When you hear the word “Wonder,” what does it make you think about? Wonder defined means: unfamiliar, or inexplicable. Wonder makes me think about the first time a kid goes to the zoo and sees their favorite animal, the first time a little boy or girl goes to Disney World and meets Mickey Mouse, or the first time a Bible story truly connects and a child “gets it.” You can see Wonder in someone’s eyes. You see it in their reaction to something they have never seen or experienced before. It is something new and exciting; something they can’t explain out loud, but they can explain through the joy and reaction upon their face.
“I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
I am WONDERfully made.
A few years ago, while serving at WinShape Camps, I met a little girl that had some amazing sensory abilities. She was fascinated with me. She asked me every question you could imagine. I will never forget one specific question she asked me. She asked me if God made her in His Image too? I stopped for a second and thought to myself, “How does she not know?” But then I looked at her sitting there with her headphones on and her eyes covered and how she must have felt knowing everyone else was running around, dancing and singing. And I thought, “What would it look like to create a specific environment for her where those answers would be solidified and Bible stories could come to life?”
For over a year now, our entire Church has been praying and asking ourselves what it would look like to create a brand new environment specific to those with Sensory Abilities & Special Needs. That is how Wonder was born.
So, what is Wonder?
Wonder is a Gospel-Centered Sensory Environment that embraces the exceptionality of each child and where they are free to learn and explore. As an extension of Piedmont Kids, Wonder is for children in grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade. The Piedmont Kids Team is so excited to have this room that is specifically designed to be tailored for each child. The room will engage all 5 senses and have plenty of areas for individual time or group time. The lessons will be tailored for each child’s learning ability to ensure they walk away on Sunday mornings hearing the Gospel and knowing the Bible story for the day.
Most of our amazing Wonder Dream Team members are Special Needs Teachers in our local public schools and they are so excited to share the Gospel with these amazing children. They ensure that our small group time is a time of learning for each child. We could not offer Wonder without the invaluable experience, passion, and love our Dream Team brings to the table.
We understand that not all churches are able to offer care and learning for children with these exceptional learning abilities, but we believe that Jesus said to let the little children come to Him. And we firmly believe He meant ALL children. So, as a church family, we have decided to open our doors and not only welcome these children, but create a space that is just for them. A place of learning. A place of understanding and peace. Above all else, we wanted to create a place where these children and their families will experience Christ’s love, maybe for the very first time.
If you are a parent or guardian of a child who would benefit from a sensory environment like Wonder, we want to welcome you to try it out. We will be launching Wonder on May 19, 2019. We cannot wait to see you at Piedmont and to love on and teach your children. Our staff is passionate about meeting your child where they are right now and walking alongside you to help them reach their goals. Most importantly, we are excited to teach them about a God who made them EXACTLY as He planned. That they are special in His eyes and our eyes too. We see this gap in the Church and we are working tirelessly to fill it. Your children have a place here. You have a place here. All children are welcomed to God’s table and we cannot wait to start this adventure!
Our prayer is that God would make His name known to all generations of all backgrounds.
Find out more about Wonder at piedmontchurch.tv/wonder.