What a difference a year makes.
We’ve heard that phrase countless times, but it’s become a powerful message of hope at Pathway Church as our Unlimited ministry celebrates its first anniversary. And it’s been a year of significant growth.
When Pathway unveiled its special needs ministry in November of 2017, there was one child in class that Sunday morning. And a month later, when Unlimited conducted its first respite night for families, there were five children present.
Fast-forward to the fall of 2018 and Unlimited consistently sees eight children each Sunday morning, and 12 kids with special needs at each respite event. And when you add in siblings, there are often nearly 30 children playing video games, bouncing on inflatables or enjoying the other respite activities. Pathway also draws quite a crowd during special Playland hours for children with special needs.
“Word of mouth has been wonderful,” said Unlimited Director Jenna Hannum. “As parents have good experiences with our church, they share it with other parents. We’ve started to gain the trust of the community.”
And, Jenna added, volunteers are crucial for those good experiences. She now counts more than 50 overall who serve on Sunday mornings or during the respite nights.
“Our main mission is to communicate the love of Jesus Christ to kids with special needs,” she explained. “And we want to support their family members so they can be active in our church. Please continue to pray for a significant impact on our community.”
Jenna envisions continued growth in the ministry, especially in light of the one question families are consistently asking these days:
“So, what else does Pathway offer on Sundays?”
“As families get more comfortable with Unlimited, they’re becoming more interested in our church,” she noted. “Many of our parents who come to respite nights had not gone to our church in the past. That’s very encouraging.”
Happy birthday, Unlimited.
It’s been a blessing to watch you grow.
And we see no signs of that stopping.