Teaching the Teacher at Family Retreat

  • By: Joni and Friends
  • July 19, 2012
  • Family Retreats

Ty and Danny in the swimming poolTy Coleman is a special education teacher in Laffayette, Pennsylvania. At the end of the school year, instead of taking a vacation, Ty heads to Family Retreat, where he serves kids and families with disabilities as a Short Term Missionary (STM) with joy and passion. Why? “At Family Retreat people with disabilities are happy and celebrated,” says Ty. “We see ‘God smiles’ all day long. God’s love is here in what one person does for another.

At Family Retreat we’re all unified, we’re all unique and celebrated. Family Retreat is how God intended us to be!” Ty’s job as an STM is demanding as he serves Danny, who has developmental disabilities. “My patience was pushed—but I enjoyed the push because it pushed me beyond myself,” he explained. “I learned to put the needs of my camper above my own. College teaches you a lot, but at Family Retreat we go one-on-one with our camper with God’s love and His strength—and that is the most powerful and beautiful experience of all!”

As an STM, Ty echoes what so many families say about Family Retreat: It’s a little taste of heaven. “You gotta understand the concept of serving,” explains Ty. “Here at Retreat we’re all about coming alongside others and I get a lot of joy out of that! I do it because I love it!” 


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I agree 100% with Ty's comments. This was my 1st year serving as an STM and I loved it so much! I'm a Special Education teacher and agree that college doesn't teach you everything! Love JAF!!
  • July 22, 2012
  • 5:28 p.m.
  • Julie Meyers
Dear Joni, I learn to appreciate the mentality of serving other people in the Name of Jesus more and more as I get older and wiser.Also I can see the wisdom of God in how JAF view helping people with a disability.Mat 25:35,36 A very encouraging testimony of Ty!
  • July 20, 2012
  • 3:01 a.m.
  • San