by Kathleen Andres, longtime volunteer & monthly donor
Barren Heights is one of the most amazing ministries to support and an incredible family mission trip opportunity!
Our family has had the privilege of being involved with Barren Heights since its inception about 18 years ago. We are in a small group Bible study with founders Joe and Toni Rose, and we decided to serve because we had seen how God had orchestrated all kinds of unlikely circumstances to turn Barren Heights from lofty ideas to reality in a very short time frame. It was clear from the beginning that it was going to be a special place to love and encourage special families. And we were looking for an opportunity for us to serve WITH our children who ranged in age from 4 to 13.
Every year since our first retreat, our family has LOVED encouraging, serving, and playing with the guest families—the parents, the siblings, and of course the special needs children—while participating in sports and outdoor activities, games, arts and crafts, and more. There are so many amazing memories and God stories, it’s hard to narrow it down to one favorite memory!
Truly, the best thing about Barren Heights is that every member of every family will undoubtedly experience God at work in the hearts of parents and children—guest families and host families alike. In our opinion, it is one of the best ways for a family to take a “short-term mission trip” to be the hands and feet of Jesus. And don’t worry if you don’t have experience with special needs children!
All of this is why we also support Barren Heights financially—it needs funding to continue to bless special needs families. And I love that the staff, board, and volunteers are continually seeking God’s direction, thinking outside the box, and pursuing new and better ways of reaching and serving these families, rather than getting stuck in a rut of doing the exact same thing year after year.
I know it’s hard to commit a weekend and to decide which wonderful nonprofit organizations you will support each year, but I promise you will not regret giving a donation to this organization nor giving up a weekend to do serve at a retreat! 😄💕
We are incredibly grateful for people like Kathleen who have supported Barren Heights through the years in both serving and giving. If you would like to come alongside Barren Heights to support our mission of loving and encouraging families of children with special needs, please consider giving to our Spring Campaign to help us reach our $17,000 goal and signing up to volunteer as a family at a summer retreat this season.