These activity kits are based on the activities that we did at a craft group for people with learning difficulties. We literally put up posters in local supermarkets then opened the doors and waited. Somehow it worked. Well, it did not take off until we had a prayer meeting that had a bit of oomph about it. After that, someone saw the poster and told the carer of someone who came to their church. That was the spark that got the whole thing started.
When I first started writing the story of this craft group the world was a different place. I wrote it after reflecting on thirty years in small struggling churches. Churches that felt at times as though they could topple over into oblivion. They were walking along a precipice. If they stepped one way they would disappear over the edge. If they stepped the other way they lived to fight another day.
They could do what we did
My dream was to reach out to these churches and say look we had these challenges but here is what we managed to do. We had set up a craft group the like of which we have never heard anyone else doing. We became somewhere carers could take people they would struggle to take anywhere else. People with some major disadvantages in life. Some could not speak at all while others would speak a few words. All of them had learning disabilities. Some could walk in the building but others came in a wheelchair.
They came with their carers and we had a great time together. There was fun and laughter but also some serious times when we became a listening ear for carers weighed down by problems at home.
We had opened the doors and asked God to bring people to us and these were the people He wanted to come to the group. We ran that group for four years until the lockdown led to it collapsing. The social distancing rules make it extremely difficult to come up with a means of opening the doors again. The longer it went on the harder it was to believe that it would ever open again. However, God is doing a new thing and it is time to catch the new wave.
There is more to it though
At the end of 2019, the new minister declared that in his opinion that it was essential to protect the church by making sure that there was no link between what we as individuals did outside the church and what happened inside the church. Bother I had written a book using the real name of the craft group. That was the spark for a crazy challenge that got way out of hand.
I was not going to let that stop me. I could change the title and the author name. I could avoid using the real names of the group or anyone involved. However, I could not change how startled I was by the consequences of taking the way forwards that he wanted me to take. Sadly it was a prime example of what not to do. When I made all those changes in what I had already written it was very tempting to include the consequences of the pandemic and that crazy challenge. I ended up adding so much to it that it doubled in length.
I published it on Amazon and you can buy it using this link.
P.S. It might look a bit familiar. The colour of the cover has been used as the contrast colour for this site and the image has been used as the logo.