Episode 584

Georgia churches focus on special needs ministry; California university helps Deaf students learn to code, Caring for missionaries

Apr 10, 2024

Georgia church cares for people with special needs; CBU helps Deaf students learn to code and develop engineering skills; How to care for missionaries your church sends to the field 


The Church on Main in Snellville, Ga., will not soon forget Hannah’s baptism. A 15-year-old with cerebral palsy, Hannah was nonverbal and communicated through a device that tracked her eye movements and generated speech for her. Through that device, she told her mother she had committed her life to Christ and wanted to be baptized.
The baptism was tricky. Because Hannah is unable to close off her airways, she could not be submerged in the church’s normal baptistry. So she was placed in a portable baptistry, where the pastor, the executive pastor and two other staff members could handle her with care and brush water over her head rather than holding it under the water.
Hannah is one of more than 50 people with special needs to attend the Church on Main weekly. The special needs ministry, now more than 30 years old, includes Bible studies and activities for children, teenagers and adults with a variety of special needs. The Atlanta-area church (formerly First Baptist, Snellville) is committed to reaching and discipling people with special needs. They hope more congregations will join them in that endeavor.

In a first-of-its-kind high school computer coding camp for Deaf students, California Baptist University (CBU) partnered with California School for the Deaf, Riverside, (CSDR) to give 10 Deaf high schoolers the coding knowledge to develop their own video game and to demonstrate that pursuing a degree in engineering is a career choice that can be rewarding on multiple levels.
Students sat in awe as Ben Sanders taught coding fundamentals and wrote lines of code on the whiteboard for students to copy. CBU hired American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and had ASL student volunteers help interpret throughout the two-day camp. By the end, students showed off their new coding skills by demonstrating their video game with a storyline similar to Pac-Man. In their version, a green snake gobbled up red dots to grow bigger and stronger.
With only 22 percent of Deaf people in the United States having completed a bachelor’s degree compared to 37.7 percent of hearing people, camps like the one hosted at CBU provide an important opportunity for Deaf high school students to be inspired to continue learning at the university level.


Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.


“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God,” said missionary Corrie Ten Boom.
In 2 Chronicles 20, we meet the Israeli King Jehoshaphat who honestly admitted, “we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (v. 12). Kie Bowman writes, “His transparency led to transformation as God stepped into his passionate prayer at the crossroads and turned an impossible situation into a miraculous intervention. In what can only be described as a direct answer to prayer, a Spirit-filled prophet in the prayer meeting stepped forward to remind the anxious king and the worried people that their greatest asset wasn’t their army but their God.”





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