A few years ago, when I was setting up a page with links to info about blindness and spirituality, I ran across a neat site called Mariposa. This is what's on the front page:
Mariposa Ministry explores what it means to live with a physical disability -- socially, emotionally, and spiritually, in sexuality, family and interpersonal life, parenting, and work -- and empowers peer counselors who have lived the experiences to reach out into the community, especially to disabled youth and young adults. ...
Mariposa Ministry also seeks the full participation of persons with disabilities in the life and ministry of the church, and has given many presentations and workshops on faith and disability. ...
Mariposa is an international, interdenominational, bilingual (Spanish/English) Christian fellowship that began in 1974 in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico as an outreach of the Calexico United Methodist Church. There is currently an active independent Mariposa Fellowship in Mexicali. Mariposa San Diego is now a ministry of San Diego METRO, and is an Advance Special Project of the United Methodist Church San Diego District. There is an Imperial Valley (California) fellowship group and a Mariposa On Line e-mail forum. Although we are ecumenical and interdenominational, we are especially indebted for support given over the years by churches and individuals in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church .
I was excited but also noticed that the ministry was exclusive to people with "physical disabilities" (aka mobility impairments). I really wished there was something like this for blind people.
So things went on, and I had my surgery and put my journals up on the web site. In January, 2002, Ken Tittle (the doctor who founded Mariposa) wrote to me after visiting my site. He wanted to expand his knowledge of blindness and open some dialog in Mariposa because he suspected that some of the deep issues were similar for people who are blind and people with mobility impairments. He invited me to join the online discussion, which I did eagerly.
Every year there are two Methodist conferences on prayer and healing: one short one in February and one long one in July. Some of the Mariposas always go, and this gives opportunity for some rare face-to-face discussions. I decided to go to the short conference this year and have just returned home. The discussions I have participated in online and now face-to-face have been very healing emotionally and spiritually for me. I now know what drove me apart from God several years ago, and that is something that is healing.
The story about the conference is very long, and I've posted it on my other web site because of that length. Read the story here.