About a year ago, a request was made to the Genesis Class for help driving Joy Class members to and from Church. I am a Kids Hope and Houston reVision mentor but was looking for an additional service opportunity. I called the contact, Lisa Gossett, and learned that the Joy Class is a long-time Sunday School Class for special needs adults of the St. Luke’s family. Most of the class has been faithfully attending the 9:45 Traditional Service and then going to Sunday School for many years. Transportation has become a challenge because many of the class members live in different locations. Lisa and her husband Tom have been the main teachers and drivers for the class for decades. Several other church members help with transportation and signing for hearing-impaired class members, and with occasional teaching, when Lisa and Tom are both traveling.

I had not had much opportunity to interact with people with special needs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I attend the 8:45 Contemporary Service, so I wasn’t sure the need would fit my schedule. That was not a problem, because a Joy Class member, Mark Hightower, who lives in my general area, was very happy to attend as many church services as possible. I started taking Mark to Contemporary, before his usual Traditional Service and Sunday School. I soon learned a few things about Mark. I am a punctual person, but Mark takes that to another level. If I don’t call him within a minute or two of the usual time, he calls me, so I ALWAYS get to church on time. Mark really fits into Contemporary’s casual interactive atmosphere before the service begins. He likes donuts a lot, and Mark immediately became one of our best unofficial greeters. Mark can remember names incredibly well, and he loves to greet anyone who happens to be nearby.

Genesis Class meets from about 10 – 11 and the Joy Class is from about 10:45 – 11:35, so I wasn’t sure what I would do before it was time to take Mark home.  I started to sit in on the Joy Class, and it has been an unexpected blessing.  Watching the interaction and fellowship of the Joy Class members and seeing the joy on some of their faces, as they welcome me to class each Sunday, always makes me glad that I am there. Joy Class members are among the friendliest and most caring people I have met. I don’t know who named the Joy Class, but it is truly a joy for both the members and anyone involved with it.