needs children. For me it is the very breath of air that I breath each day... I have shared my heart and soul about the needs of the orphans and sometimes it seems like it just falls on deaf ears... There are so many orphans in the world and it really would not take much for Christians to help many of them if people just would open their hearts to a child. Even if you do not want to adopt yourself there are other ways to help: give to another family who is adopting, give to aid orphanages,encourage families who are adopting, celebrate an adoption the same way births are celebrated, for that matter celebrate all "births" of children into families no matter if it is the first or 5th..., life should be sacred and given the same expression of joy no matter if the child is a bio. or an adopted or from the USA or another country.....or is "normal" or has a special needs.....A church should be the place that leads people to orphans thru an orphan ministry and thru a special needs ministry.....

But instead I find often adoption is not the same as giving birth bio..... and if a special needs child is adopted or even birthed bio. the family often struggles with being in church when they have a different child....What motivated me to write this blog was another blog mom and friend who is not able to attend church because her son is just not able to sit and behave like most children and so they do not attend church....they are Christians but the fellowship of other believers is not there for them when they need it most.....

I can so relate to this as we have adopted so many children with special needs and at diff. times they have not been able to attend their regular class or worship because of their behavior or medical needs... Many times when we our children have had a surgery ( we have done 66 surgeries in 7 yrs with the new kids) Paul and I are there by ourselves at the hospital... even Luke's 17 hr leg surgery or his open heart surgery it was only Paul and I in the waiting area.... Why?..we think because we have done it so many times "they" don't bother to care enough to come or call ...It seems almost like hardly anyone would care once again about our adopted child by the behavior of these Christians in the churches we have attended.In the churches we have been in, if we did not have some connections to some strong believers whom we can call on if we need to it would feel even more lonely that it can feel as a family who is raising several special needs children.

We can not take Andrew or Gracie to church right now... we have but he is not always quiet and she gets sensory overload... actually she can go and stay with one of us now...Andrew can only thru the music part... if he does come we usually walk out when the sermon begins and walk around with him.... sometimes this has been just as ministering to me to be with him or often I will get the chance to share with someone else out in the halls of our church... neither child is able to go to a regular class.....Some churches will not allow a child to sit in a Sunday school class with the parent for any length of time and most do not offer any offerings to the special children who are in the families of people who attend.....this is such a shame to me.... Why even the regular classes, youth and services struggle for workers...

For us we alternate with two teens or Paul and I will stay by ourselves and watch them... so that some Sundays Paul and I can attend together... or we all will stay home and have Home Church...that actually right now is my first choice. We worship , read the Bible and share our hearts with each other and pray. In our last Sunday am adult class we were talking about what the temple or church was like in Jesus's day... a messianic Jewish man in the class was sharing about how it is the responsiblity of the father to teach his children his faith and about Jesus. He said that temple was for worship not teaching of children and families... that was done in the home. I grasped that idea and turned to Paul and said, " I wish I was Jewish." What I long for is a church that we can go to on Sunday am that is all about worship, people sharing what the Lord is doing in their lives and prayer... no sermons ! Sermons can be done as a teaching aspect at a diff. time but I never feel worship during the sermon... in almost all churches I have been in.... I am deeply longing for just worship... and you know what I believe my special needs children will do well in that church.... because they love music and to worship... Andrew even has raised his arms and hands during our special time of singing and praise around the campfire... it is natural and so life giving to worship the Lord.... instead of the emphasis being on a sermon or teaching... we can do that at another time... but Sunday am should be all about worshiping the Lord.....

Sorry for rambling but this has been on my heart for awhile.....I plan on researching the early church in the Bible... but my heart sings for joy and I am so encouraged when I hear someone share about something the Lord is doing in their life and so desire to be in a church that lets it's people share and be encouraged and praise the Lord thru song and music making instead of the often dry and lifeless presentations of another man's interpretation of the Bible. I am 53 yrs old and do not want to spend another Sunday unless I can praise and worship thru song, dance and the sharing of other lives . I ache for my blog friend... and wish we lived closer so that we could invite her to our "Home" church to celebrate all the Lord has done and is doing in each of our family's lives..... Amen!


Karla Kahler said...

Jeanne, how my heart also longs for the local church to grab hold of a passion for orphans and the child with special needs. it is a biblical mandate, not an option for believers to cherish and care for the fatherless and the least of these.

there is a teaching series that changed our family's view of the local church. the link below includes free downloads from the series called "The church: the dearest place on earth." it is inspired by what Charles Spurgeon called the local church. this will change the way people see the local church. enjoy.


Hevel said...

Well, the expression Messiahnic Jew is a contradiction.

That said, few Christian churches require as much away-from-home participation than orthodox Judaism. We, however, have to remember, that while the Temple was not a place to teach (no idea how that story in the New Testament came about with Jesus and the elders,) we do not have the Temple today. We have synagogues, which are a combined place for study and worship. But true, a traditional Kabbalat Shabbat at my shul actually requires more participation by the chazzan (cantor) than by the rabbi, because we do not have sermons. Luckily we always seem to have a minyan (ten adult men - or in my shul, ten adults, that is women over the age of 12 and men over the age of 13) for a "proper" communal prayer and Torah reading.

