A Place to Belong
Susan is a member of Jesus Club Castle Hill. She is 59, has an incredible sense of humour - a gift for making people laugh, and has down syndrome.
A long-time member of Castle Hill's St Paul's Anglican Church, Susan has been attending the church with her parents, Ron and Judy, for many years. Whilst she loved the social interactions before and after the service, she found the sermons very challenging and would fall asleep during the service.
So when St Paul's Anglican announced their intention to start a Jesus Club in 2014, Susan rejoiced loudly at the news, saying, "There is something for me! There is something for me!" recalled Julie, the Jesus Club Castle Hill coordinator.
Even though Susan was always welcomed and included in the loving environment of their church, she recognised that due to her disability, she didn't quite fit in. But in this promise of a Jesus Club - a place for people with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), it might be a place where she would finally belong.
“There is something for me! There is something for me!”
Susan has been attending Jesus Club for five years and loves being amongst her peer groups and friends. She is attentive during Bible teaching and is a keen prayer, firmly believing that God hears her prayers.
Robyn, Susan's buddy group leader, thinks Jesus Club has enabled Susan to find her own identity since she can attend unaccompanied and has a chance to be her own person. But more importantly, at Jesus Christ, Susan has found her eternity identity in Christ Jesus, her saviour, whom she believes has died for her so she can now go to heaven!
“Susan gains reassurance about things in her life that she is dealing with, as she shares these things with leaders.”
Susan's parents are equally full of praises for Jesus Club and are constantly writing letters to the leaders, encouraging them, saying, "It's so lovely, what you're doing for our young ones!" Their appreciation has even made them into Jesus Club advocates in their 80s, as they give lifts to another girl to encourage her to attend every fortnight!