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Mary Mapes
Richard Lawrence Photography
www.richardlawrencephotography.com

Benjamin

Ben is such a joy! He has funny jokes only he understands that evoke a belly chuckle that bubbles out of him and spills joy all around. He works harder than anyone I know to do a simple task. And, he draws out of those around him a capacity to love that is, quite simply, beautiful.

For years my focus was on intervention. We pursued everything that held promise. Today, at 16, Ben functions much like a child of 3. And I find that my focus has changed. It is not better or worse, just different. I now look toward the rest of life. Where will Ben live, worship, have friendships, and meaningful work? And this brings me to Benjamin's Hope. Ben has inspired an extraordinary vision!

Benjamin's Hope is a first of its kind. It is creating housing, learning, recreation, work and worship opportunities for adults with special needs and will offer clinical support services for children, adults and families.

As I write this, it has been nearly 15 years since I first learned of Ben’s autism. It’s taken me this long to understand that what I want for my son who has autism is much the same as what I want for my son who does not have autism: a life that is full of love and friendship. I yearn for Ben to have a life of purpose; work that uses his God-given giftedness. I want him to be safe. I want Ben to live a life of dignity, joy and purpose. This is the vision of Benjamin’s Hope.

It is, simply, a place of hope. I have hope for Ben’s future. Some days I could just pinch myself for the joy of it all.

You can learn more about Benjamin’s Hope at www.benjaminshope.net, or follow along on the Benjamin’s Hope Facebook pages.

Krista, mother of Ben
Holland, MI