DESCRIBE WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO & THE COMMITMENT YOU HAVE MADE TO ANSWER THAT CALL:
In 2002, after nearly 10 years of marriage, God blessed us with twin sons. On the day of his birth, one of the boys (Hayden) was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition named Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. As a result of this “crisis” in our lives, we experienced a deepening of our faith and intimacy with God and He began a revitalizing work in our spiritual lives. It was not long after this that we felt God calling us to a work in India.
It was February 2005 when we landed in India and immediately began serving in an established ministry. However, God did not allow us to settle in that ministry but, in the process of meeting the special educational needs of our son, we found we were called to serve children with special needs in our city.
In 2007, God providentially brought a mother (Sunita), who deeply desired to meet the special educational needs of her mentally challenged child, alongside a special educator from Korea, who was passionate about serving children with special needs. They were the catalyst which formed a new faith-based school in Mysore, India, called Beautiful Gate Special School (BGSS). [The name is derived from Acts 3 where Peter and John ministered to a lame man at the Temple’s “Beautiful Gate” and thousands came to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.]
TELL US ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU MINISTER TO:
BGSS is dedicated to meeting the educational, developmental, and social needs of students with multiple disabilities, while treating each individual with the respect and dignity he/she deserves.
We first opened BGSS in January 2007 with three students and three teachers, holding classes in the kitchen and living room of a small house. Now, ten years later, about 15 teachers serve approximately 30 students in three different locations around our city, and we are launching a fourth location this June of 2017.
Over the past ten years, we have served an estimated 60 students, of which about 30 remain. Many students leave our schools due to their parent’s family obligations or work requirements, but some have gone on to “normal” schools because they are high functioning. Sadly, one young girl passed away but some of our greatest joys come from those students who have been with us for many years. Amazingly, one of the original three students that we started with, in 2007, is still attending Beautiful Gate. He is now 19 years old.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN YOUR MISSION FIELD?
Many of the students at BGSS come from poor families. Usually, if there is more than one child in a family, the financial priority will be on the education of the child who is “normal” and can learn. The child with special needs may not have the opportunity to go to school unless our fees are low enough to fit within the family budget.
Additionally, it is difficult to find teachers who are qualified and willing to work with some of the severely disabled students at BGSS. When we do find them, we try to hold on to them and some of our teachers have been with us for many years.
HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?
- Please pray for strength, wisdom, and God’s favor on us as BGSS expands throughout our city and more students come needing services.
- Pray for our sons, Harley and Hayden, who are now 15 years old. Harley is in the 10th grade and is being homeschooled. Hayden recently had his third surgery for an ingrown toenail. We are praying that this will be his last.
- Please pray for the development and progress of our students and for opportunities to witness and share the Gospel with their families.
- Finally, pray for our teachers and staff, many of whom are unbelievers.
DESCRIBE ANY FINANCIAL/MATERIAL NEEDS OF THE MINISTRY:
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. | Proverbs 16:1
We have many plans for BGSS but, oftentimes, we find that God shows us different plans. God has always been faithful to meet our needs, especially when we follow the plans He initiates. We have found that when we seek God’s will and venture out trusting Him, He provides for our needs in the most surprising and encouraging ways.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHALLENGE US WITH?
The same sun that hardens the clay also melts the wax. We all have difficulties that come into our lives but we can choose whether to let those “crises” harden us and make us bitter or melt us and deepen our intimacy with God.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VERSE/QUOTE?
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed. | Proverbs 19:17
WHAT IS THE BEST/PREFERRED METHOD OF SENDING MONETARY GIFTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS MINISTRY?
You can give directly to this ministry through CMML. All donations are tax-deductible and can be given online or via check made out to CMML:
CMML, Inc. P.O. Box 13 Spring Lake, NJ 07762-0013
Please include this memo: This donation is for Beautiful Gate
You can also check out our website for more information.