Not Only For The Unchurched

By Melisa Ng

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John is a 62 year old gentleman with an intellectual disability and he lives in a group home in Richmond.

18 months ago, his carers began to bring him to Jesus Club at Castle Hill, after noticing his habit of carrying around a bible and praying aloud for everyone at the home. The trip takes 1.5 hours in total but his carers say John chooses Jesus Club as his fortnightly activity every time.

John is not always cooperative when he arrives. Often he is quiet and anxious and is reluctant to join in for music or games. But as soon as it’s bible lesson time, he becomes animated and eagerly moves to the front to listen. Julie, our coordinator at Castle Hill Jesus Club, describes him like this,

“He doesn’t like the craft, doesn’t like the painting. But he LOVES the bible teaching time and go happily to a buddy group. He is listening and he knows the answers!”

To most Jesus Club meetings, John brings along two of his most precious items. His pet dog, a stuffed toy in a carrier case, called George and his large children’s bible, which he holds onto dearly for the entire session.

Like many who come to Castle Hill Jesus Club, Julie believes John has also come from a christian family. This high proportion of christian members was originally at odds with Julie's evangelical vision, but she is now resolute in her belief of the value of this ministry,

"While two thirds of those who come are children whose parents are Christians, it is still a worthy ministry as it is helping these kids and adults from falling away.

[When you] see so many of their children walk away [from God] as teenagers and young adults, [it's good] we are helping these people [stay] at church.”

Because of Jesus Club, John and many others with intellectual disabilities, have now a place to go for christian fellowships and to grow in their knowledge and trust in God.

Keep Reading: The story of Susan who found a place to belong at Jesus Club >>

Furthermore, Jesus Club is opening new opportunities to witness to people who might otherwise never set foot in a church. In a recent meeting, John’s carer commented to Julie as they were leaving,

“I wouldn’t even mind staying past this shift time. I would be happy to stay.”

Though she wasn’t a christian, the carer had loved the atmosphere at Jesus Club so much that she would willingly stay past her shift unpaid just to be a part of the action.

Through witness and love, Jesus Club is share Jesus Christ's good news to people with and without disabilities, church and unchurched. Join our mission to share His love to those around us, make a gift to Jesus Club today!

Learn more about the work at Jesus Club

Day In the Life of a Jesus Club Volunteer : Louise Gosbell >>

How a love for people with disabilities inspired a life of service >>

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