‘Tis the season to be jolly! For many, Christmas is a fun time of the year for parties and merriment. Christmas celebration parties are fun and meaningful to mark another celebration.
However, to some, this may be particularly challenging, and sometimes, impossible. For many individuals with special needs as well as for their families, there are added anxieties, especially for those suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and limited physical abilities in social settings.
“We constantly worry about the behaviour and safety of our son when we go out,” said Ling Sheue King, mother of 14-year-old Xin Wei who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Together with her prayer partners Lavinia Lim, Sandy Mantik, and Suzan Tjandra, Sheue King founded Royal Kids Worship, a Christian outreach group for individuals with special needs.
“For us, it may be a challenge to enjoy a celebration.”
Thus, Sheue King and her husband Goh Kheng Guan decided to bring the festive sparkle to the “Royal Kids” and their families this holiday season.
“We were blessed by God who helped us to find a suitable place in Goodwood Park Hotel to host our very first Royal Kids Worship Christmas Thanksgiving Celebration,” said Kheng Guan, who organised the celebration with Sheue King.
God’s Blessings through Kind Sponsors
After a two-year hiatus from the pandemic, Royal Kids Worship is thankful to God that 28 “Royal Kids” and over 60 family members were treated to a very special party on 30 December 2022 at the hotel’s café lounge. This was made possible by the generous support of two major sponsors, and many friends, including friends from Wesley Methodist Church.
It was a festive gathering for all: “We want the Royal Kids and their families to come and celebrate in this non-judgemental space with peace in their hearts,” said Kheng Guan.
Festivity and Feasting
The programme commenced with a short message and prayer from Rev Raymond Fong, the Pastor-in-Charge of Wesley Methodist Church. He thanked the Gohs for their tenacity in the Royal Kids outreach, saluted the strength and stoicism of the parents present, and spurred the families on with his words of encouragement. Pastor Raymond also went around to pray for every family.
The guests enjoyed a fabulous buffet, gifts, games, presentations, testimonies, and live vocal and violin performances. Laughter and joy filled the gorgeously decorated café as lunch was served!
The sumptuous feast
There were also treats to be brought home! After lunch, each family received special Christmas cookies and a double chocolate mud cake from the hotel, gifted by a sponsor.
Said a volunteer, Tina Khoo, who is from the Goh’s Small Group: “We appreciate all the hard work by Sheue King, Kheng Guan, and their friends in organising this party. As a volunteer, I am granted a window into these families’ lives.”
Gerald Ng, another volunteer, shared similar sentiments: “It was great catching up with some of the families again. In my interactions with them, I have got a glimpse of their untiring love for and the abilities and talents of their children. God has impressed upon me that truly everyone is unique and wonderfully made in His eyes. I am blessed to meet them and hope that every special needs person and caregiver can receive the love and support they need.”
The Gifts of Hope and Grace
A few parents were amazed at how God had kept their kids calm the whole afternoon; they were not fidgety amid the noise, singing, and music, and their parents could enjoy the food and fellowship.
In her testimony, Sheue King reminded everyone that in God there is hope for all: “Our God is the most powerful God, and He loves us very much. It is God who makes it possible for us to enjoy this Christmas Thanksgiving Celebration lunch together. He journeys with us, so we should never give up and always trust in Him. As Christians, we are blessed to have God by our side. Thus, we must share His love so that others may experience it too.”
Of the few who testified about the goodness of God was a grandmother of a teenager with autism. “To others, my granddaughter might just be a little girl, but to me, she is an angel. Through her, God has taught me to be patient, to love people, and to persevere in trusting our Lord. Yes, my family has faced many trials; we have shed many tears and gone through challenges with my granddaughter, but we never gave up. After the initial period of caring for a special needs child, I am now learning to meet daily challenges with the grace of God. I still trust in God, and I still believe in Him. He is with us no matter what may come.”
A Toast to Each Special Needs Individual and Every Persevering Parent
At Royal Kids Worship, special needs individuals and their parents or caregivers did not have to stay home and miss all the parties this holiday season. As the sponsor of the Royal Kids Christmas party, Ms Kim Khoo, said:
“Parents of special needs children, we want you to know that you, your kids, and family members can have a good time this holiday. Be proud of all that you are doing. We are happy we can contribute in a small way to be part of your world this holiday.”
“What a wonderful party!” exclaimed Pastor Raymond. “My heart is deeply encouraged at the sight of such an authentic, inclusive community, where we love each other by making an effort to celebrate the goodness of God in the lives of these families with special needs children. We celebrate the courageous and persevering love of the parents. We celebrate the unique gift each of these children is to their loved ones.”
“We are indeed all royal kids; children of God, loved by the King. May our good Lord continue to bless and strengthen each of these families as they find their joy and hope in Jesus Christ.”
About Royal Kids Worship
Royal Kids Worship is a Christian fellowship and worship gathering for individuals with special needs. It was founded by four ladies: Sandy, Susan, Lavinia, and Sheue King. About 30 members of all ages meet on Zoom every Friday evening at 8.00pm to worship and fellowship together. Royal Kids Worship is an inclusive group that welcomes individuals with special needs and caregivers to special needs persons to join them. Both Sheue King and her husband worship at Wesley Methodist Church.
To sign up for Royal Kids, please go to: Royal Kids Registration Form
About Wesley PSCom—Ministry to Individuals With Special Needs
Founded in 1992, the Praise Special Community (PSCom) meets on Sundays at Wesley Methodist Church at 5.00pm. Our community currently consists of over 20 children, youth, and young adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or intellectual disability.
We are a community in which persons with special needs can come just as they are to worship God together with the congregation without being misunderstood or judged. If you would like to find out more about Wesley PSCom, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.