This fall has been a memorable one for me, and one of those fond memories will always be the night I heard Gov. Mike Huckabee speak at the Davidson Center in Huntsville. He was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for an organization called Rainbow Omega. In a word, it was a night of true hope, and I heard one of the finest speeches in my life.
Rainbow Omega, which is based in Eastaboga, was started in order to meet the needs of one developmentally disabled man born into a non-disabled family. It has been open for around 20 years, and is considered one of the top facilities of its kind anywhere. I was able to attend the event with Chip Wilson, of My 180 Health, and courtesy of Sharon Wales and Mike Carpenter, both of Rainbow Omega. Mike happens to be the brother of the disabled man, and their father, Stentson Carpenter is the founder. All of them work tirelessly to make Rainbow Omega a marvelous place to live, and their love for the dis- abled is powerful.
Currently Rainbow Omega serves around 80 disabled people, one of whom sat our table. His name was Allan, he is 38 years old, and is an avid ‘Bama fan. He also works at the Honda plant located in Lincoln, AL, as do many of the residents. Sharon had made sure Allan had a spiffy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit for Halloween, and Chip is going to make sure Allan gets to go to an Alabama home game.
Many of the members of the Rainbow Omega community live in group homes with house parents, and some need more individualized and intensive care, which they abundantly receive. There is also a thriving greenhouse where some of the residents work, and the place bursts with beautiful life. It was the theme of life, and the preciousness of it about which Gov Huckabee spoke so eloquently.
However, before he got into the meat of his speech, he did something I have never seen, and that was to publically thank the servers who waited upon us. It was not a “let’s hear it!” type pep rally, although in another context that certainly has its rightful place. Rather it was a quiet and deep affection for life that spoke of the servers in terms of honor. Governor Huckabee also reminded us, as we were feasting at the Davidson Center, of the fact that America had forgotten the technological benefits that came out of the Space Race, many of which we take for granted, and were developed in our state a half a century ago. “Davidson represents America at its best,” he said, and the audience agreed.
He then went on to re- mind us that being pro- life is about far more than abortion, it is about “affirming the value of every person.” Certainly there have been several cultures that have snuffed out the lives of those who have been wrongfully deemed “less than perfect,” and let us remember that those cultures are no more.
The battle for our culture and our nation will at least in part be determined by whether we choose to believe and live the following statement made by Mr. Huckabee: “We can take this life and give it away, or we can take this life and throw it away. The life that pleases God is like Jesus, who did not try to hold on to His.”
If you would like to support Rainbow Omega, you can contact Mike Carpenter at 256-831-0910, or at the www.rainbowomega. org website. It is a faith based, 501-C3 organization, and is also open to youth groups coming there for mission trips. I am sure that the greatest benefit will come to those who think they need it the least. It’s just always that way.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner