If not for a dream…the Jessica & Friends Community story

Carl Sandberg once said, “Noth­ing hap­pens un­less first a dream.” On the even­ing of Oc­tob­er 29, 1998 we wit­nessed the birth of a dream right in our own home! Let us take you back to March 22, 1981, when our third child, Jes­sica, was born into our home, join­ing two other sibl­ings. Jes­sica had de­velop­ment­al de­lays, so at the age of 17 months, we took her to Johns Hop­kins for a week of evalua­tions. At the end of that week we were given the de­vas­tat­ing news that Jes­sica had severe in­tel­lectu­al dis­abilit­ies and life for her would never be “norm­al.” At the time we were de­vas­tated, and won­dered why this had hap­pened to our pre­ci­ous Jes­sica. We found com­fort in know­ing that al­though God’s ways are not al­ways un­derstand­able, we can al­ways trust Him.

In the midst of our struggles, hear­tache, and some­times al­most over­whelm­ing dif­ficult­ies of parent­ing Jes­sica, God’s grace was evi­dent, His faithful­ness shown time and time again. Jes­sica be­came an im­por­tant part of our fami­ly with every­one sac­rific­ing and help­ing with her care. It was all worthwhile to see her smil­ing face, sweet tem­pera­ment, and her love for life and her fami­ly.

Over the years we have asked God how He is going to use Jes­sica’s life to bring Him glory. God has given us many op­por­tunit­ies to en­courage and help other famil­ies who have childr­en with speci­al needs. We rea­lized as we were gett­ing older, that we would not al­ways be here to care for Jes­sica. As are many other parents who have speci­al needs childr­en, we were bur­dened for her fu­ture. Thus God gave us a dream to pro­vide faith-based homes where adults with in­tel­lectu­al dis­abilit­ies can sense the love of Chr­ist through com­pas­sionate care and train­ing and be given the op­por­tun­ity to reach their God-given poten­ti­al.

As we tal­ked with vari­ous in­dividu­als ac­ross York Co­un­ty and be­yond we dis­covered wait­ing lists of in­dividu­als for sup­ports and ser­vices, and a faith-based pro­vid­er would be wel­comed by many famil­ies. So at that first meet­ing on Oc­tob­er 29, 1998, where we shared our vis­ion with an Ad­viso­ry Com­mit­tee, who even­tual­ly be­came our Board of Di­rec­tors, our dream was em­braced. At the stroke of 9:00 p.m. the name Jes­sica & Friends Com­mun­ity was adop­ted and the birth of our dream was rea­lized.

God’s plans con­tinue to be much larg­er than our dream. As we strive to meet the needs of many famil­ies in the com­mun­ity, our or­ganiza­tion has grown around four pil­lars: re­siden­ti­al homes, a caregiv­er minist­ry, home and com­mun­ity pro­gram, our Pathway Ser­vices day pro­gram, and a for-pro­fit busi­ness (J&F Pro­ducts). All of these pil­lars op­erate with­in a faith-based sett­ing. God is doing above what we ever thought pos­sible and has bles­sed us all be­yond our dreams!

Peter and Paulet­te Teague, Co-Founders

Discover our 4 Pillars

 Our Vision

By faith, we strive to ful­fill and pro­claim the good news of the gos­pel by pro­vid­ing ser­vices to famil­ies im­pac­ted by in­tel­lectu­al dis­abilit­ies re­gardless of fin­an­ci­al stand­ing.

Our Mission

Pro­vide faith-based ser­vices and sup­ports for in­dividu­als and famil­ies with aut­ism and in­tel­lectu­al dis­abilit­ies. We seek to be a com­mun­ity which af­firms the worth of all peo­ple, sup­ports per­son­al growth and whole­ness, ad­vocates for com­mun­ity and church in­clus­ion, and pro­vides op­por­tunit­ies for spiritu­al growth and ser­vice.

Core Values

We value and af­firm the in­herent di­gn­ity, sig­nifican­ce and worth of each per­son re­gardless of phys­ical capabil­ity and in­tel­lectu­al func­tion (Psalm 139:13-16).

13For you created my in­most being;
you knit me togeth­er in my mot­her’s womb. 14I pra­ise you be­cause I am fear­ful­ly and won­der­ful­ly made; your works are won­der­ful,

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