Many years later, I had forgotten all about Shepherds, until my husband received some information in the mail about them through the church he pastored. I took a much greater interest in them at that time, due to our daughter's autism. I learned that Shepherds provides compassionate Christian care and training to adults with intellectual disabilities. My husband and I have been on their mailing list ever since, and have followed along as they have expanded their ministry to now have a small accredited college.
A couple of weeks ago, our current church, and our family, was blessed by a visit from the "Gospel Team" of Shepherd's Ministries. It was truly an inspiration to meet Al Pick and his buddy Saul. During the morning service, Saul stood up in front of the congregation and gave his testimony of how he came to know the Lord. He then recited verses to share the Gospel, and also sang an old Gaither song, "Something Beautiful," in acapella.
It was easy to see how he enjoyed being in front of people and telling others about Jesus. In fact, out of his 15 hobbies, he said his first and most favorite hobby is telling others about the Lord. It was truly a blessing to meet him and Al. People with intellectual disabilities tend to have such a wonderful example of childlike faith, and are great encouragers. And, if you make a friend of one, you have most likely made a friend for life.
Please, if you ever get the chance to head up to Union Grove, Wisconsin, I know Shepherds would be thrilled to have you stop by and see how God is working there. Al mentioned they have housing available for volunteers, if anyone is willing to come for a day or two, or even more. There are all sorts of ways to minister at Shepherds, including special music, teaching, being a spiritual mentor, maintenance and construction, prepare and lead a 30-minute chapel program, tutoring, and helping out around campus in various other ways. Of course, they are always looking for financial support as well, penpals for the residents, and so on. Give them a call and see how you might be able to make "something beautiful" happen in the lives of these special people.