A café that is staffed by people with special needs has been open by a New Jersey church.
Clean Water Café
The Clean Water Café by the Liquid Church in Parsippany, New Jersey, was created to be a full-service café operated by people with special needs. Meanwhile, the café will provide over 30 jobs for people with autism, Asperger’s and Down syndrome. The café will be open from Monday through Friday serving breakfast, lunch and a specialty coffee.
“When Jesus says, ‘The last shall be first,’ He means that the way we love and care for the weakest members of His family will contribute to the strength of the community. It’s lavishing the love of the King on His most vulnerable children,” Pastor Tim Lucas of Liquid Church said.
Clean Water Cause
Clean Water Café’s profits will be used to support the Clean Water Cause in Africa and Central America. Not only does the program create an impact in the special needs community, but it is also making an impact on the world.
“Starting a special needs ministry wasn’t initially part of our vision,” he shared. “We said, ‘What a beautiful opportunity to serve an underserved population.’ We looked at, ‘How do we create space at the table for children and adults with autism, Asperger’s and Down syndrome?’”
People with Special Needs
Liquid Church is aiming to help people with special needs feel welcomed, included and loved. Families from other states are starting to travel to New Jersey to experience the café.
“There was one 10-year-old young man named Grady with Down syndrome, ADHD, and verbal apraxia. When his family came to us, they said, ‘We’ve been kicked out of our last three churches. It wasn’t the church’s fault, but they didn’t know what to do with Grady. All three churches treated him as a behavior problem because he was disrupting classes.’”
After attending a Sunday service, Grady shared how welcome he felt. He said, “I want to go to church.” In short, their family found their home church that day.
“It was incredible. His mother said, ‘We’ve found a home, and Grady has found healing,” Pastor Tim said. “Praise God. Through our special needs programs, people have caught the Father’s heart.”
Reference: The Christian Post