Joel Motman. Hi my name is Joel Motman. Today I would like to share with you my story. This story begins on January 16, 1977 one wintery morning. At the age of four, when people should typically be starting to walk, I was crawling.
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Hi my name is Joel Motman. Today I would like to share with you my story. This story begins on January 16, 1977 one wintery morning.
At the age of four, when people should typically be starting to walk, I was crawling.
My parents began to wonder why so they took me to visit the doctor.
That is when they found out that
I was born with
Cerebral Palsy is a condition where your muscles
do not work as you want them to because your brain does not receive enough
oxygen at birth.
In order to help me,
my parents decided to join a program called the
which was led by volunteers who came to our home daily.
This program consists of various activities in order to help work the brain with such things as crawling, hanging upside down, walking under a ladder, and working on math skills.
We would begin very early in the morning
go for pretty much the whole day.
After being on the program for awhile we began to see great improvement and after graduating from the program I did something that I thought was nearly impossible!
I walked down the
aisle of my church!
Soon after this, I began kindergarten at Hudsonville Christian School but then in 6th grade, I transferred to Freedom Baptist.
It is now called
While at Freedom, I made many great memories.
A few short years later, my dad, who was my best friend, stayed at the Cleveland Clinic for six weeks where he later passed away due to a heart attack.
When God took my dad I began to ask,
“Why did you take him?”
Although we don’t always understand why, God has a plan for everything.
Looking back on it all, I guess God was trying to tell me that I could journey on without my dad by my side, but I still have the LORD by my side
and He is My Father.
After completing 10th grade, my mom suggested that I attend Jenison High School for my junior year due to the many services they offered, so I did.
After that year,
I told my mom I wanted to go back to Freedom for my senior year. So she went to Freedom and asked if they would take me back. and they said, “We will in a heartbeat.”
My senior year began and when the teachers started discussing the Senior trip, I said to myself, “There is no way that I can go because of having a disability.”
We then had a meeting with the teachers who were going on the trip and we decided that it would be possible.
With God's help, I went to Colorado.
You are looking at a man who went rock-repelling and white-water rafting. God is amazing! In that same year,1996, I graduated from Freedom Baptist High School.
While I was still in high school, I would go to Freedom in the morning for classes and then to a place called Kandu where I began working.
Kandu is a place that offers employment to those with disabilities. Basically, Kandurecieves work from companies. We would do the work and send it back to them.
At Kandu, we were paid at a rate per piece.
So the more we did, the more we got paid.
As I became older,
we thought it was time for me to become more independent.
So, we began looking for a group home.
We found one called My Brother's House.
At this home, I had my own room…which was a “plus.”
I lived there for about five years with five other guys until I was removed from the home due to falling.
I then moved back in with my mom where I lived for two years.
During this time I was asking God, “What is the next chapter in my life?”
After two years of living with her, my mom began to have health concerns so we needed a place for me to live.
That is when I moved to Eastmanville to live with a man who ran his own group home, independently.
He took really great care of me, but the other men in that home were a lot older than me.
After about three years of living there, my mom called the person regarding housing to ask if there was another place for me.
The person on the other end of the phone replied, “Not really, he falls between the cracks due to his care needs.”
But then, something amazing happened, she called my mom back and said, “I want you to check out David's House Ministries.”
My mom responded,
“Well isn't that in Kent County?”
My mom asked that because when you cross county lines, the county gives you a run for your money!
The person responded, “Because we are relocating Joel, he wouldn't have a problem”.
One day my mom and I took a tour of David's House and it was amazing!
After the tour was over, we got back into the car and the first thing out of my mouth was, “I want to live here”, so we came back for an interview with the home at a later date.
And guess what? Today I am a resident at David's House Ministries and I couldn't be happier!
The only downside is that I had to leave Kandu after working there for 18 ½ years.
I sometimes get mad at God for giving me a disability,
I also know God has allowed this for a purpose.
As you can see my life has been like a yo-yo, sometimes I am up and sometimes I am down, but I am still happy because I have great news.
You might be going through a difficult time but this is
not our final destiny.
One day we will all be taking one last trip…
Now, My nephew Eric and I would like to sing a song he wrote about me!