Yesterday, I sat at my kitchen table, playing a simple game of Uno with 15-year-old T and his great-grandparents. It is an honor for me to serve T and his family as part of my Children’s Chaplaincy for blind youth. This young man, his great-grandmother and great-grandfather are three of the most amazing folks I know.
Many other health issues, including cystic fibrosis, complicate T’s blindness. Grandma and Grandpa have been raising T since he was four months old, and he was on a feeding tube until age seven. In spite of all of his challenges, including the daily ritual of “thumping” for cystic fibrosis and a complex regimen of medicines, T works every bit as hard as his peers, and harder than some. Grandma and Grandpa are his biggest fans, cheering for him with every step he takes.
Over the past seven months, I have been tutoring T and his family on a specialized computer for the blind known as the Pac Mate. Today, we veered from that schedule to concentrate on one of Grandma’s wishes for T, that he learn to enjoy playing games as many of his peers do. These three have been so busy with the often-daunting routine of healthcare and school that something as simple as sitting down to play a game together has understandably taken a lower priority.
Today, God blessed me as I sat with this family and watched a young man play a game for the very first time in his life. We all rejoiced as T progressed from intense concentration on the rules of the game and the adapted Braille cards themselves, to smiles and laughter as he used his turn to make his grandma draw more cards into her hand. When he won for the first time, we all cheered. He kept asking to play again and again, growing more confident with each game. I could hear the big smile in his voice as his grandma patted him and said, “It is so good to see you smile and hear you laugh.”
When we finished playing, my associate Miss Audrey’s guide dog Zack and my pet Lab, Zettie kept T smiling and laughing. Zettie sat beside him and placed her paw in his hand for a while. Then, Zack grabbed one of his tug toys and showed T how to play tug!
God indeed blessed all of us with a truly beautiful day! Thank God, and thank you, for the prayers and support which make days like this possible.
Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
God bless you, and keep His Song in your heart!
Music By Laurel Jean
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Children's Chaplaincy Update
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A Little About Me
- Laurel Jean
- God continues to bless me with a busy and fulfilling life. Even after thirty-plus years, my music and ministry keep going and growing. Blind from birth, I am n avid user of Braille and the long, white cane, in addition to a variety of mainstream and access technology. While my blindness does not define me, I consider it to be a unique gift from God. With this gift comes my opportunity to serve as an advocate on behalf of my fellow members of the Blindness community, living and serving among blind and sighted folks of all ages, on all walks of life. To learn more about my music, ministry and outreach, please visit my Web site, and be sure to stay tuned to my Blog!
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