Wednesday, June 19, 2013

James & Jill's Glory Story

A member of our Board of Directors shared this family's story with me a few weeks ago and I've been so encouraged by it — for a couple of reasons.  A little boy named Micah has been surrounded by a remarkable community of loving and supportive family and friends.  Yet Micah's story should not be remarkable.  God delights in using sacrificial love and the outreach of His people because He uses intersections of love to reveal His power and presence (1 John 4:8) and He delights in surprising us with unexpected gifts (Luke 11:12-14, Ephesians 3:20-21).  

James and Jill (Micah's parents) are humble, enthusiastic Christ followers who are trying to help each of their children reach their full potential developmentally as well as in character and Truth.  That SO inspires me!  While the specific circumstances and challenges of our own lives may be very different from what Micah's family lives every day, each of us has opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing when we allow our lives to intersect with other's.  Sometimes that means reaching out to help someone in very simple (seemingly insignificant) ways and sometimes it means doing big things.  Perhaps most difficult of all — yet, oh so important — is being willing to ASK for that help.  

Asking for help can be the open door God uses to spill out blessing in astounding ways around you today!

Thank you to James and Jill Olson of Crosslake, Minnesota for allowing us to share their story and the photo (below) of beautiful Micah. By sharing this family's story, Walk Right In Ministries does not intend to endorse a particular program but does encourage families to seek the Lord and prayerfully explore their options when identifying resources through challenges.
To Our Amazing Family and Friends,  
It has been almost three weeks now, since our trip to The Autism Treatment Center of America for their Son-Rise Program® training in Sheffield, Massachusetts. We cannot express our thanks enough for all the financial support and loving prayers that made this trip a reality! We were so greatly touched by the outpour of love and support. People have been so genuine and sincere with wanting to help and learn more about Micah and how autism affects our family. Please know that our lives, our hearts, our beliefs were touched in a way that we never even knew to expect. God is good, and you are all beautiful angels to our family!  
We stayed on the Sheffield campus for a five day training to learn the Son-Rise Program®. We were there with 81 other individuals, from 13 different countries, seeking a new way to help a loved one with autism. We were all united by our determination and love for our child with our hopes to help them break through autism. It was an uplifting week that inspired hope and courage in us to always press forward, to know that our child’s potential is limitless, to never lose hope, and to always choose happiness today! 
We learned new approaches and techniques to help Micah and our entire family through challenging moments and how to build on already wonderful, positive moments. One of the key parts of Son-Rise is to have the 3 E’s: energy, excitement, and enthusiasm! When we first came home, you could tell the boys noticed a change within James and me. We celebrate (somewhat over the top) each positive moment, such as good eye contact and having flexibility. Micah heard “thanks for looking at me” with such excitement in the first few days, that he started telling us the same thing and eventually asked us to stop telling him that! We also learned new approaches for the control battles that usually led to great frustration and meltdowns for Micah. 
Micah challenged and escalated the situations quite a bit in the first few days, but started to realize that something has changed and thankfully, he is responding amazingly! I have done many happy, victory dances in this house just in the past few weeks!  
We know we have quite the road ahead of us, but we are so encouraged by the renewed spirits we came back with, the hopeful outlook for the future, and Micah’s responsiveness to the program. We will be implementing the program more over the next few weeks. We are setting up a room to be the Son-Rise playroom where we will work one-on-one with Micah to achieve specific goals for his social development (eye contact, communication, interactive attention span, and flexibility).  
We will continue to support Micah’s body with various supplements. We will continue with his HANDLE (reflex integration) and craniosacral therapies and his specialized diet. Above all, we will continue to love and nurture this beautiful, precious boy that God Almighty blessed our lives with. We will take delight in who he is today and give thanks for the creative, thoughtful, and exuberant boy that fills our days with joy and love!  
We thank you again for your loving support! May “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace”. (Numbers 6:24-26)


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