A letter from Betsy Cohick
I just read the Friendship newsletter that I received in the mail and after reading your letter in the beginning I thought I should write to tell you what God is doing at our church. Your mentioning of “The Prayer of Jabez, ‘Attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed… unless God steps in!”, reminded me of our new Forever Friends Ministry and our new Bell Choir.
We have an inclusive ministry program that I helped to coordinate about three years ago. We are a smaller church so we started small: once a month on a Monday evening. We now have about 24 people with and without disabilities attending as they are able. We purchased the Friendship New and Old Testament curriculum when starting and use it only for the lesson skits in order to have more engaging lessons. Although they are serious Bible lessons, the skit typically ends up very entertaining with costumes and props. Always something unexpectedly funny or joyful happens which makes many of us laugh and smile. We have live music, cupcakes/juice, two crafts and a parachute and large ball games. I started this ministry to have a place to bring my son with autism/ID to learn about God; because of his behaviors I didn’t feel comfortable bringing him to another program. “Attempting something large enough that failure is guaranteed” was felt when developing this program because I’m an introvert—more of a follower than a leader—but God is using me in ways I didn’t expect.
Some members had been mentioning that they wanted to come more often, so we just started a Forever Friends mixed ability bell choir. We have ringers that range in ability from hand-over-hand assistance to bell experts. Success was not guaranteed with this idea either. I don’t have musical talents and don’t even clap well to music. Thankfully, God did amazing things. A friend that plays bells gave me the encouragement by leading this program with me, and God provided a number of talented people to serve. God even provided someone to donate professional quality chimes for our group.
I’ve learned though these experiences that I can step out of my box more than I thought, and trust in God to provide more than I had. I thought you may enjoy hearing of how Friendship Ministries’ curriculum has influenced others.
As a side note, we have used your online program as a backup when we didn’t have the ability to do a live skit. The online Bible study is impressive and I pray that you will have continued success with it.