Meet the Moores, Atchleys, Phillips, and Szakos, families whose journeys have been touched by the Embrace Special Needs Ministry at the Church at Nolensville. These families share a common bond – the extraordinary joy and complexity that comes with raising children with unique needs. Through their experiences, we uncover a tapestry of transformation, where a ministry dedicated to inclusivity and acceptance has not only enriched the lives of their children but also become a cornerstone of their own faith journeys. These stories are a testament to the power of community, the strength of love, and the unwavering belief that every individual, regardless of ability, is fearfully and wonderfully made by a gracious and loving Creator.
The Moore Family’s Journey
Scott and Sara Moore’s gratitude for Embrace Special Needs Ministry is boundless. With three teenage boys, including twins Carter and Grant, born prematurely, their journey began in the NICU. Carter’s early life was marked by uncontrolled seizures, leading to delayed development and loss of expressive language. Eventually diagnosed with autism and epilepsy, Carter’s church experience transformed through Embrace. Now, he joyfully worships with his family and cherishes the one-on-one time with his buddy, forming lasting friendships.
The Atchley Family’s Testimony
Cam and Beth Atchley’s son, Luke, faced a significant turning point after a bout of viral encephalitis. Although the seizures were controlled, Luke’s struggle with impulse control, cognitive processing, and speech remained. Finding a church community that catered to their unique needs seemed like an insurmountable task. However, their search led them to the special needs ministry at the Nolensville Church, offering them a spiritual home and providing a place where Luke feels loved and understood.
The Phillips Family’s Adoption Journey
For Kevin and Brandie Phillips, adopting Caston from China introduced them to a world of unknown challenges and fears. Caston’s rare genetic syndrome brought speech and fine motor delays, adding to the complexity of their family dynamic. The Embrace ministry at the Church at Nolensville became a beacon of hope. Caston now thrives, finding acceptance, love, and safety within the church community.
The Szakos Family’s Belonging
Mike and Erin Szakos, parents of Tanner and Wayfair, found solace and acceptance in the Church at Nolensville. Raising children with Down Syndrome can be isolating, but the special needs ministry at their church was a game-changer. Unlike past experiences, their children are not just tolerated but fully embraced. The church community’s genuine love and acceptance have transformed their church-going experience from a chore to a joyful anticipation each week.
In each of these families’ experiences, Embrace Special Needs Ministry at the Church at Nolensville has been a lifeline. It’s a testament to the power of inclusive communities, where all members, regardless of abilities or challenges, find a place to belong, be loved, and grow in their faith. Embrace is more than a ministry; it’s a testament to the belief that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by God, deserving of a personal relationship with Jesus.