Individuals with Down syndrome among largely unreached people

By October 27, 2009

USA (MNN) — As October concludes, so does Down syndrome
awareness month.

In the U.S., thousands of individuals often go without hearing
the Gospel, and it is not because they do not have access to a church. Instead,
it is because Christians do not know how to share with them.

These people are individuals living with Down syndrome.

"We definitely see this population as one the largest
unreached people groups in the U.S., there being so many people with Down
syndrome and so many families touched–400,000 individuals and
families," said Paul Von Tobel, Spiritual Life Director at Shepherds Ministries.

Many do not share Christ with individuals with Down
syndrome because of the common misconception that they will not be able to understand.
However, Von Tobel said, aside from the most severe cases, most can acknowledge
Christ's sacrifice and accept Him as their Savior.

"There's a lot of confusion about how to
share the Gospel with this population, how to really make the Gospel presentation
simple enough and clear enough that it'll makes sense to them and lead them to the Lord. We want to help the church with sharing the Gospel
with these folks," said Von Tobel.

One way Shepherds encourage Christians to do this is to "support these
individuals to reach their full potential," Von Tobel said, speaking of those
with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Currently, Shepherds is developing a LifeCoach program to
do just that. Through this program, individuals with disabilities will be
paired with an individual who wants to help and become more aware of Down
syndrome. This individual becomes a spiritual mentor for the person with Down, helping them draw closer to Christ and  deepen their faith.

To learn more about LifeCoach and how to get involved,
click here.

You can also visit to learn more
about their ministries and find out how you can become involved.

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