Understanding and Ministering to People with Special Needs during Covid19

Rev. Joel Gaertner April 29, 2020

“I’m running away. This is not easy with a person with special needs depending on you. Their world is messed up! Plus, with no help like we used to have; it is very hard!”

Those are the exact words of a mother who has a child with special needs from one of our Jesus Cares Ministries programs. 

Her son with special needs shared, “I am fed up with it all. I miss my life the way it was. I want to see my friends and hang out. This is not healthy mentally. Nothing seems exciting and fun; it is the same thing day after day. People have to realize we all have a breaking point and I’m broke.”

As hard as the last couple months have been for all of us, it is harder on individuals with special needs.  Routine and familiarity are key. Not only having their routine disrupted, like the rest of us have, but also having their support system ripped away from them can be difficult and challenging for the individuals and the caregivers. 

While we cannot give them back their “normal” and routine, we can continue to engage them with their spiritual programming. Something they are familiar with and depend on. Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) and many of our Jesus Cares Ministries programs are working to do just that. 

A growing number of our programs are using Zoom to hold their Worship at the Cross services or JCM Bible Classes.  This not only gives spiritual support to our friends with special needs, but also gives them social interaction with those whom they cannot physically be with right now. 

Below are some resources available.

  1. Join a local congregation offering online services.
    Find a local program and call for online availability.
  2. Participate in our live Worship at the Cross service on our Facebook page. We host the service on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m.
  3. Watch videos on-demand. We will archive our WATC services on our website.
  4. In addition to JCM live stream and on-demand videos, several programs utilize the children’s devotion videos from Bread for Beggars Facebook page.

Like every ministry adjusting to share Jesus in new ways, we need to adapt to help individuals with special needs and their caregivers.

Want more information on how to reach individuals with special needs during COVID-19? Contact jcm@tlha.org for more information.

Note: a version of this article was published by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in April 2020.