Hannah Snoots was already reeling under the burden of constant care for her special needs daughters. Then her husband divorced her.
Thankfully, there was a church that helped: Calvary Community Church in Westlake, California.
“A lot of healing took place for me in those years knowing that I could drop my kids off and not worry about it,” Hannah told God Reports. “My children were not just tolerated; they were celebrated. People don’t mean to stare, but they do. At Calvary, we were loved and accepted the way we were.”
Hannah belongs to two skyrocketing statistics:
An estimated one in four families have someone with a disability.
Divorce among parents with at least one special needs child is as high as 86% due to stress.
Even though the number of special needs kids being born is increasing every decade, most churches are doing little to attend to them. One in four families has a relational connection to a special needs person, says Gina Spivey, coordinator at Calvary Community Church.
The church that doesn’t make a concerted effort to reach out to them is excluding 25% of the population from hearing the Gospel, a staggering statistic that she and others have called the “most unchurched group” because ministries most often barely tolerate people that might act up spontaneously and disrupt service.
After five years of her kids and her getting loving ministry at Calvary, Hannah is now coordinator of activities. The church has separate facilities to minister to special needs kids, while Mom and Dad are in the service. They have a summer camp where they mix “typical neuro” kids with atypical neuro youngsters. They have dreams to build a facility to house and care for kids after their parents pass on.
“That’s my greatest nightmare,” Hannah says, referring to the worry of what will happen to her kids when she passes and is no longer able to care for them.
Hannah was born in Michigan in a God-loving family whose Mom led worship, so it was natural for her to fall into worship ministry after growing up singing with Mom. She integrated a professional worship group that toured the country. While performing in Atlanta, she met the man who was to become her husband, and they moved to Los Angeles in 2015.
Hannah sensed something was “off” about her firstborn, but her second born confirmed that there was a problem. Emma spent the first weeks in the NICU. After studies were conducted, it was discovered that her 22nd chromosome had a “deletion edition,” which means… read the rest: church which serves kids with special needs