Every parent needs a break once in a while – and this is especially true for families raising children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Now, imagine a 42,000 sq.ft. building with a wheelchair accessible heated indoor pool, inflatable bounce house, and activities galore for children with physical and intellectual disabilities – all designed to provide overnight respite care for these families.
While this may sound like just a dream for every parent raising a child with special needs – such a place exists in Virginia. And just wait until you hear the incredible ways the staff there serve families – and point them to Christ.
In 2010, Jill’s House first opened its doors and began caring for children with special needs – for more than just an afternoon.
Jill’s House serves children ages 6-17, and has a full team dedicated to provide these children with a whole weekend to remember.
After going through the application process, parents can drop their children off for 24-48 hours of overnight respite care and get an evening (or weekend) of much-needed respite themselves!
Besides nurses on call 24/7 ready to administer medication and attend to an emergency, these children have a blast interacting with other kids and staff and taking part in the various activities provided!
From art therapy to music shows, a sensory room full of lights and even an occasional therapy animal – these precious children are treated like royalty and shown the tangible love of Jesus Christ.
They get a break from therapy appointments and doctors’ visits – and can simply have a mini-retreat sleepover party – knowing they are safe and loved.
Not only do the children at Jill’s House have fun, but their parents receive a much-needed break and get a chance to do things they might not normally get to do – like go out to dinner with their spouse (alone) or spend quality time with their other children.
But Jill’s House is designed to provide more than just physical care for children – as a Christian organization, the staff takes a truly holistic approach and cares for the entire family.
Jill’s House employs dedicated staff members to minister to families and help them with everything from organizing their complicated paperwork, to simply reading the Bible and praying with them.
On their website, Jill’s House posts testimonies from parents who openly share how Jill’s House has saved their marriage and brought their family closer together.
One single mom shared a beautiful story of how the staff at Jill’s House walked through unspeakable moments of grief with her and pointed her to God.
Jill’s House reported:
“I am originally from Ghana, and am a single parent caring for Sesi, a child with special needs.
As much as it can be challenging to raise any child in a typical household, being single makes it more so, but at the same time can be rewarding…
You look out for not only my daughter, but also for me, too. When my mom died four years ago, and I was in the middle of my grieving process, I went on a moms retreat.
The Family Support team made sure I went, because they knew I was mourning and needed that retreat. God took care of me through the conversations and activities that weekend. I could just sit back and listen, use my senses to rediscover the goodness of God even in the midst of my storm.”
Because Jill’s House receives no federal funding, they are free to talk about Jesus whenever they want!
Jill’s House accepts all families regardless of their religion or beliefs– and many families have come to accept Christ simply by witnessing the way this Christ-centered environment cares for their children so well.
What an amazing organization who cares for those society often rejects.
Jill’s House is only made possible by generous donors who faithfully support this Christian ministry.
If you would like to help families with special needs get a much-needed night of respite, you can donate and learn more about this incredible ministry here.
And if you’d like to get a look inside this amazing facility – check out the video below.
May God bless the staff and families of Jill’s House.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
To stay current on the latest Christian Life Daily stories, follow us on Facebook and be sure to like and share our posts!