In this talk, Andrea uses a jigsaw puzzle to represent the Body of Christ. She uses her own family’s experience with disability to explain that even though each person in their home are all very different from each other, they all fit in. Just like the pieces of a puzzle, each one is unique and each one of them belongs. By sharing her story, children feel empowered to share their own stories and freedom to ask questions.
Specifically, Andrea addresses the following:
- Some pieces don’t seem to fit and why.
- The frustration and difficulty some people have fitting into social groups.
- Terms: exceptionalities, disabilities special needs and what they mean.
- Tuberous Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities – what they are and her personal experience with them.
Andrea is honest and shares that at times she was very sad, confused and even angry at God because of all the hard things that come with taking care of twins with so many special needs and that she still talks to God about everything. She explains how the Bible verses she had learned as a child helped her to understand how much God cares and that He has not forgotten her or her family; that prayer, Bible reading, thankfulness and fellowship with the Church Body are crucial for her to continue to be strong and courageous and do God’s will. Finally, Andrea explains that it is up to us, the Church, to figure out how we can minister with instead of just to people with exceptionalities and that of all the places in the world, the Church must be the place where all people are loved and the place where everybody fits.