By Pam Kamrath

What will you exchange today? Before we even realize it or have given much thought to it, we will have done this many times over during the course of every day. We exchange our money, our time, and often ourselves, to get something in return.

Our world revolves around this principle. We expect to get something for our efforts. The definition of the word exchange is “a giving up of something for something equivalent; to give and receive reciprocally.”

We exchange something to get something even if it’s only for recognition. However, there are times when our heart tells us that we don’t want or need anything in return.

It was late July of last year when Pastor Justin gave me the attendance cards of three young ladies who had special needs that attended our church. They came every Sunday and had been a visible presence among us for quite some time. They made it clear on those cards that they wanted to become members.

In a brief moment as our pastor handed those cards to me and I took them, the exchange began. They were given to me in exchange for my time and efforts to guide these ladies through the process of becoming members of our church. I had agreed to the terms of the exchange and was happy to complete the task.

In a brief moment as our pastor handed those cards to me and I took them, the exchange began.

My heart was willing, wanting to show them true Christian love. I was looking forward to meeting them and spending this time together. My goal was to bless them. In the end I was the one who was blessed.

Our journey began as we met on Sunday mornings to study God’s Word. I knew they took this very seriously as they diligently brought their bibles every Sunday. I was amazed at their faithfulness.

Over the next several months we spent time reading our Bibles, learning sound biblical truths, and understanding what it looked like to be a member of our church. During our time together not only did they learn about the Lutheran Church but what being a Christian looked like.

We shared life, knowledge, and time with one another. We became friends. I wanted to teach them all they needed to know to complete the process of membership but most of all what I wanted these ladies to take away each Sunday was how much God loved them.

I wanted them to understand His amazing grace and that indeed they were very special to Him. After spending time together it was apparent to me they already knew that. It became very clear to me that there was one thing I did not need to teach them: how to love.

From the moment I introduced myself and let them know I was willing to go on this journey with them, they lavished love on me.

We shared life, knowledge, and time with one another. We became friends.

Every Sunday when they saw me in church they would greet me with smiles and a warm embrace. Often the warm embrace lasted a very long time. Once the connection between us was made I knew we were friends for life and they would love me forever.

What a wonderful feeling! I was not expecting to get anything in return from these ladies. I wanted to give them something, not wanting anything in exchange. What God quietly reminded me is that when we are willing both in mind and body, He does amazing things.

When you are willing to bless another person, He often blesses you in return. new member special needsSomething happened between us that was so much more than just completing the process of membership.

Love was exchanged. In my desire to show them Christ they in turn showed me true Christian love. On Sunday July 27th these young ladies did indeed officially become part of the family of St. Luke.

Looking back on our time together I know now that they were always part of God’s family. They were a true example of Christ to me.

When I reflect on our time together it reminds me of another journey. Such a pure image of when we are ready and willing to go to Jesus and walk with Him through life, He smiles and embraces us and we are friends forever.

And the embrace lasts a very long time. God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. I Corinthians 12:18

Join us on Saturday September 20th when the Special Needs Ministry holds training for our “Parent’s Night Out” program. This will be held at St. Luke Lutheran Church from 9 a.m.-Noon.  A light brunch will be served at 8:30 a.m.

Topics include everything you need to know about working with children who have special needs.

For more information contact: Pam Kamrath @ 734-474-0573 . Please R.S.V.P. to this event. 

Upcoming 2014-2015 PNO dates are: OCT. 3, NOV.7, DEC. 5, JAN. 9, FEB. 6, MARCH 6, APRIL 10, MAY 8, JUNE 5