The gang—that’s what I call the group of kids that we work with affected by disability—are one of the secrets of the kingdom. It says in the Word that there's going to be a big flip, the weakest are going to be the strongest. When we are raised, the last are going to be the first. They're such a gift.
What would you see if you dropped into a Bible study with us? We start with Scripture, and the gang will read the Scripture. We ask questions and the gang will answer them. Many people don't think the gang can answer questions, but they can.
Secrets of the Kingdom got started because my daughter was dying and I needed to think about heaven.
Our newest study, the one the gang is going through now, is Secrets of the Kingdom. The study got started because my daughter was dying and I needed to think about heaven, and writing this study helped me do that. We were praying desperately for a miracle, but Ashley did pass. And so Secrets came from me thinking about what was before Ashley. When I teach the first lesson of Secrets, I write the first secret on my flip chart: Heaven is for real. Hallelujah.
I remember being at a camp for kids affected by disability. It was a family retreat. And I was sitting in the back along with another mom. And I said to her, “Why, why, why are these kids so limited? Why has God done this?” And she turned around and she said to me, “Jill, I believe they're going to be leading us in the new heavens and the new earth.” God talks about that, that the gang will be leaders. What a better way to get to know your leaders than to get to know them now. You'll see why God will choose them to lead us. So many are incredible observers because they sit in places and they watch. They are very slow to speak, which God tells me to do, but is really hard to do. And they really love Jesus. And if I have a problem, they will pray and they will follow up with how I'm doing.
I believe they're going to be leading us in the new heavens and the new earth.
There is a richness in the gang that is so deep. Their souls are not disabled. My dad used to call our outsides our “spacesuit.” So their spacesuits might be disabled, but their souls are not disabled and God is going to change that spacesuit into some glory.
I used to work in a library and help people check out their books. And you could always tell where they were traveling. If they were going to Europe, they had books up to their chin on Europe. But I started thinking: if we are going to spend eternity in heaven, how many books do we have up to our chins about heaven? Jesus said it was for the joy that was before him, that he endured all this suffering. There's a lot of suffering. But what's before us, it's more than imagine that is for sure. I hope Secrets gives you a glimpse of that glory.