Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 3, 2013

YOU SHOULD KNOW... Coni Walters

GOSHEN — Even though Coni Walters has suffered from vaccine polio since she was 4-years-old, she hasn’t let the disease crush her spirit or outlook on life.

Walters has been wheelchair-bound for some time because of the polio.

Her motto reflects how she lives her life — Born to be a blessing and not a burden.

She’s been blessed as the director of a home for people with various disabilities, which operates under the name Dream Ministries.

“Dream Ministries was a vision upon my heart many years ago and it came to fruition in 2006 when a woman (with disabilities) lived in a group home and needed more than what she could get there,” Walters said.

She currently shares the home “with two ladies who need encouragement and guidance in daily living, skills and adventure,” she said.

The handicap-accessible house is in a subdivision across from Grace Community Church on C.R. 36 in Goshen.

The house has three wheelchair ramps with two being visible from the outside. The third ramp isn’t seen until the garage door goes up or Walters leads her visitors to the garage via an interior door.

“I love it,” Walters said, laughing as she guided her motorized wheelchair down the four-sectioned ramp to the lower level. Ken Mininger, a friend and carpenter, designed the ramp that will last longer than an elevator, she added.

“The ramp becomes a fun place. Kids have skateboarded on it. They’ll get our extra wheelchairs and have wheelchair races,” she said. “The young ones run up and down. They love to play flashlight tag in the garage.”

Walters said Grace Community Church supports her ministry and church members Emmon and Dana Schmucker, who are also realtors, had the idea of seeking volunteers and funds to help build the home. They began construction in June 2012.

“We are now in that home built by persons primarily from church, but had help from Bashor (Children’s) Home and the building and trades class from Goshen High School, and other friends in the community,” she said, smiling.

Walters added she’s blessed to be a part of the church because “my gifts of hospitality and servanthood are embraced, encouraged and challenged there and my girls are accepted there.”

Dream Ministries services approximately 50 families within the church and community for free.

“After an interview we can offer respite care as well as child care at no cost. We try to service as needed. I am the staff along with my two girls,” Walters said. “This is God’s ministry being filtered through Coni, Ruth and Ashley (her girls).”

She has two “dream” closets in the lower level of the home filled with craft supplies and other assorted items, including games and books to be used by the people she helps. And they have one rule to follow — you get it out, you put it away.

“It’s the same way I live my life. I do my best and I expect them to do their best,” she said.

Grace Community Church continues to support her ministry by sponsoring the third annual Totally Tropical Luau Saturday, March 9, for adults and children with various disabilities.

Three years ago, she approached a pastor at Grace about having a quiet dinner for people with disabilities during the Christmas season.

“They wanted to have a luau and a big party. It flows with how Grace likes to run — very fun and inviting,” she said. “It grows every year and it’s much anticipated by the church workers who volunteer and throughout the year by people with disabilities. We are reaching out with Christ’s love.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140424 Emma1 Pioneer Drama Troupe to perform 'Emma' Emma has a gift for getting people together — or so she thinks. Pride and matchmaking gone awry are key to Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which will be brought to theatrical life this weekend by the Pioneer Drama Troupe.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140423 west goshen dress code 04 West Goshen dress code policy unveiled GOSHEN — Solid color shirts with collars and two to four buttons are the proposed changes for students at Goshen Elementary School with a standardized dress code policy this fall.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'