6 MAY 2019

A life loving people
living with disabilities

Interview with Rhyannah Torrance

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Rhyannah Torrance is a graduate from the SMBC Bride Gap Year program. She is also our coordinator at Kings Park Jesus Club.

You can say that for Rhyannah, God has been preparing her and her whole family for the task to serve people with disabilities for a long time. Her mum, Katrina, was a diversional therapist but began working with preschool-aged special needs children since 2001. And her brother, Reuben, started the Hands and Feet disability organisation in 2018, to provide support to communities with need through local churches, where Rhyannah also now works as a support worker.

When she was small, Rhyannah's family spent once a month caring for special needs children for Anglicare, giving respite to their families from their daily routines. Their parents were also frequent volunteers at Camp Jono in Mount Victoria, caring for children aged 7-18 with developmental disabilities such as autism and global development delay and providing them with camp experience they couldn't normally enjoy.

Rhyannah became involved with Jesus Club when she visited one of our clubs during her Bridge Gap Year. She became so excited about its unique program to share the gospel to people with intellectual disabilities that she sought to start a club for her own church soon after. And in 2018, with the support of her church elders and a team of 10 leaders, King’s Park Jesus Club opened its doors to 8 members.

When Kings Park Jesus Club first began, the leaders tried to bring their members with disabilities into their Sunday morning service. Yet, it soon became clear that what was most important wasn't church attendance, but how to teach the gospel in a way that people with intellectual disabilities understood.

"The goal once was that Jesus Club would be a way to
connect them into our Sunday morning service, but it’s no longer the goal.

We have come to the realisation that (Jesus Club) is church for them
and they are still welcome to come on Sundays but we really want
is to provide an opportunity for them to hear the gospel clearly
and in a way that they understand in a loving community."

Knowing how much her members understand is a continuous challenge for Rhyannah and her leaders. Many of her members are non-verbal and can’t communicate, so it’s often difficult to know how much of their teaching is getting through. But being open to God’s moulding has enabled Rhyannah to rely on God through this experience.

"I have learnt to trust that God has got this and it’s not what I really see.
It’s God who decides to change something in their heart.
I am just planting seeds."

Rhyannah and Kings Park Jesus Club now shares God’s love in an accessible way to half a dozen people with intellectual disabilities each fortnight. She is loving the opportunity to love and spend time with her members and looks forward to expanding the program to include people from different age groups. Her members’ carers tell her that they are really excited to come and they look forward to it each fortnight.

Please pray for Kings Park Jesus Club that it will continue to be a loving community that different age groups and abilities can come and be gathered around the words of God. Pray for her members that they may truly understand Jesus' good news and be friends with Him forever.

If you would like to learn more about getting involved in Jesus Club, let us know by Emailing us. Or visit our How to get involved page.

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