Some of my earliest memories of my home church involve the Henretty family. Tom and Denise Henretty were the youth leaders when our family first starting attending and the bubbly, crazy nature of Denise was perfectly balanced by her calm and collected husband. They did a great job leading us spiritually and when the Lord called them to another church (to enter ministry full time), we were certainly sad to see them go. Their daughter, Kayla, attended the same college as I did (Go Geneva!), though our paths didn’t really cross much. A few years after graduation, Kayla and her husband discovered, with great delight, they were expecting a son. However, their beautiful baby came with a genetic disorder they weren’t expecting: SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy).
I’m not completely clear on all the details, but I know little Ford isn’t like other kids in many ways. Common germs are extremely dangerous. His muscles quickly atrophy, and he will probably never walk, crawl, or even sit up. Kayla’s days are filled with careful monitoring, physical therapy exercises and treatments for little Ford. I’m sure it’s overwhelming, exhausting and often discouraging. Yet through it all, Kayla clings to the Lord.
The family has had many ups and downs. Once, a family sold their SUV to the Sniezek’s at a significant discount so little Ford could have his custom car seat installed. Many friends have rallied around them to provide support and encouragement. There have been many hardships too. Last March, the family’s house caught fire, a devastating experience no matter who you are. If that wasn’t enough, Ford’s grandfather also died as a direct result of the fire. I’m sure at times, it just seems like too much to bear.
This Christmas, Kayla made a special mailbox for Ford and asked friends and families to send Ford cards and letters (read all about it on Kayla’s blog). I felt like this would be a great project for the kids at church to participate in. I shared a bit of their story and then encouraged the kids to make cards, write verses, or draw pictures for little Ford. I asked them to pray before they started working and try to listen to what the Holy Spirit might want them to write. Here’s a few of their pieces:
1 Timothy 4:12
A promise that God will be with you
2 Corinthians 12:10
A picture to cheer you.
I was so touched by some of the verses the kids wrote — they seemed so appropriate and I truly hope they were a blessing to the family!
Will You Help?
I don’t usually do posts like these, but Kayla and her family have been weighing heavy on my heart lately. I was wondering if you, my readers, could also rally around this family? Through prayer, cards of encouragement, or financially? Let’s reach out in love to this family today!
Will You Help the Sniezek Family?
PO Box 363
Portersville PA 16051