Joel was about 7 when he first came to our children’s church. Unable to sit still or remain focused, and had frequent and loud outbursts due to his autism. His mom would apologize the moment she brought him in, and told us to come get her if Joel could not calm down. Our hearts broke for both her and Joel, and our team decided that this cycle must end. We prayed over and blessed Joel. We had one adult assigned to be with just him, and still he would not be able to stay the whole service.
UNTIL… one day, Joel asked if he could do the puppets in the introductory fun songs we would do each Sunday. Reluctantly we agreed, with no expectations he would be able to even complete one song. We almost cried as he did all the songs that morning, and we did not have to call his mom from the Sunday morning adult service. What victory, what joy, and what a good God we serve! From them on, it was as if Joel was a different child… if he would get anxious or antsy, we would simply say, “Joel, if you want to do the puppets, you must sit still and listen.” AND HE WOULD! God gave us a way to reach him, so Joel could receive the love of Papa God. Never give up, God will help to find a way.