USA (MNN) — People groups typically have a common language and culture. Shepherds Ministries President Dr. Bill Amstutz says, "In a very special sense, people with developmental disabilities will qualify as a special group."
Since its inception, Shepherds Ministries has been a mission agency designed to reach this segment of society. "This people group represents two to three percent of the world's population, says Dr. Amstutz. "That could be as much as 150 to 200 million people with disabilities worldwide, which is a tremendous unreached people group."
Amstutz shares the story of disabled woman who came to their group home from the East Coast. "The sister actually wanted the spiritual component that Shepherds had to offer. And so, she's developed friendships, she has peers here, she has devotional time,and church messages that are designed on her level and for her — designed with her in mind and the others that have developmental disabilities here on campus."
The Bible says God's Word doesn't return void. Amstutz received an e-mail from one of their workers saying this woman has come to Christ. She came home from work, told the group home worker that she wanted to ask Christ into her heart, and now she's being discipled.
Amstutz says they've just hired a director of spiritual life to help take these believers to a new level. "They have gifts as well, and they need to use them. They are such a compassionate people. They love to visit the nursing homes. They love to visit the hospital. They are some of the sharpest and most diligent in witness that I have ever met."
However, 200 million people is too much for one organization to handle. Amstutz says, "We believe that the way that we can multiply ourselves the best is to team up with local churches and raise up ministries all over the country."
Not only can they reach people with developmental disabilities, but also reach out to their families.