Little Sparrow Ministries
Here's a synopsis of Little Sparrow Ministries: who we are, why we're here, and how God prompted us to serve (Galatians 6:8-10)
My name is Tom Hunsberger and the founder of Little Sparrow Ministries. I live in Greencastle, Pennsylvania with my wife and three children. We have home-educated for twenty years. I am a Born Again Christian (which is really the only type of Christian) and have been working with special needs children of all disabilities for more than thirty years.
For the past eight years I've been intensely involved in ministering to home-educating families, especially those with special needs children. Being a certified special education teacher (K-12) in the state of Pennsylvania, I've had the opportunity to work with numerous families in the role of a portfolio evaluator. (I also hold teaching certification in Iowa and Maryland). I am also certified to administer achievement testing and my diagnostic assessments should be recognized in any state.
As a result of the ministry focus during the past eight years, I've formalized what I am doing into Little Sparrow Ministries. As Little Sparrow Ministries (LSM) we encourage, assist, and provide support to home-educating Christian families, especially those with special needs children, throughout the country. Our ministry is not merely an "informational" ministry, but also a "support" ministry. We have learned to provide services through phone consultation, e-mail, workshops/seminars, specially designed materials and curriculum support, and personal contact. Most of our support is given via phone consultation and e-mail. Many of the support materials we have available are able to be transmitted via e-mail while others are sent using standard mailing channels.
LSM is a family orientated ministry. It provides Biblical counseling and scriptural solutions for Christian families experiencing difficulties relating to the training and educating of their children. This also includes marriage counseling since many of the problems frequently begin with the husband-wife relationship. LSM informally began when the founder observed Christian parents, especially those with special needs children, seeking worldly wisdom and ways to train and educate their children and resolve parent/child training issues. Christian parents were implementing similar educational and therapeutic techniques as their non-believing counterparts, even though they violated Biblical principles and moral ethics.
Many of these families put themselves into bondage by seeking advice, counsel, and support from individuals, organizations, and agencies that foster secular-humanistic practices and philosophies - even though many who are delivering these services profess to be "Christians". They were being manipulated through "emotional extortion" and being "bled dry" financially to try to "cure" their children. Their hope and faith were being eroded and they had the feeling of "being alone".
Galatians 6:10 shares "As we have therefore the opportunity let us do good unto all men, especially those of the household of faith". Unfortunately, most ministries in this realm of functioning have become or were establishedas "informational" ministries in their attempts to "do good" unto those of the household of faith. Their ministries provide ideas, information, materials, etc. to assist these families. This is important and necessary, however, because of the founder's intense involvement working with special needs children, LSM has become fully aware of the uniqueness a special needs child adds to the family dynamics, especially a home-educating family, and the stress factors that exist as a result. The Lord made us aware at LSM that these families needed more than "information", they needed someone to come alongside of them and walk them through the process of identifying and implementing remedial and corrective programs. However, Christian families need to be given insights, methods, techniques, and strategies that are Biblical and direct themselves to the "Root Problems".
Ultimately, LSM's goal is to provide support, encouragement, information, and materials to assist parents in having their children become "conformed to the image of Jesus Christ" (Romans 8:28-29). LSM serves families at no cost. We depend upon the Lord to work in the hearts of his people to supply what we need to carry out the various aspects of this ministry. Any materials we do supply are at very low cost. We pray that everything we dois based upon God's ways. Therefore, we frequently present information, methods, techniques, and strategies that conflict with what most people have been taught. This is especially true in the area of Learning Disorders, ADD/ADHD, autism, and teaching reading, written expression, and mathematics.
The following is a partial listing of the services LSM provides followed by a partial listing of seminar/workshop topics.
* On-site diagnostic assessments
* Informal assessments
* Provision of educational support in program development
* Writing an Individualized Program Plan (also known as an IEP)
* Assist in program monitoring
* Phone Consultation
* Research on specific topics
* Identifying appropriate educational materials to be used in educational programming
* Developing materials for specific remedial purposes (LSM has a reading program that extremely effective and has been used with children of all disabilities as well as a "normal" child - It has been exceptionally effective with Down Syndrome children.
* Identifying reliable individuals, organizations, and agencies for specific support services
* Intervening on behalf of parents who are experiencing difficulties with the local school system
* Providing on-site training through seminars and workshops
Seminar/Workshop topics (partial listing):
* How do I Know If my child Has Special Needs
* A Biblical Perspective of Disabilities
* God's Will for Your Special Needs Child
* Understanding the Learning Process
* Identifying Learning and Developmental Needs
* Understanding the Reading Process
* Understanding Written Expression
* Understanding the Math Process
* Developing Skills Through Ministry
* Nutrition and Learning
* What's So Special About Special Needs
* Understanding Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder)
* Diagnosing Learning Disorders
* Writing to Learn (Integrating Writing Into Daily Activities)
* Our Calling - Building on the Foundation - Ministry and Work, Finding God's Purpose in Life
* Tutorial Workshops: Learning how to teach or tutor, reading, written expression, and/or mathematics
* Individualized Topics: these are topics that have been specifically requested by an individual or group
Seminars and Workshops are organized by a local coordinator who has a desire to minister to those having needs covered by these topics.
To contact Little Sparrow Ministries for information or to make an appointment for phone consultation or other services please call 717-597-0180.
Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org, however ALL APPOINTMENTS and initial phone consultation is completed over the phone.
May God bless your desire to honor Him by serving your children.