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An Autistic Needs a Home and Place of Ministry

$1,045 of $52,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 5 months
Created August 5, 2018
I am an autistic adult and interfaith minister who has no family except for my three registered service dogs.  I dream of establishing a secure sense of home from which I can make my most positive contribution to the surrounding world.  Being finally diagnosed with autism in 2013 provided a solid explanation for a lifetime of intense struggle, but also made it clear that the solutions to my challenges are most likely to always be unconventional ones.  That being said, every autistic whom I've met, has some unique area of inexplicable and amazing expertise--mine seems to be in areas of spirituality, theology, and philosophy.   One psychiatrist expressed that he believes I am a savant; my own experience suggests that I'm at least some sort of prodigy, since the first time an adult asked me for spiritual counseling was when I was only twelve years old. 

I developed a ministerial alter-ego over twenty-seven years ago, which in spite of not being a financially self-supporting activity thus far, has been noticed and appreciated by literally thousands of people all around the world.  The name given to this work is Sister Who and extensive information is available online at www.SisterWho.com.  In order for this work to continue, however, as many have enthusiastically requested, I must have a base of operations that does not leave me constantly fighting for mere survival instead of doing the work I was born to do (as an ordained interfaith minister, writer, and artist).  Some have suggested that a business manager or marketing professional would make a profound difference within my life, but no one has ever been willing to embrace the specific challenges of that job. 

In many ways, the work of Sister Who is specifically shaped and enhanced by having autism and could even be considered to be my autistic voice, but the service demonstrated fully incorporates also that in spite of being unable to secure ongoing traditional employment, I am exceptionally honest and hard-working.  The statistic I see most frequently is that 85% of people with high-functioning autism are unemployed, in most cases through no fault of their own.  My personal experience is that I either work myself out of a job by being too efficient and/or effective, or else by being quirky in ways that cause potential employers to choose someone else.  I continue to explore virtually every good option that crosses my path, however, and hope to also someday be given a chance to prove myself as a college/university professor, since I seem to have a knack for activities of higher education. 

At present, however, in spite of my best efforts, I am barely surviving within subsidized housing that is adversarial to the needs of my disability.  More specifically, I need a personal environment that can be fully custom-fit to my unique experience of autism, so that every detail of my home environment supports my ability to cope with life challenges.  My intention is to transform my home and property into a configuration of sacred spaces that are equally empowering to others, inviting those in need of such to be my guests for time periods of one day to as much as three weeks. 

Donations would be encouraged but not required, because I do not believe that mental, emotional, and spiritual health should be available only to those with greater financial resources.  What I hope to provide is a way for individuals and small groups to be able to "take a time out" whenever life seems too overwhelming.  I would simply be the live-in caretaker of the various sacred environments on the property, available to help in whatever ways I can. 

Please help me to have faith that I really am here for a good reason and that there really is a place for me within this world, by supporting this fundraising effort as much as you can, in every way you can. 

Thank you very, very much.
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Update 135
Posted by Denver NeVaar
1 day ago
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video #2
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Update 134
Posted by Denver NeVaar
2 days ago
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Video #5, which is very challenging to me personally, because manifestation has not yet occurred, but, I believe, remains absolutely possible.
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Update 133
Posted by Denver NeVaar
3 days ago
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I suppose one of the most difficult aspects of trying to do daily updates to this fundraising effort, is that there are as many reasons for donating as there are people. Each morning is no more than my best guess, therefore, of what would inspire people to send a first or additional donation of whatever amount they decide. At some points, it has seemed like the unconventional ministry of Sister Who is something that certain people want to support. At other times it has seemed that certain people are aware of how societal systems negatively discriminate against people with autism and that these people disagree with that negative discrimination enough to choose to be better and more proactive than their societal systems, by donating what they can to help meet the need. All of this considered together, could be interpreted as a sort of ongoing communal debate about what the response of any individual to my circumstances should be.

The thing I would ask everyone to remember this morning, is that while this debate continues, an autistic adult waits as patiently as he is able, for the answer to come. For the moment, at least, I still have no true sense of home, but I try to carry on as well as I can in spite of that. Additionally, during this time of waiting, I am far from idle, but rather remain as proactive and industrious as I can be--striving to push circumstances and outcomes in positive directions.

Another way of describing this challenge would be to say that it's easy to ignore newspaper headlines, as long as one does not know any of the people directly involved. Once the names and stories become known, however, the challenge might be too difficult to overlook. There are times when I wonder if, because of autism, I embody more reality than most people are able to bear. They may choose to escape from that awareness by immersing themselves in various distractions. Specifically because this reality-with-the-volume-turned-up comes from within, there is no escape for me except by truly resolving the challenge.

So I continue to share parts of the story of my daily experience of life, hoping that individuals who are able to help, will be inspired to do so and that the time for truly resolving this challenge will not be long in coming. In the truest sense of the word, I just want to go home--but, at least for now, I can't.

Nonetheless, may one and all and everything, blessed and loved ever be.
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Update 132
Posted by Denver NeVaar
4 days ago
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I think the most important thing about love is not that one have it, but rather that one be continuously involved in circulating it. Like blood throughout any human body, it is essential not only that it be there to provide oxygen, nutrients, and waste removal, but also that it be continuously circulating in order to support the health and strength of every part of the body. The same is true of the extended family of humanity. Any part that has unmet needs, after varying amounts of time, will begin to die. By not responding to various needs the larger family of humanity begins to metaphorically be like an amputee, who must figure out ways to continue onward through life without the contributions of the missing parts.

In creating this opportunity to provide a home for an autistic adult as well as a ministerial resource for virtually anyone and everyone, I am inviting the possibility of a community moving onward through time with wholeness, inclusivity, and empowering symbiotic relationship. Inherent within the definition of symbiosis, however, is that I cannot do this all by myself. I need each of you to do and give whatever you can--just as you need me to continue doing and giving whatever I can.

Perhaps someday soon, human society will sufficiently value its autistic members that the contributions of such persons will be valued and effectively integrated. For the present time, unfortunately, that is seldom the case--making fundraising efforts such as this one necessary. I guess what I am ultimately inviting by doing this fundraising activity, is that we will stand up together and be better than the often ineffective societal systems of our time. It is quite legitimate to say that the future of humanity may indeed depend upon us doing so.

As much as we cannot solve all of the world's problems, a home for an autistic interfaith minister is something we can definitely do--if we work together.

Please continue to support this effort in whatever amounts and ways you are able. Thank you.
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$1,045 of $52,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 5 months
Created August 5, 2018
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