Special Touch 2013

Jul 6, 2013 // By:Sue Cadieux // No Comment

In my short time of being a Christian, (I have been saved since July 2009), I have heard time and time again about the importance of being still, listening to God and being obedient.   Special Touch Ministry helped me to truly understand what that means.

1Last year (2012) I heard about the Special Touch Ministry and the Summer Get Away Camp from an announcement at my church (Christian Fellowship Center). This is a five-day, camp-style retreat for adults with intellectual or physical disabilities to find fellowship with others in a Christian atmosphere.

They were in need of camp counselors and encouraged people to get involved.  As I listened, I felt like God was nudging me to get more information. My first reaction? No WAY! I work with special needs CHILDREN…emphasis on CHILDREN. I have never worked with special needs adults and have always been a little nervous about that population, especially those with a severe cognitive disability or physical disability.

A few days went on, and I kept thinking about the camp. I finally decided to check out the website. I read about the camp and who attends, and I said again, NO WAY! I can’t do this. This is way out of my league!  A few weeks went by and our church was visited by Joe Trementozzi who is a member of the National Missionaries and a National Special Touch Chapter Director. Again I was moved by all he said and I felt God TELLING me this time, not nudging me….telling me…”Sue you need to do this”.

I went home that evening and spoke to my husband. He told me, “Sue, if God is telling you to do this, then you need to do it, even if it is outside of your comfort zone, He will bless you more than you can imagine. ” He supported me 100%. After more thought, and praying about it, I decided to fill out the application, knowing that there was no turning back after it was submitted. I nervously sent in the application and waited for my acceptance.

About 4 weeks prior to the camp, I received an email saying that there weren’t enough campers and they didn’t have a spot for me, but they would keep trying. At that point, I was confused…I couldn’t understand why God would tell me to do something, I struggled with it and then it was being taken away from me! For the next week I convinced myself that God must have had a reason for me NOT to go. And then I realized God was teaching me yet another lesson: Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Two weeks before camp started, I got the email from Pastor Joe and his wife Ann, that it was a go ahead, they needed me.  I was happy but went back to worrying about it… Could I actually do this??  And yet another verse came to my mind… Philippians 4:6  Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Okay God, I get it now!

I arrived Monday morning at the Easter Seals camp in CT. and met Ann Trementozzi who immediately greeted me with a hug and said “I can’t wait for you to meet my daughter who you will be taking care of this week!” I smiled on the outside but on the inside my stomach turned to mush and I silently said…ok God WHAT have you gotten me into, I was scared enough as it was but now you give me the director’s daughter???  Are YOU KIDDING ME???

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Shortly after that, I met Beth Ann Trementozzi and within 20 minutes of being with her, I was already blessed! Whatever fears or apprehensions I had about coming to this camp were totally put out of my head. My mind was at ease and I just knew this was going to be one heck of a special week.

Beth Ann was sweet and funny and loved teaching me how to do sign language. She especially got joy in seeing how inept I was in learning it!  She was so excited about signing “Mighty to Save” in the talent show on Wednesday evening. I felt such a connection with her so quickly, I was amazed.

Soon after that I met Cheyenne, another young woman with a great sense of humor and loved to talk! That evening she sung praises to God like an angel. She wasn’t afraid to sing and sing loud! (Brought tears to my eyes) She said over and over how happy her heart was because Jesus was there!

That evening the 3 of us prayed together and Cheyenne prayed for me, “ a beautiful woman who is my friend and loves God” (yep, the tears came again)

As the week went on, I was continually blessed over and over by so many different events.

– Seeing Beth Ann and Sammy (a deaf man) signing to each other, again brought tears to my eyes…when someone asked me what they were saying to each other, I said I had no idea but I was so touched by the fact that they were communicating!

-The talent show was so amazing! Watching these special people get up and perform and show how much they love God was incredible.  They didn’t care what anyone thought and just did their best. I needed a box of tissues to get through that night!!

-Watching the rock climbing event and hearing Addie, a woman who is wheelchair bound say,” I look forward to this every year because it my 5 minutes without a disability.”

-Getting a hug from Ruthie, a woman who tended to keep her distance initially but by the end of the week was smiling and having a great time.

Praise and worship time every evening, seeing how God was moving in the campers and the counselors…breathtaking!

The list is endless. Bottom line….This is an amazing ministry, and I am so glad that I opened my ears, eyes and heart and listened to God’s nudging to move out of my comfort zone and do something that He wanted me to do. I will be participating in the camp again in CT at the end of the summer. I have no fear at all this time, just pure joy, excitement and anticipation on seeing how God will work that week within myself and all the others attending this summer.

My message to all that read this: if you feel God tugging at your heart to get involved with something or to do something  even if it is out of your comfort zone, then listen to Him. He knows better than you that you can handle the situation. He promises to bless you if you are obedient and I learned first hand how true that is!

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