We are excited about our new, local storytelling strategy - Spirit Stories.
Here is our second story of how and where the Holy Spirit is moving and dancing in our synod. Hopefully these stories will inspire you in your setting - to wonder, to imagine, to experiment ... AND we would like to hear YOUR stories of what God is up to in your neck of the woods. We will be sharing these via email, social media, and post them on our synod website at www.lutheransnw.org/spirit-stories .
All You Need is Love
By the Rev. Wern Chew " Wendy" Cheung
Mission Developer-Pastor at Grace Chinese of Sammamish Hills

"All you need is Love.” These five words capture the heart of the Love Me Ministry at Grace Chinese Lutheran Church of Sammamish Hills. The goal of this ministry is to support families with special needs children through art and fun. We hope to stimulate these children’s creativity as well as provide a safe environment for parents to share their struggles with one another and find healing in God’s words and promise. It is a community that strives to mimic Jesus’s teaching of loving one another, regardless of who you are.

It all started in 2012, when one of our church families discovered that their only child was diagnosed with autism. The family was devastated. We prayed for them, with them, and stood beside them to find resources and organizations that might help them in their journey.

A lot of effort was put into finding these resources - but we were frustrated as it was challenging work. One early morning, after I completed my daily devotion, the Holy Spirit reminded me that we don’t need anything but love. I shared this inspiration with our prayer group and together, we felt the deep calling to one day organize a support and fellowship group named “Love Me.” We want to care for not just the special needs children but their parents as well. They all need to feel loved and supported through their every hurdle, disappointment and rejection.

A seed was planted that day - and after years of prayer and preparation, we connected with Jingde, an art teacher in our congregation, who shared our vision. For many years, she also had prayed for the opportunity to serve special needs children through art and love.

With the recruitment of of two additional partners, Imei and Pricilla, the Love Ministry was officially born in September of 2017. Then on December 16, 2017 we hosted our first art workshop. On May 24, 2018 we held our first art show with pieces created entirely by our kids with special needs. With each passing year, we see more and more need to engage with the community of special needs families. Recently we added a monthly sports event to the Love Me Ministry. We hope in the near future we can also introduce music events designed just for these children as well. Through art and fun more of these families will see God’s love in their lives and find joy. Many, for the first time, have felt loved and not abandoned.

With the seed from God in our hearts, this ministry was started and we believe it is only with the faith from God this ministry will grow. We look forward to what God has planned next for this ministry to love more families in need.

(If you are interested in supporting this ministry, please contact us at lovemeministry@gmail.com , or  www.facebook.com/lovemeministry )