By Jenn Lee, TSC Coordinator, Ames
Walking into Summer Salt for the first time was an intimidating thing for Ashley to do. Not only had she never been to Salt Company and knew absolutely no one else in attendance, but she is also fully blind. However, despite her disability, Ashley was intent and determined on discovering what it was like to have genuine community. So, she immediately found a connection group to join.
The next week when the group met for the first time, Ashley openly discussed her disability, how she had ended up in Ames, and what she was hoping to get out of connection group. The other girls in the group were intrigued by her story, and asked more questions. By the end of the night, many of them had exchanged numbers with Ashley and told her that if she ever needed a ride to feel free to call them.
Throughout the rest of the summer Ashley and one of the girls, Jill, became friends. Not only was Jill finding joy in serving Ashley by giving her rides to and from Salt Company, but she was also inviting Ashley to various events and group outings. Ashley said she had never had so much fun in years! Yet in the midst of the fun of developing a new friendship there grew to be a sense of authenticity between the pair.
By the end of the summer Ashley was opening up with Jill about deeply personal things, things she had rarely if ever shared with anyone. She was more open to the gospel than she had been just a month prior because she had seen Jill live the Good News out, which was an answer to prayer for Jill! Praise God for Ashley’s willingness to put herself out there and try Salt Company, for Jill’s diligent pursuit and genuine care for Ashley, and God’s continuing work within them both.