A messy, beautiful ministry

Simon and Marianne's story

Jesus ministered in chaos. People were shouting for Him to take their side in family feuds, washing His feet with their hair, and shouting inappropriate blessings.

Not unlike an average Sunday morning with our adopted children.

Before Children (BC), church was safe. That changed when they arrived. Only one and two years old at placement, but already full of fear, anxiety and stress. People did not understand. The well-meaning but mistaken words “They are too young to remember anything” and “All they need is love” made us weary of trying to explain the challenges children who’ve been in care face in establishing true attachment.

We decided that we would attend a very large church, and go as and when we could. We wanted to be inconspicuous, and did not want to commit. We were in retreat. 

God had other plans! Through a friend of a friend a new church found us. We were brought back into a church family. Our leaders committed to knowing us. They met with us regularly to ask how they could minister to us all. As our son David matures, his special needs have become evident, and he requires support to just attend Sunday school. His behaviour can be aggressive, “hyper” and impulsive, and an adult is needed to regulate him. He has thrown drinks at the worship band, smashed windows and shouted obscenities.

But in this post-children phase of our life we call AD (After David), our church has been great. Once they sent the entire leadership around to pray and encourage us hours after we texted despair to them. Once they took our son off our hands for the day when he smashed the French window in. We have a pastor who says, “The day the church does not lovingly accept your children is the day I leave this church.”

Ministry is messy. The early church worked within disorder and noise. Churches should be that way! Your church may not like the din, the breakages, the language. But when initial reactions turn into responses, you can trust your church to embrace your child.

Excerpted from the book Home for Good by Krish Kandiah with Miriam Kandiah. Used by permission of the author. To purchase this book (which we highly recommend) click here.