I hope you can hear my heart Seth…we are all handicap and broken, and worse in some ways because we often “look” and “seem” normal. We spend so many hours making each other handicap or malformed because of enabling anything other than total obedience and discipled relationship to Father God and Jesus Christ. We excuse each other’s handicaps, attitudes, or sin because of someone did us wrong or something happened that hurt us. Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus didn’t say to Peter “…I know you battle rejection, you are impulsive, and don’t always think right…” He just said as you quoted “feed my sheep.” Thanks for not letting Leah be less-than, but recognizing even in her handicap(like my own) – she is more than a conqueror through him who loves her. Love you guys!
I’m so proud of our 16 year old daughter, Leah. All her life she’s had to struggle. She was born with “issues” – ears, chromosomes, & speech. It all makes the world an unfriendly place.
Children in America are coddled as it is – it would have been easy to default to an over-protective mode. Certainly your reflex as a parent is to stand between the pain that a cruel world has to offer and your child. But we aren’t the coddling types. Our whole ministry is based around the principle of throwing people in the deep end.
So Leah has been going on mission trips all her life. The past 2 summers, she has served on AIM’s work crew in Mexico for a month. The work crew leader, Anne Mulligan is amazing, so it’s not as though we’re being irresponsible. But at the same time, we’re not going to deprive our daughter of the opportunity to learn to serve by making excuses for her.
Tomorrow I fly to Mexico to pick Leah up. She’s been serving others for a month solid. She’s learned lessons that so many others have not had the privilege to learn. I don’t know if I’ll ever understand the pain Leah has to bear, but we as parents are not going to further handicap her by telling her that her pain is different than anyone else’s.
I have meet your wonderful amazing daughter Leah just a few weeks ago while in Matamoris, MX on a mission trip. We had been serving lunch to a church during the afternoon and when we where done, we were just hanging outside the church waiting to be picked up and I sat down beside her because she was looking so hot and tired that I decided to visit with her and try to cheer her up. We had an amazing visit that day then as GOD works we kept running into each other at various times during the week where we visited even more!!! She is an angel and I felt as though we conected and made a lasting impact on each others lives!!! GOD has made such plans for Leah and will use her to minister to others in so many ways I can feel all you need to do is to visit with her and you will see for yourself!!!!! The verse Jer:29 verses 11&12 kep coming to my mind when I think of Leah!! So thank you Mr.&Mrs. Barnes for listening to GOD and allowing him to have Leah in Mexico so I could meet her and learn to love her as a dear friend!!!!
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