June 2018 | Make 'm Smile/NFB
For the past several years, Aurora Ministries has been attending a special event called “Make ’m Smile” by Nathaniel’s Hope Foundation. Make ’m Smile is an outdoor festival for children with special needs, referred to as VIP’s (very important person).
Companies, ministries, and vendors set up booths around beautiful Lake Eola, a 23 acre park in downtown Orlando Florida. Each booth provides resources, information, activities and games specific for the VIP children and their families.
While most of the VIP’s have some eyesight, they also typically suffer from a print-handicap that keeps them from being able to read or manage the pages of a printed book, especially the Bible, so each year we distribute hundreds of free audio CD’s to the VIP’s. These CD’s have selected Scripture readings from The New Testament to tell them who Jesus is.
This is the first time some of them have heard the name Jesus.
Last month, hundreds of the VIP’s received a free CD, while many more requested a Children’s Bible and Children’s devotional on MP3 disc or a talking book cartridge for the National Library’s digital Talking Book Player, which were also provided to them at no cost. It’s also a chance for them to get a “hands-on” demonstration of our low-cost, accessible Audio Bible players, audio Story-Teller players, and audio book players.
If you could only see the smile on a child’s face when they receive this free gift—It’s hard to put in words their joy and excitement—and the joy we receive just watching them! I’m sure you would feel this also if you could be there with us. But in some ways, you are. If it weren’t for the support of friends like you, none of these children would have been able to receive these gifts.
If you missed the opportunity to support us for this year’s Make ’m Smile event, it’s not too late. There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t receive a call, email or letter in the mail to help a VIP child with a print disability receive an Audio Bible, Bible story, or Bible devotional. This is why we added the International Children’s Bible to our list of available Audio Bibles over a decade ago.
It’s not only VIP’s—we want to help as many blind & visually impaired people as we can—but we’d never be able to provide Audio Bibles to every print disabled person that requests one. This is why we are asking for your help.
By the time you receive this letter, we will already be attending another event at the National Federation of the Blind’s National Convention, where thousands of blind men, women, & children, will stop by our booth and ask who we are and what we do.
It’s the perfect opportunity to give them an Audio Bible for their accessible devices and players—free of charge. It’s not uncommon for a non-believer to accept our free gift. Only God knows what happens after they leave our booth, but if we can introduce Jesus Christ to just one person, it is worth it.
This is why we must go and share with them the Good News.
Providing Audio Bibles in many different formats is our specialty. Visitors to our booth are often amazed that we have Audio Bibles available for so many accessible devices and players.
We do this because we believe the Word of God is of great importance and we want everyone, regardless of print disabilities, to have access to the Scriptures. We hope you also believe this.
P.S. If you haven't seen our short video from this years Make 'm Smile event, you can watch it below.
- Allen Decker