Rainbow Valley Resource Network
In their own words
Raising a loved one with special needs isn’t easy. Being part of a supportive faith community helps!
RVRN is blessed to share these stories and expression of gratitude with you. Told in the words of our constituents and supporters, they convey the impact and benefits of our mission better than we could ourselves.
Why RVRN is important
A Conversation with Chris Cheney
“As a parent, for me to become part of this nationwide network takes me back to when our daughter, Melanie, was born. We were stunned we were suddenly parents of a child with special needs.” Melanie is the second of Chris’ two daughters. When she was born, they didn’t know what to expect. Immediately, the doctor shared, “This child is not normal. She has Down Syndrome.”
Chris and his wife kept looking for evidences of normalcy. In their desire for progress, they dug deeper to identify Melanie’s right to be. Chris ultimately came across a statement in Unity of Good by Mary Baker Eddy that reads, “Human beings are physically mortal, but spiritually immortal” (Un. 37:17).
“When I reflect back on our experience as Melanie joined our family, there was not much understanding at that time in the Christian Science (CS) community of how to deal with her needs. We felt kind of on the periphery. This is why RVRN is so important. Where else can CS families find a resource where they can feel free to explore metaphysically and practically how to help each other be more effective in supporting their children with special needs?!
“Now that I’m aware of RVRN, I keep discovering opportunities to share about it!” Chris is involved with RVRN to give back to other families what he’s learned from his own experiences. “Helping church members feel comfortable around all individuals is important. RVRN helps them realize they have a very important role in embracing families with special needs. They can be a part of these families.”
Chris knew society’s label of ‘developmentally delayed’ could not outline Melanie’s future. As in mathematics, where rules are based on infinity, Chris’ expectations for Melanie are unlimited as well. Over the years, Melanie has experienced many healings through prayer – including crossed eyes corrected, undershot jaw when a toddler, sudden gasping for each breath in the middle of the night, dislocated knee cap in her teens, and a quick healing of a sore throat through her own praying of the Lord’s prayer. Melanie continues to make beautiful strides, often one little step at a time.
“Whenever a door has needed to open for Melanie, it has. That, to me, is evidence that God’s love for her is taking her all the way, and that will never stop.”
Melanie and Chris recently spending time together at her school.