First of all, I am a child of the Living God, the great and awesome God of the Bible. I found the Lord Jesus-Christ - or I should say He found me - when I was ten years old and He has been faithful to me ever since. He is my saviour and my Lord, the only true God; the Way, the Truth and the Life. Through the years, as I came to know God more and more, I have found Him to be my Heavenly Father. He has been there for me, loving me, teaching me and sometimes rebuking me, when my earthly father has been absent in my life... I love Him and I owe Him everything I am today.
God was always prompting my heart from an early age, but I finally answered his call of mercy to become His child at the age of sixteen. He has shown Himself to be extremely faithful ever since. God has blessed me with the most wonderful wife and lovely children. Over the years I have learnt to trust Him and my family into His unfailing arms.
Free to Shine
We are married and the parents of 4 beautiful children, 3 boys and 1 girl. We live in the United Kingdom.
Our 2 eldest sons have been diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders, the second one being milder than the eldest. They both have issues with speech and language delay, focusing on tasks and general development delays. The eldest has a severe language delay and some behavioural issues as well.
Since we found out about these diagnosis, we have been on a long journey... At first it was devastating and we did not know what to do and who to turn to for help. Life at home was quite challenging, especially when our eldest was younger (he is now a teenager) and we had so many unanswered questions - beside the fact that we felt so alone in this.
Our eldest son was diagnosed when he was almost 5 years old, at the start of primary school; however, the first person that suggested he might be autistic was a speech and language therapist, when he was about 2 1/2 years old. We did not believe her as he did not look autistic at all to us (at least from what we knew of autism), he was just delayed in his speech. We just thought the delay was due to him being spoken two languages at home, French and English. The autism became more apparent after another couple of years.
Our second son was diagnosed at 7 1/2 years old. His autism is milder and he is in mainstream school. To hear about him as well being on the spectrum was such a blow to us, even though we kind of thought he might be as he was quite delayed in his development. But this diagnosis was so hard to hear; we now officially had 2 sons with autistic spectrum disorders. We did not understand why this was happening to us, neither what God was doing about it. At that point Audrey lost hope and was so depressed.
By the grace of God and through prayer and fellowship with caring people, she was able to go through this difficult time. In the middle of all this, as we had 2 sons, we wanted a daughter. We prayed and God gave us a beautiful daughter in 2008. She is growing up well and is a joy to the family.
Then a little while later, as we were not expecting any more children, God decided to give a new addition to our family. This fourth pregnancy was such a learning curve for us. Our youngest son had a high risk of Down Syndrome from the beginning of the pregnancy - which became even higher later (1 in 10). We`also found out he had a risk of cystic fibrosis, infection and other conditions... A scan during the second trimester revealed that the baby had echogenic bowels (obstructions in the bowels), which is a marker for Down Syndrome. After already having 2 special needs children, we could not bear the thought of a third one. Of course the alternative of further invasive investigation (amniosynthesis), in view of not keeping an indesirable baby, was suggested to us. But we could not go ahead with that. We decided to choose God. We prayed together and we confessed God's promises (in His Word) over our son regularly. God spoke to us and even gave us the name of our son through a dream: "Raphael" which means "the Lord heals". Finally, after such difficult times but in which we learned so much, Raphael was born perfectly healthy to the glory of God.
Being faced with these life challenges has led us to do so much research in many areas. We learned that with God nothing is impossible. He can and He will show us the way if we trust Him. We have found out so many things along the way that we did not even expect to find, things that are beneficial for everybody's health and well-being in every area of our being - spirit, soul and body. We also discovered things that are detrimental to our full well-being and keep us bound, unuseful for the advancement of God's Kingdom. These are all the things we wish to share with you on this blog, hoping that you will be blessed, enjoy a great quality of life and use your full potential to serve the Living God. We would like you to be free to shine!