Each Wednesday, during most months of the year, there is a group of special needs young adults, led by Ben French, son of Ron and Mimi, playing basketball on the court on the lower level near the north parking lot. I always enjoy visiting with them and almost with fail, one of them will express gratitude for being able to use the basketball court. I remind them they are always welcome and how good it is to see them use it!
This last Wednesday, as I came out of the church about 6:30pm, on my way to Wesley Medical Center to make a hospital call. As is typical, we greeted each other and I noticed that a few of them were putting a new net on the basketball hoop. I asked them if they were having problems with the net, and they said, ‘No, we went to Target and bought a new net, because the old one was worn out.” They were taking great pride in making sure the net was put on the hoop properly. One of them said, “The church lets us use this basketball hoop so we thought we would do our part and buy you a net.” They were participating in extravagant generosity. It brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think I live with the depth of gratitude I experienced from these young adults.
I noticed Ben was not there, so I asked Dallas where Ben was. He said, “He is on his way.” I noticed that Ben was standing on the stairwell overlooking the basketball court. I said, “Dallas, how come you are not down below playing basketball.” He said, “It has been a really long day and I just need to relax a bit. I will go down and play in a while, but right now, I just want to relax.” For those of us who suffer from hurry sickness, Dallas is our teacher. It was a “Kingdom of God” moment for me to witness a follower of Jesus who was aware of his limitations and his need to relax. He did so in the presence of God and his friends.
Ben French has started not-for-profit ministry called “Shepherd’s Way.” I would encourage you to watch these videos if you want to know more about Ben’s ministry.
short version: vimeo.com/275941659
full version: https://youtu.be/fM_mtjby15M
Shepard’s Way website: www.shepherds-way.org
As you can see, Ben’s vision is to have two houses where two mentors and two individuals live together in Christian community.
If you are able to help, please send an email or call Ben French.