Shepherds MinistriesJuly 31st, 2012
Hey everyone! This is Hanna and I’m excited to tell you all about our time with the wonderful people at Shepherds Ministries in Racine, WI.
Shepherds Ministries, a nationally recognized organization founded on Jeremiah 23:4, provides compassionate Christian care, vocational education and job opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, helping them attain appropriate independence with fulfilling jobs and lives, while also providing for their spiritual development. For adults with developmental disabilities and their families, Shepherds’ case managers, living skills instructors, nurse, consultants, teachers, work supervisors and administrative staff provide a future and a hope.
We started with worshipping in the evening with the staff and residents at Shepherds. The Shepherd’s community did motions with us, sang along, and there was even one man who signed to the lyrics. It was so beautiful to see the differences in worship throughout the night! The joy expressed through their smiles was enough to show the love they have for God. It was also very humbling to talk with the clients and residents of Shepherds. They were very open and welcoming people, which I think is a quality we can sometimes grow calloused to through the busyness of life.
I had the privilege to talk to several people the two days we stayed there. Connie was a client of Shepherd’s who comes and works at Shepherds but lives off site, in the town. Connie has such a cool story! She met and married her husband, John, at Shepherds. It was so neat to hear her life story, and how she has grown through God’s working at Shepherds. She also loves to sing, and has a CD available! It was so cool to talk about what God has done, and was doing in her life at Shepherds. The thing is, these wonderful people will never know what a ministry in return they were to us. I was so encouraged by their welcoming hugs and their smiles. Their optimism was contagious and we were blessed as a team to interact with them.
The next day we helped out at Shepherds Enterprise. Shepherds Enterprises is committed to providing a diverse work environment that stimulates opportunity for growth and independence for Shepherds Ministries’ residents and clients. To achieve this goal, Shepherds Enterprises provides manufacturing and outsourcing services opportunities to Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. The team packaged different objects like wires and combs. This is a purposeful job and the people at Shepherds knew they were doing work that needed to be done. They get a pay check and are trained how to manage their money and eventually live out in the community. We worked throughout the day and had more great conversations with the people of Shepherds. We ended our stay that day with eating lunch with the Shepherds community, and hit the road for Green Bay, WI.
Overall it was a great experience for us all. I know I learned a lot and was challenged by my experiences with the Shepherds community. I was really challenged to see the staff, residents and clients fulfilling the grand purpose God designed for them. I met a lot of people who were overflowing with joy, and in return I was blessed immensely. I know we will have many more great experiences as tour continues, but our stay at Shepherds was a definite highlight! If you have any questions or want to know more about Shepherds, they can be found on the web at: http://www.shepherdsministries.org. Thanks for praying for us, reading and watching the blogs. We greatly appreciate it! See you soon!