One cold winter night in February 2009, my wife, Nan, and I went to a movie. It was a Saturday, and we needed to get out for a while. We went to see the movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson. The movie is about a father whose daughter is abducted-taken-for the purpose of child trafficking, or sex slavery to be specific. As any good father would do, Liam Neeson hunts down the men responsible and saves the day. We returned home that night to find Connor, our 12-year-old middle son, complaining of a headache. Little did we know that at that very hour, Connor was being taken. We gave him an Ibuprofen and sent him to bed, confident he would feel better in the morning. But his health didn’t improve.

On February 17, 2009, just 10 days after his first headache, Connor stopped singing. He passed away and was gone from this world. He was taken.

A mutual friend told Randy and Pam Cope about our loss. They, too, had experienced the unspeakable loss of a child when their son, Jantsen, age 15, died in 1999 of an undetected heart defect. With great compassion and shared experience, they ministered to us. Pam invited Nan to go to Ghana and work with rescued slave children. Helping children in honor of Connor seemed to be a worthy effort and something that he would have loved to do. In 2010, Nan, my sister, and a small team of women went with Pam to Ghana for two weeks. By God’s grace, while surveying the rescue efforts, Nan and the team unexpectedly found themselves rescuing two young boys!

And that’s when she heard Connor’s voice; he was singing again. Our Connor had been taken, and now we were helping rescue kids in his honor. Connor always loved and cared for young children, and he loved most things creative: making art, scripting movies, building with Legos, writing stories, drawing. Bringing healing to children rescued from slavery just made sense. So we kept doing it.

Meg Bourne, one of the team members, began dreaming about building an art center for the kids. It would be something that would embody Connor’s spirit, offering education, therapy, and a creative outlet to rescued children. That dream is now becoming a reality.

Connor’s Art Center will be a place for fun and creative learning, offering caregivers the opportunity to rehabilitate kids recovering from trauma. We’ll help children move through their difficult experiences as they find God’s healing and recovery.

You may not have ever lost a child, but you can make a difference in the life of one. Help us sing Connor’s Song.

– Ron and Nan Deal

To read Ron’s full testimony of how this work began and how Connor’s death has recalibrated the Deal’s life, read Taken.

To hear Ron’s testimony listen to

Play Recalibrated

 

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Connor’s Song, Inc. is a Christian faith-based nonprofit organization that provides charitable and educational support to help meet the needs of underprivileged children and families both in the US and worldwide. One specific activity of Connor’s Song is the Connor Creative Art Center on the Touch A Life Foundation care facility in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa.

Connor’s Song, Inc. is recognized in the United States as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service. All donations are tax deductible.