Friday, June 19, 2009
Teenage Toddler: Brook Greenberg
Brook Greenberg is not your average teenager. She has the body of a toddler, but she is sixteen years old. While Brook has become a medical focal point as many doctors believe she may hold the fountain of youth in her genetic make-up, her life is limited. In the words of her parents, "Brook will never drive a car, she will never play softball, she will never get married." But with the mind of a 9 month old, she has become the cornerstone of her family's lives. To read more about Brook, click here. This story causes me to ask a question that comes up at some point in a person's career in youth ministry: How do we effectively minister to students with disabilities?
In my first year in youth ministry, I was a freshman in college with a one-dimentional mindset when it came to how youth ministry was done. I will never forget a time when I became so frustrated with a student who has severe ADHD that I went complaining to one of my fellow leaders. I asked her, "What am I supposed to do? I don't know how to get through to this kid." Her answer: Love him. Love him until you cannot love him anymore.
After applying this practice and lesson more than once before, I believe that we must start from a place of love when ministering to students who are difficult for us to love.