James* had a difficult relationship with church. He was diagnosed with autism and schizophrenia and after going to a church for many years, in his 20s he became involved in a cult where he had negative and damaging experiences. But our missionary Shane knew none of this when he first met James, and starting running Bible studies with him and his friends. As trust grew between the group, James’ story emerged, and in time Shane invited him to church.
Then the pandemic took hold – and as someone in the high-risk group, James had to isolate. Instead, Shane started running an online Christianity course, specially designed for people like James. “I’ve seen James grow,” said Shane. “He really wants to start serving teas and coffees when church opens again, which, for someone with autism who finds social situations hard, is a big step”. “Now I want to encourage him to have confidence to be more independent. Yes, he has carers and there are things he can’t do for himself. But I’m saying, ‘The things you can do, do for Jesus.’ Cook a meal, wash yourself, tidy your room… by God’s grace, he can take responsibility for these things.”