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International mission

When you spend years in the bleachers watching everything from 2 year-old soccer to high school football, certain kids tend to stand out. Danny Conlin is one such kid. 

Danny visiting the special needs orphanage in China-certainly looks like this is his calling.

Danny’s latest journey began when he gave testimony at church about his relationship with his older brother, Joseph. Joseph is a loving young man with special needs. Danny and his siblings are his champions. “After I gave my testimony, our friends, Crystal and Jason Young, came up to me and invited me to travel to China with them over Christmas break to pick up their adopted daughter, Lana,” says Danny. “Lana has Down’s Syndrome and they thought I might be a good person to travel with since I have some experience with special needs.” Danny is the president of the Grayson HS Best Buddies (Special Needs) Club where he works alongside the Young’s daughter, Shelby. His future plans are to become a special education teacher. 

When his mom posted a prayer request for Danny’s successful mission trip at Christmas, she probably didn’t realize just how many people value a good kid. In order to go ahead, they needed a couple of things. First, Danny’s mom asked for safe travel for Danny and the Young family as he accompanied them on their trip to bring their special needs child home from China. Secondly, she asked for any financial gift that might make this trip possible. 

A small sign-a glimmer of hope for the success of the trip came when Danny and his mom sat down at the kitchen table to talk out the details of the trip. “She had bought this massive suitcase for me for college the day before all this happened,” says Danny. “I think it was the glimmer of hope that I should do this.” 

Danny was right. After some community fundraising efforts in a very short amount of time and a gift from his church, Danny and his suitcase will be traveling to China and Thailand. The Young family and Danny will be doing mission work while they are there in addition to bringing Lana into the family. For Danny, it is all a part of the work he knows he is called to do. For his mom, it is more evidence of Danny’s gifts being used for the highest good.