Disabled youth are turning to Christ.

By November 12, 2003

USA (MNN) — It’s a group of people that seem to be ignored. It’s a group that struggles to find meaning to life. But, it’s also a group that finding what they need through Jesus Christ.

Young Life is reaching out to young people with physical and mental disabilities around the world. It’s a program called “Capernium Ministries” and it’s run by Nick Palermo. Palermo says Young Life is one of just a few organizations doing this work. But, the question is, are these young people responding?

“They’re incredibly responsive. Since we’ve been here probably 70 percent of our kids or 80-percent of our kids give their lives to Christ. They’re the poor in spirit that are saying that we want to receive. They’re so vacant in terms of having social opportunities. So, when we do a Young Life Club that is their one social outing in their week all year long.”

Palermo says “Capernium Ministries” is working in 32 cities. He says they have one main prayer. “Our goal is to reach every disabled kid in the world. So, one of the great prayers is that God will just tap the shoulders of people around the world to hear the cries of disabled kids and say, ‘I’m there. I want to be a part of this. I want to reach out.’

However, it’s difficult work. Palermo says, “It’s an isolated ministry. Most of our staff doesn’t see five or six other people doing what they do. It’s lonely. Joni Erikson Tada says, ‘Special needs ministry is Christianity with your sleeves rolled up.’ So, pray for their strength and encouragement.”

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