Our Special Needs Ministry and Believer’s Garden Choir are trailblazers in their humility and work to share God’s love with the world. While attending a worship night concert led by Brian Rouche, Assistant Director of the Special Needs Ministry, Mia Morris, the chairman of the Martin Luther King, Jr., event for San Antonio was moved in her heart to request that Brian and our Believer’s Garden choir be part of the largest march in the United States.
Reflecting on the opportunity, Brian shared his praise to God for opening a door that let our adults with special needs understand just how valuable they are in His story. “They know it’s an important event, and it let them know just how important they are to be a part of something like that.”
Performing on such a large stage can sometimes be daunting or prideful. However, our Believer’s Garden Choir walked on with confidence in their identity in Christ, not with any intention to impress or highlight their accomplishment of being asked to perform for our nation. They were there to sing God’s praises.
Proverbs 21:21 says, “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”
One of the most beautiful components of our day at the MLK march was watching the way in which University’s volunteer leaders, staff and Believer’s Garden Choir pursued righteousness in serving the community and one another with God’s unfailing love.
The choir was there to share worship, but they also noticed ways to serve those around them, like helping a police officer when his newspaper flew away.
Ron Alcorta, the Special Needs Ministry volunteer coordinator, helped with transportation and making sandwiches for the choir and volunteers.
Tina Thurneysen, the Believer’s Garden Choir Director, has worked with the choir since their beginning in February of 2017. She stood at the foot of the stage and led our friends in song and movement.
Kelly McTough and Chris Thompson, volunteer leads of the ministry, took video of the performances, prepared lunches and cheered our choir on.
Church, Brian and the Believer’s Garden Choir were honored that day with the longest time slot to perform for the San Antonio community and nation, a beautiful testament to the pursuit of righteousness in our University family. Other performers requested pictures with the choir, hugged them and gave them a cheering line as they exited the staging area.
Brian reflected that there are many challenges this group faced. Transportation for their first performance was messy. Getting lunch and carrying it along can be difficult. And in all of it, God showed up through the service of our volunteers and the security force at the march. The MLK March Security Force went beyond their policies and expectations to accommodate our Believer’s Garden Choir and make it a special day for them.
In his final reflections, Brian said the most rewarding part of this experience was being trusted by the San Antonio community to share time and God’s love, and to get to do that alongside our church family. “People see my face a lot, but it’s really the people behind the scenes who make it all happen. I don’t really do much. I just have great people who work alongside me. Whether I am doing something here or wherever, I will take our people anywhere I am able to.”
The humility of the Special Needs Ministry and its leaders was a blessing to every person who encountered them that day. As they continue to sing of God’s love in worship on Sundays and on large stages like the march, the Lord will go before them, blazing a trail for our church family with special needs to impact the world in which they live.