Home Church, however, sounds like a great idea. That way all your kids can participate and enjoy the communion of believers.

MamaPoRuski said...

That is why Joni and Friends will content that the disabled are the worlds largest unreached people group. I follow a blog called "Disabled Christianity" a professor who teaches on disabilities ministries at a Baptist college and certifies teachers for special ed. There are churches out there that have caught the message and can be found to have an official ministry in their church. I would check out the resources at joniandfriends.org. I know I have used them to work with our church in making policies and procedures. HUGS for you and your friends. I don't know what we'd do without our churches support!

Kate said...

We had to leave a church that was about "behaving correctly". God brought us to a church family that took us and all our kids in and they love us and lift us up.

Mary B. said...

Good morning Jeane,
AMEN! I find that most worship is expected to happen outside of church...ie: small groups...where people can freely share how God is present in their lives and honestly and specifically ask for prayer.
Our 2 newest little ones are leaving on Monday and we have heavy hearts at their departure but joy in their reunion with family. Now I wait to see what God has planned for us next :)
As for your "home church" - your friend can join by SKYPE!...when you can't be there in person it's the next best thing :)
Love in Christ, Mary

Penny said...

I truly believe our church does have meaningful worship. We have praise music and we have share time and praise reports and prayer requests. However, our congregation is very small--- growing slowly, but very small. It is lacking in a lot of churches because they've grown so large--- these mega-churches. We do still have a message delivered by the pastor and Sunday School for all ages. We have Bible study classes on Wed. night also. I think you probably already teach a lot of Biblical stories and concepts during your home schooling time, so I sometimes have left after the worship service when I've had family obligations to meet, but I know it's next to impossible for a family of 20-something to "sneak out" quietly. :)
Just follow your heart. Where two or more are gathered.... A lot of people say "I don't have to go to church to worship God." He does tell us to assemble, though. But you would be assembling and actually having "church" in your home. If the Spirit leads you that way, do it. God bless.

Mike and Christie said...

Maybe we could all just move closer together! :)
I know exactly what you are talking about.

I have to say, our old church was very giving towards the kids with special needs. There were ladies that taught a special class for 2 boys with severe autism.

They had a "worship service" based around communion, (not nearly enough open expression of worship and music) but no sermon. That was done a different hour. I really miss that format, because it was a time of sharing and prayer and music.

I totally get that others don't get it. I am worried about the "church" in America. We are asleep. :(

We have family worship at home on Tuesdays.
Sometimes we have guests, sometimes not.
I would love a family sunday school class.
Our last church would not permit it, and I don't think this one would either.

Mike and Christie said...

We are having Vacation Bible School this week. Anna has trouble with fitting in to something she isn't used to. For her, a change from the norm is hard.

I hate that people judge her. She was looking rather sad (though she wasn't sad, just unsure of herself) and somebody said, "She looks like she really doesn't want to be here.)
I said, no, she has talked about it and how excited she is, but she is unsure of herself. That person didn't go to her to make her feel comfortable, remained silent.
That always makes me sad about the church. We sit back and judge another's heart when we have no idea what is going on!

My words rang true, as on the way home she didn't stop talking about how much fun she had. LOL
That's my Anna. :)

Difference2This1 said...

I think we would have stopped attending church once our boys came home had we stayed at previous church. We left in March in preparation for bringing them home....it just didn't seem like anyone would care about them, be accepting of their SN's, and the congregation is so strangely disinterested in orphan care (we thought we could help change this but it didn't seem like we were making any progress after 2 1/2 yrs) so we just left. After several weeks we found a church not 10 minutes from us with several members who have blown us away with their support of our family and current adoption journey- we did not expect it. Of course, not all of them "get us", but there's enough who try and that's more then we hoped for right now. And worship is big during the service and kids stay with us during that time...it is good. My heart hurts for all those adoptive families who have yet to find that place that helps them feel a little less isolated and alone :(

There are days when I read your posts that I so wish my children, esp. the eldest who struggles so much still at 21 mos home, could interact with your older ones. I so love to read all you share about how much they love and help the younger ones. And while they are soaking up those lessons, I'd sit and ply you with questions in hopes of absorbing just a portion of your wisdom. Just how far do you live from DE anyway? :)

Shelley said...

Our family has experienced this regarding our 5yo son, who is on the autism spectrum. We have seen a good response from the Sunday School teachers as we have familiarized them with his needs and what to expect from him. Nearly all of them are patient with him and try to include him as fully as they can. There are always a few who just don't "get it", and persist in seeing him as a problem, but I think that will always be the case....I might have been one of those people if Eli was not my son! I do think that most of our churches are not prepared, in heart or practically, to welcome the disabled. As with many things, if our own lives have not been touched by a particular trial or difficulty, our human(sin) nature wants to distance ourselves from the suffering. How we need to grow in our knowledge of Jesus, and to take on his character. Me included!!!