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"Special Needs" has Brought Special Delight!

Posted by Randy Youngblood, Lead Pastor on


I want to take this occasion to introduce to you my very special niece!

Kiersten has been a very special part of our family for nineteen years!  As I write this, I am in Albuquerque to celebrate her high school graduation!

It’s been a joy to know Kiersten from the day of her birth and watch her grow into a beautiful young woman and to witness Kim’s sister and brother-in-law so skillfully parent their incredible daughter!  Our family has been made special because of this unique person!

She leads a very active life! Early on, she became a wiz at Wii bowling and golf ...but now she does the real thing! In high school, she was part of the cheerleading team! It’s been fun to witness her many accomplishments! Her abilities to read, write, spell and do math have been impressive! Of course, her life has challenges, but to watch her even learn to manage her diabetes (type I) has been something to marvel at!

When the family gathered for lunch prior to her graduation Tuesday evening, we put her on a chair in the middle of the room and prayed over her. We prayed for God’s protection over her innocence in an evil world but more than that, we thanked God for the way He knit her together in her mother’s womb! We rejoiced in the many blessings we as a family have received! Then her dad prayed, “Father, we live in a world where many would call her flawed, but I think it is we who are flawed for she is perhaps the most accurate reflection of Your glory we know!”

If you know anyone who conceives a downs child, while you can agree that it will be more work, you can assure them that they will experience more of God than they could have ever imagined!


I just completed my third year of mentoring with Kids’ Hope. Each year has been critical and priceless!  Yes, one hour each week is a difficult commitment to make but it has been very rewarding and God has given me a great return on the investment of my time!

Do you think you might like to be involved next year? Pray about it and let me know!


While it has been very frustrating for me to deal with my lingering (and painful!) hip problem, I am so grateful for how the church we have has made me “expendable!” Let me explain. In the early days of the church, I felt like I had to personally connect with every guest if there was any hope of them returning. Then came the fear of being judged as “unfriendly” if I didn’t interact in a certain way (and those people wouldn’t return either).  Click here to refer to last week's blog for more info.

It has been very hard to not go out and interact with people under the canopy between gatherings!  The first week, when I was in the middle of fighting bronchitis, I saw someone who hadn’t been to Thunder Mountain for years!  How exciting . . . but I couldn’t go over and express my excitement!

In the past, I would worry that people wouldn’t return BUT NOW IT’S DIFFERENT! I not only trust you to reach out and touch lives of these people, BUT I AM CONFIDENT THAT YOU ARE!

THANK YOU, CHURCH, for the ways you genuinely care for each other and for those whom God, by calling people to himself IS ENTRUSTING US WITH THEIR CARE!  

I am grateful that you have been up for the task!  Especially, when I feel so weak!


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