Autism Ministry

My father-in-law sent me this encouraging piece from The Evangelical Covenant Church website. A ministry started Journey Covenant Church, specifically for families with special needs children. What a wonderful ministry! More information about the Huberts, one of the original families who joined, can be found at www.dailybreeze.com and search the archives for August 8 and 9 front page articles.

Autistic Ministry Increases Impact of California Church
REDONDO BEACH, CA (September 9, 2004) –
Source: The Evangelical Covenant Church

The plight of a southern California couple has turned into a blessing for many families attending Journey Covenant Church, a two-year-old church plant that has made strong efforts to minister to families with autistic children.

For the second year, the church sponsored a Friends of Angels “Escape From the City” camp in nearby San Juan Capistrano, finding two volunteers to work with each autistic participant and adding hospitality and security teams to patrol the grounds. Last summer, the Friends of Angels camp attracted eight families, said church planting pastor Jim Stewart. This year’s camp roster included 13 autistic families (16 autistic children in all) with a total of 95 in attendance.

There are activities for the siblings and parents of the autistic children and the setting allows families to relax a bit and enjoy nature in a safe and affirming environment. Journey Covenant’s ministry to families with autistic children started largely through a relationship Stewart built with Greg and Gina Hubert, the parents of three autistic children. The Huberts were interested in being part of the church plant, but felt their needs would be too great for the young congregation to handle. Stewart encouraged them to attend Journey Covenant and the Huberts were warmly welcomed by the congregation.

They eventually started a ministry for children with special needs, attracting about 10 families to classes, according to a recent news story in the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance. And the church has embraced autistic children through additional ministry efforts like the summer camps.

“It really opened my eyes up to the needs of the autistic family,” said Stewart of the first camp last summer. “It’s a demand that takes 24/7 vision and the Huberts told me that 80 percent of those families who have an autistic child get divorced because of the stress. I have four children of my own, including a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old. They were buddies for autistic children last year and they learned more than anyone.”

The Huberts were blessed by the care of Journey Covenant and they in turn became a blessing, added Stewart. Jessi and Al Kung were invited to the church by the Hubert family – they have an autistic child – and they came to personal relationship in Christ after watching how the church accepted their son a year ago. The ministry to families of the autistic seems likely to continue, though the Hubert family recently relocated to Las Vegas. Stewart reported that his congregation received a $35,000 gift from the Stephan Charitable Trust for Journey’s autistic ministry and other ministry needs.

Journey Covenant Church was planted with the assistance of Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Rolling Hills Estates. More about the story of the Hubert family can be found on the Internet by visiting the online archives for August 8 and 9 front page news articles in the Daily Breeze newspaper at www.dailybreeze.com.


  1. >Greetings!
    >My name is D.J. Svoboda and I am a Autistic Artist.I have created The Imagifriends
    >based on difficult situations i have faced growing up with Autism. They are brightly
    >colored characters who help and support one another.They live in a wonderful place
    >called Imagiville where everyone is accepted “ just the way they are”
    >and no one is ever picked on or mistreated.I want to use my art to help encourage
    >others with Autism and to let them know that they too can help make the world a
    >better place.I have just had my first book published about acceptance for those
    >with Autism. You can learn more about me,my book,and my mission by visiting my website
    >at WWW.MYIMAGIVILLE.COM. I am also interested in sharing my faith in the Lord and
    >my testimony and my
    >story. Thank you very much and I hope to hear from you soon.Have a very wonderful
    >day everyday! God Bless.
    >>
    >>D.J. Svoboda WWW.MYIMAGIVIllE.COM


    Daniel Svoboda    Aug 16, 10:20 PM    #
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