Jessica and Friends Community
The last three days at Lancaster Bible College have been eye-opening and deeply moving in ways we didn't expect. For one thing, we stayed in the guest suite in the Presidential Manse where we got to know Peter and Paulette Teague. It's always eye-opening to get up close and personal with the leader of a major Christian organization. I had always heard that college presidents stay busy from morning till night, and that seems to be true for Peter Teague. He told me that only 13% of his time is discretionary because of all the meetings he has each day. Despite the heavy schedule, he seemed cheerful every time I talked with him. He and Paulette have opened their home and their hearts to the students, and the students respond with love and appreciation.
Paulette told Marlene about Jessica and Friends Community, a faith-based ministry for individuals with developmental disabilities. It is named for their daughter Jessica, now in her mid-twenties, who was born with significant brain damage resulting in the need for twenty-four hour care, seven days a week. After caring for her in their home for many years, God gave them a dream to establish a home where those with similar disabilities could receive compassionate care from a Christian perspective. In 2002 that dream came true with the opening of the first residential home in nearby York, Pennsylvania. To quote Peter Teague,
Over the years, in the midst of our struggles, heartache, and sometimes almost overwhelming difficulties of parenting Jessica, God’s grace has been evident, His faithfulness shown time and again.
God bless Peter and Paulette Teague for allowing God to use their own heartache as a door to minister Christ's love to others. As Jesus wept, they have wept, and God has redeemed their tears with a gift of mercy that speaks more eloquently than a thousand sermons.
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