HD #2 Connor, Mary and Family

  • Jan. 12, 2016
  • #8792

This family of seven, with two special-needs children would be blessed by notes of encouragement, letters of appreciation or favorite hymns or scriptures.

HD #2 Connor, Mary and Family

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and it’s “Heart for the Disabled” week!

Here at Joni and Friends we are asking you to help make this upcoming Valentine’s Day pretty extraordinary for a special needs family by writing a note of encouragement. And the family I want to tell you about today means a lot at Joni and Friends.

Connor is a pastor of a small church in Texas, and he and his wife, Mary have 5 young children: Kathryn is 11, Coleman is 8, and Elizabeth who is 6 and Hannah who is 3 both have Trisomy 13. Oh, and we mustn’t forget 1-year-old Campbell. Raising 5 kids all under the age of 11 is challenging enough, but when two of those young ones have Trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder that involves severe cognitive problems and physical abnormalities like heart defects, or spinal cord problems, or poorly developed eyes. Trisomy 13 in a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old is a lot to handle! And of course don’t forget the other three children. Just think about it. Connor is a pastor but he is also a special- needs dad who pours himself into his five young children, and especially his two daughters who have such significant disabilities.

Now it would be enough if Connor and Mary simply focused on their church and on the family, but this mom and dad are quite extraordinary because Connor has served as our Camp Pastor at our Texas Family Retreat for the past two years. This means they take their vacation time to come and minister to a bunch of other special-needs families like theirs and that’s amazing. And when Connor and Mary minister to these families, I tell you what – these families listen. They’re blessed  because Connor and Mary know of what they speak! They have credibility with these families; they’ve been there, they understand disability, and they are still in it! Mary and Connor go out of their way to meet with parents one-on-one, hanging out with them, praying with them, making friends and offering practical help and guidance. And that doesn’t stop when Family Retreat is over, oh no. Connor and Mary keep up a regular connection with these special-needs families long after summer is over. They are such a beautiful example of Christ’s love.

But now this family needs someone to encourage them. So would you write them an uplifting note and thank them for their many investments, the investments they are making in others’ lives? Perhaps have your children crayon a picture for their kids? Share a favorite scripture about the sovereignty of God. Or send a poem, or the words to a much-loved hymn. And if you happen to be the parent of a special-needs child like Elizabeth or Hannah, then offer uplifting words from your experience. This family gives, gives, gives and I know they would be blessed to receive. Thank them for the sacrifices they are making at their small church in Texas. Knowing Connor and Mary I'm convinced they will really appreciate your card or note so much. 

Just send your card to Connor and Mary (and if you want to jot something to the children, remember it’s Kathryn, Coleman, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Campbell, all under the age of 11 with two of them having severe disabilities). Mail it to Joni and Friends at P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills, California 91376. And send it soon so that your card or note will arrive in time for Valentine's Day. If you miss any details, well you can always get their names and our address on my radio page at joniandfriends.org. And finally, thank you so much for having a “Heart for the Disabled.”

© Joni and Friends


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