- Posted September 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
INNERview: Grounded because of James
INNERview with Joyce Weatherford on HAVE YA HEARD
YVONNE PIERRE: Joyce, could you start off by introducing yourself?
JOYCE WEATHERFORD: I am Joyce Weatherford, wife to Bob for 29 years and mother to James who is 28. I began a career in Property Management around 17 years ago. I stepped out of my career to be a stay at home Mom with James because of his ongoing medical issues. During that time, my family and I started and still own a Medical Transcription Company. My husband and I have shared a home with my parents since James was 2 because of his continuing special needs; in fact, we still share a home with my mom.
YVONNE: You recently started, Treasures of JOY. Could you tell us about it?
JOYCE: Treasures of JOY was started in January 2011, after I had served at The JOY Ministry of Graceview Baptist Church in Tomball, TX for 7 years. God spoke to my family about the enormous need for more ministries everywhere because of the large population of families affected by disabilities. As you know, 1 in every 5 families in the United States is affected by a disability. We started the ministry with 3 families, but as we continue to obey God, the ministry has grown to 135 families. We have multiple events throughout each month:
We provide respite for parents and caregivers once a month for 4 hours, to any age group. On respite night, we serve approximately 15 to 25 people of all ages and all disabilities.
We provide a monthly game night for teens and adults with disabilities. At this event, we provide dinner while the participants play bingo, card games, board games, video games, or just visit. It is a wonderful recreational and social activity for our community.
We host a parent/caregiver support group twice each month.
We have our own Special Olympics team and participate in Bowling and Track & Field. At this time, we have approximately 40 athletes.
Each Sunday, we provide disability ministry for Church of Champions in Houston, TX. Each Sunday we have Sunday Service for approximately 55 persons while their caregivers or parents attend church.
Treasures of JOY is a non-profit community service organization. Each of the events above is provided to the community at no charge, except for the weekly bowling cost. The monthly respite and game night are completely free to the community. We are funded by parents and others in our community who recognize the special work that is met in Treasures of JOY.
YVONNE: What inspired you to launch Treasures of JOY?
JOYCE: There are several factors that inspired my ministry. The JOY Ministry of Graceview Baptist Church under the direction of Denise Briley. Our family actually found this church in 2001 and it provided a place where we could worship as a family. For the first time, my husband and I were able to attend services and classes while my son had his own class to attend. After several years, I began working in The JOY Ministry, and was mentored by Denise. During those years with Denise, I saw the great need of families around our community.
My son and his friends were perhaps my greatest inspiration. I started teaching the adults special needs Sunday School class in 2006, where at that time they were coloring pictures and doing 1st grade Bible stories. I felt that this group of young adults (approximately 12 to 15 each Sunday) needed to learn the Scriptures and pray. I also felt that they were called to be disciples, as much as I was. I had watched my son love Jesus all his life. In fact, it was James at the age of 12, who led me to Christ. So I knew this group that the world saw as “not teachable” was quite worthy of being disciples and perhaps could lead people to Christ better than “normal” people.
There's more, continue reading this INNERview at http://hyhonline.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/grounded-because-of-james