Special needs residents enjoy their very own “Night to Shine”

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs. Hope Residence joined the celebration this year at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minn., one of 375 churches around the world hosting 75,000 honored guests on one night — February 10, 2017.

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Faithful volunteers revive Jesus Cares Ministries program

After years of faithful participation, the Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) program at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bemidji, Minn., was struggling. Attendance had dwindled for the ministry, which reaches out to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and the community.

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JCM makes connections from Malawi to Minnesota

A partnership between Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) and Kingdom Workers has helped 53 volunteers serve more than 350 people with special needs in Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. Recently, JCM programs in America got to see this ministry through the eyes of Davie Duwe. Davie has spent four years with Kingdom Workers as a Field Assistant in Malawi. He traveled to the United States in 2017 to update congregations and friends of JCM about the work of sharing God's word with people with disabilities in Africa.

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A change of heart for JCM participant

Ask Ryan what he has learned in Jesus Cares Ministries, and he doesn’t hesitate: “Everyone is like a gemstone — maybe rough around the edges, but beautiful when polished with forgiveness and grace.”

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‘One big happy memory’ — 25 Years of JCM

When the Lord inspired volunteers in the greater La Crosse and Onalaska area of Wisconsin to start a Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) program, He provided all the things they needed to make the special needs ministry a reality — teachers, supplies, facilities, a bus to carry students.

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Seven years and one new congregation later, still volunteering

When Maria Muske began volunteering with Jesus Cares Ministries at 12 years old, she didn't think it would have much of an effect on her spiritual life. Seven years later, she has come to realize God didn’t bring her to JCM to help the participants; he brought them to help her.

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Bell sounds God’s saving love for all abilities

Emily Lillo had always wanted to ring the hand bell that signals the start of each Worship at the Cross service. But she’s  a volunteer, and typically the honor is given to a participant with special needs since Worship at the Cross is designed for people with cognitive impairments. She’d watched many others light up with the chance to sound the call to worship — not knowing she’d eventually get her turn.

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God answers prayer, even from an Easter egg hunt

God answers prayer in his own time and in his own way. Jesus’ mother came to him at the wedding of Cana. She wanted Jesus to help since the hosts had run out of wine. Jesus answered, “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4). Jesus did help, but when the time was right.

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You can’t do it alone: You need Jesus

At Joy in Jesus retreats, the typical camp stories are anything but ordinary: They are often powerful reminders of Christ’s love. In late September, camper Ron was sitting alone on a bench reading his  Bible. Julie Luetke, a Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) Consultant who helps organize the two annual Joy in Jesus retreats, sat down for a visit. Ron turned to her and said, “If it weren’t for Him, where would I be now?” Read More

Spelling out God's love, one letter at a time

For years, the things Gavin Schultz wanted to say were trapped inside him. Autism silenced him, even though his mind and his heart were filled with messages of God’s love. Then one day, God and his family set him on a new path. Now, at age 17, Gavin is an ambassador for an autism advocacy nonprofit and a public speaker.

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