Ryan Pittman may have been born with Down syndrome, but he knows better than anyone that God has a powerful plan and purpose for his life, despite his disability. An extraordinary man of character and love, Ryan’s parents have talked about the wonderful example he has become to other families who are dealing with disability.
“There’s nobody anymore fun than Ryan,” said his father, Ron, in a testimony videofrom Fellowship Nashville. “Ryan is an awesome kid. He has a great sense of humor. He looks at life with joy, and he loves people.”
“He thrives on relationships and when he meets you he’s made a friend for life.”
Ron recalled that when Ryan saw a presentation all about mission trips, he immediately knew it was something he wanted to do. “He immediately said, ‘I want to go on a mission trip, I want to go to Peru,’” his dad explained.
At first, the parents were apprehensive about how Ryan would handle the long-distance travel. But Ryan was persistent, making his parents aware of every planning meeting held for the upcoming trip.
“Ryan was being called to Peru long ago, and he really influenced our family deciding to sign up for the family mission trip this year,” Ron added.
But Ryan’s mom still harbored some concerns about Ryan becoming “tired and irritable” on the trip. It would be physically demanding and emotionally draining. Then, they discovered something astonishing. The plant church that the mission team was traveling out to was running a special needs ministry program and was incredibly excited about bringing Ryan onboard their team.
“When we found that out, it was an eye-opener for me that God had a bigger plan for what we were doing,” Ron explained.
Amazingly, Ryan ended up reading his testimony before the congregation in Peru. “We didn’t really plan on Ryan to tell his testimony that day, but it just sort of happens.”
The ministry leaders were utterly inspired, having been convinced that those who suffer from Down syndrome are unable to read. “As that unfolded, it was amazing to watch the look in the eyes of these mothers. The hope that was just burning in them. I had no idea that God was going to use him in that way. That he was going to make such an impact with so many people just by simply telling his story.”
Ryan gave his incredible testimony to his church congregation.
“I grew up in a Christian home,” Ryan explained. “I believed in Jesus about four years ago. I asked Him to be my savior. I was baptized at Church. It was a great day, everyone clapped.”
“Because of Jesus, I have a servant’s heart, full of his love. The Holy Spirit helps me make good choices. God is teaching me not to fuss with Mom or Daddy.”
“God made all of us different. I am different. Because I have Down syndrome,” Ryan noted.
“But God also made us all the same. We all need God. Thank you.”