Community Offers Hope
When Morgan McLendon was only one year old, she experienced a seizure. This began a difficult journey of health issues, and it wasn’t until over a decade later that she was finally diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disease that affected her with deafness, blindness, and mobility challenges. These disabilities have a significant impact on Morgan’s life, but they are far from her identity. When you meet Morgan, the first thing you notice is her bright blue eyes and beautiful smile, and her joy is contagious.
After settling in the Greenville area following frequent moves as a military family, the McLendons began attending Grace’s Pelham campus. When they discovered Mosaic GroupLife, they knew Grace was the right church for them. However, when Morgan graduated high school, she faced a new challenge. There are very few programs available to individuals with disabilities who cannot work a traditional job. So when the McLendons learned about Mosaic Inspire, they were thrilled to have an opportunity for Morgan to learn, be in community, and use her gifts to serve others.
Mosaic Inspire is Grace’s discipleship ministry for adults with disabilities, and it is designed to equip participants by helping them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through pursuing God, connecting with the church, and engaging the community. Each day, Grace staff and volunteers provide Bible lessons, teaching, and mentorship. Participants also serve both the church and the community. One of the highlights for both participants and staff is the Mosaic Inspire Coffee shop, where Grace staff can stop by or have a cup of coffee made and delivered especially for them.
When Morgan began Mosaic Inspire, she and her family knew it was an answer to prayer. Communication barriers had always been a challenge for Morgan, but she connected with the staff and volunteers immediately. Joni, Morgan’s mother, also volunteers with the program, and she has become an important part of the Mosaic Inspire family, teaching American Sign Language lessons to all the participants.
When asked what her favorite part of Mosaic Inspire is, Morgan had this to say:
- I love delivering people’s coffee and seeing where they work. I look forward to listening to our Bible lessons. Listening makes me feel close to God when I’m having a difficult time.
Before they discovered Mosaic Inspire, both Morgan and Joni struggled with isolation and lack of community. This program fulfilled many needs for their family: a sense of belonging, purpose, growth in their faith, and so much more. Joni sums up their experience well:
- It’s provided great socialization for Morgan. She loves all the staff and volunteers. It’s also been good for me. I’m volunteering and making friends with people. I was isolated as well, and it felt like most people didn’t understand my life. These people have become like my family.
- Since Morgan has had disabilities, we’ve often catered to her. Getting into the community and serving shows her that it’s not all about her. She understands that other people in the world have difficulties. Most importantly, Morgan’s relationship with God has grown. We’re learning so much about the Bible and how God relates to her everyday circumstances.