Jaysen is 13 years old and has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus. From the time he was two years old, his grandmother adopted him and raised him as her own. Sadly, seven years ago, Jaysen’s grandmother died suddenly as the result of a stroke, leaving Jaysen without a guardian or anyone to care for his very special needs. At that point Jaysen’s great-grandmother, Barbara, stepped in and has been completely devoted to his care ever since.
This summer Barbara and Jaysen attended their first Family Retreat in North Carolina. All throughout the week Barbara kept saying, “Family Retreat is a slice of heaven on earth!”
She went on to explain that it was, “The very best week of my entire 81 years!” And Jaysen absolutely loved his time at Family Retreat, too! He enjoyed making new friends, riding the zipline, and riding on the golfcarts. But his very favorite part of Family Retreat was encouraging the volunteers and other families in attendance. Jaysen plans to be a pastor when he grows up, and at Family Retreat, he got the opportunity to use his God-given gifts of ministry.
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone is the same God at work.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
On the last day of Family Retreat, Jaysen assisted our camp pastor in sharing the salvation message and inviting others to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior! He shared his favorite Bible verse, and as the Family Retreat pastor held the microphone close to Jaysen, Jaysen said, “Come to Jesus!” It was a powerful altar call. For everyone there that day, it will never be forgotten. Two people accepted Christ on the spot!
Jaysen was thrilled to have the opportunity to express his love for the Lord with those in attendance, and as Joni says, “Disability ministry is not disability ministry unless the disabled are ministering.”
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Family Retreat made it possible for Jaysen to live his dreams out loud! At Family Retreat, people with disabilities get closer to Jesus and have a safe place to share their spiritual gifts and shine!