I’ve certainly struggled with maintaining an appropriate sense of balance between work, family and spiritual priorities…a struggle I share with many busy parents in our culture. For someone as accomplished as Chuck…prolific author and teacher, senior pastor, former seminary president…I would have expected some balls to have dropped somewhere with all the roles he and his wife, Cynthia have had to juggle.
We had the opportunity to meet Chuck, his wife, his daughter (Colleen) and four of their grandchildren…Ashley, Austin, Cody and Jonathan. When you have the opportunity to meet them through their presentations for Inclusion Fusion, you’ll see that Cynthia and Chuck have very faithfully pursued their role as spiritual leaders in their family…their influence is obvious.
You’ll meet Colleen (Chuck’s daughter) through interviews she did with Katie Wetherbee, both with and without her father. Colleen Swindoll-Thompson serves as the director of Special Needs/Disability Ministry at Insight for Living. She is a graduate of Trinity University with a degree in communication and a double-minor in psychology and education; she continues to pursue a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Colleen is the mother of three children; each child has their own set of challenges. Colleen’s third child, Jonathan is now 14 years old has been diagnosed with autism. Jonathan experiences intellectual, speech, language, motor impairments and anxiety associated with his autism spectrum disorder. Jonathan has also been diagnosed with Tourette’s Disorder, traumatic brain injury, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Through God’s unconditional faithfulness to Colleen, her story offers hope and comfort, grace and guidance to those enduring painful life challenges.
Colleen will be sharing on the topic… Challenges: What’s Your Perspective?
Parents may easy believe life is difficult because of caregiving or disability related issues. Colleen plans to discuss how God, in His perfect character uses disabilities and challenges for specific purposes.
Colleen asked her adult children to speak on the challenges siblings experience when a brother or sister experiences a disability. Siblings are often forgotten, judged, misunderstood, and suffer many challenges. Colleen’s children (ages 20, 19, and 18) share their experiences-to awaken and encourage us all to be attentive to their needs. Their presentation, Does Anyone See Me? Attending to the Silent Sufferers (an interview facilitated by Katie) is a remarkable resource for families and churches everywhere.
Colleen and her husband, Toban, live in Frisco, Texas with their 5 children (blended) and their 3 dogs.
Colleen, Ashley, Austin and Cody will be joining more than twenty-five leaders in children’s ministry and disability ministry on November 3rd-5th for a FREE Special Needs Ministry Web Summit to connect church staff, volunteers, family members and caregivers everywhere. That’s Inclusion Fusion, featuring Keynote Speaker Chuck Swindoll. Register here for the Summit!