Sandra Peoples, our new Social Community and Family Support Manager, is introducing herself today so we can learn more about her and her mission. Welcome to the team, Sandra!
Eight years ago when my husband and I graduated from seminary, we had big dreams for our future in ministry. Special-needs ministry wouldn’t have made the list back then, but now we see the special-needs community as our mission field, our ministry focus.
My ministry to the special-needs community officially started in 2011 when I wrote an e-book, Speechless: Finding God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism. The book is about my son’s autism and the spiritual journey his diagnosis took me on. Writing that book was one of the hardest things I’ve done. I wanted to put it behind me and say, “Well, that was therapeutic. Let’s do something fun now.” But around the book grew a tribe. A community who loves and supports each other. Who teaches and encourages. Who rejoices and mourns. My community. My ministry.
After that experience my mission became reaching special-needs families to make sure they know they aren’t alone on this journey.
I live out this mission through the opportunities God has given me, like running a collaborative site for parents like me—Not Alone. I took over a couple years ago for the founder, Mike Woods. Our team of special-needs parents has reached thousands of families, helping them find faith and friendship on the special-needs journey.
This site is now part of the Key Ministry family, and my team is so excited to encourage even more people. You’ll find hundreds of articles on our site on topics like special-needs adoption, autism, grief, Down syndrome, self-care, and more. Here are links to some of our top posts if you want to check us out:
- God Doesn’t Need My Kid to Beat the Odds – Kara Dedert
- When Momma Needs Help – Ellen Stumbo
- I’ll Never Let Go – Jeff Davidson
- Five things to do after someone you love receives a special-needs diagnosis – Gillian Marchenko
- I See You – Shannon Dingle
- Hope for the Continual Cycle of Grief Special-Needs Parents Experience – Sandra Peoples
Making sure special-needs families don’t feel alone isn’t just my online mission, it’s also our family’s mission. After eight years of pastoring in Pennsylvania, we’ve moved to Pearland, Texas, the fastest growing suburb of Houston. Our goal is to plant a new church that welcomes special-needs families from day one. We’re working hard to meet families and build relationships. We would love for you to pray for us!
Even though this isn’t the ministry I thought I would be called to almost a decade ago, I’m so thankful God’s plans prevailed. One passage that guides my ministry is 2 Corinthians 1:3-5:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
I pray God uses my experiences to encourage others. I look forward to serving families and churches in my new role with Key Ministry!
Where you can find Sandra online:
More resources from Sandra: (affiliate links included)
- Held: Learning to Live in God’s Grip (a Bible study for special-needs parents) by Sandra and her husband Lee
- 30 Prayers for Special-Needs Parents from the Not Alone team
- Self-Care for the Special-Needs Mom (a 30-day blog series)
- Special-Needs Parents Appreciation Month (founded by Sandra)
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