A kaleidoscope is probably one of the most fascinating toys you may own as a child. Seemingly pretty simple upon first glance (and lacking in the fun factor), as you lift it up to your eye you are surprised by what you see. Dazzling colors that cause your eyes to zigzag back and forth transporting you into a world full of beauty, joy, and child-like wonder.
The same can be said for the Kaleidoscope Program at Trinity Baptist Church. Kaleidoscope is our ministry for special needs children and their families that promote beauty, joy, and cater to child-like wonder. The program is committed to loving our special needs children and their families; teaching the word of God through pictures, stories, songs, and crafts; including our children in the E-Theatre as much as possible; and providing a safe and happy environment for our children to thrive. The program is only available at our Hammond Campus during the 10:45am service and is directed by Susanna Zekas.
Recently we were able to sit down with the parents of Savannah, one of our Kaleidoscope Kids. Here’s their story:
“We started bringing Savannah to Kaleidoscope special needs class when she was three years old. Like many children with special needs such as autism, we knew it would be difficult for her to be supported in the typical children’s environment at church. Without a ministry such as Kaleidoscope, we would have been unable to attend church or one [of us] would have to care for Savannah while the other came to church.
Savannah represents a true fulfillment of Kaleidoscope’s two-fold mission to (1) love and care for children while their families attend worship and (2) help the children engage in TrinityKids to the extent that they are able to do so. Savannah, strong in her own right, has conquered many challenges over the past eight years and has blossomed into a smart, beautiful preteen. She needs almost no support in E-Theatre (children’s church), loves to do the motions during worship, and even participates in games!
Up until a couple years ago, Savannah (an only child) did not tolerate the large group well and remained in the classroom for all or most of her time at church. Now we are so excited that she eagerly attends E-Theatre, joins in the singing, and listens attentively. In small group time, Savannah enjoys crafts, painting, coloring, and watching her favorite DVD of old-school Sunday School songs (Father Abraham, anyone?). Some of her favorites are Frozen, the color blue, and “Mackeydonalds” (McDonald’s) – a reward she receives when she is good at church, which is every week these days! Overall, we truly enjoy being a blessing and encouragement to our other families who have children with special needs, simply by sharing our story and offering a kind word and smile. We enjoy volunteering in the Kaleidoscope classroom once a month and are so thankful that this family calls Trinity their church home.”
Interested in learning more about the Kaleidoscope Program or how you can get involved like Savanah’s parents to pour into our sweet children? We would love to have more volunteers to be able to help more families! Please visit https://tbc.org/kaleidoscope/ or reach out directly to the director, Susanna, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.