Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Within our efforts to serve, we talk of direct support professionals (DSPs) as the “heart of Mosaic.” As the people who provide direct care in the lives of the people we support, they bring our mission of service and advocacy to life. 

Day after day, they are consistent companions with those living with disabilities. They serve many needs. They listen, offer friendship, nurture community, instruct and guide. They often help with a person’s most intimate necessities. They give of themselves so that others might have a better, fuller life. 

And yet, too often our society fails to hold their work with the high honor it deserves. They are not given large salaries or often recognized for the important role they play. Rarely do they hear words of praise for the difference they make. Far too often, they are simply taken for granted. 

At every Rejoicing Spirits worship service, we encourage a moment of gratitude to express our appreciation to those providing direct care. Be they staff or family members, we want them to know how valued they are. It may be simply lifting them up in the prayers of the people, a chance for the person with a disability to put their hand on the caregiver’s shoulder during a prayer, or a good round of applause. They are important, and we thank God for the care they give. 

One of the unplanned benefits of Rejoicing Spirits is that often these care providers discover a faith home. Many are un-churched or mis-churched, and they work several jobs to make ends meet. They have not had time nor opportunity to explore their spiritual needs. When they come to Rejoicing Spirits with the person they care for, they experience Christian community, a place of nurture for their journey of living. 

They connect with God and with others in vital ways. 

For many direct care providers, the fellowship time following worship becomes a great opportunity to talk with others. Organic support groups have formed. Vibrant relationships are cultivated. One pastor shared that he had not realized how deeply he had become the “pastor” to the caregivers until he returned from a lengthy sabbatical and they lined up to share what had transpired in their lives while he was gone. He rejoiced in the power of community and being the Church together. 

God is good, and God uses our efforts to serve in ways that we do not always plan nor recognize. 

Please be encouraged as you continue to offer Rejoicing Spirits. The benefits our God grows are powerful! 

Rejoicing with you! 

Pastor David deFreese