Excellence: 'God Uses Faulty Vessels"

By Gloria Smith

Ron SandisonTulsa, OK - Ron Sandison ran in state track finals in high school, earned a college degree in Psychology with a 3.9 GPA, received a M.Div. in Theology with a minor in Greek, authored a book, currently teaches theology, frequently speaks to crowds and is married with a baby daughter. This would be an impressive list of accomplishments for anyone, but is especially so for someone who was diagnosed at a young age with autism spectrum disorder.

"[My mom] quit her job as an art teacher and became a full-time Ron teacher," Sandison says of his dedicated mother. Individuals with autism often have difficulty processing information heard audibly, while concepts learned visually can be more easily applied to natural settings, a process called generalization.

It paid off. Sandison gave his life to Christ in his junior year of high school and, after making the state track finals, realized he could help people through ministry. He attended Oral Roberts University on a track scholarship and has since authored the book A Parent's Guide to Autism: Practical Advice, Biblical Wisdom and has spoken in front of thousands, with an additional thirty speaking engagements lined up for the future.

He also embraces autism's unique gifts: he can quote 10,000 scriptures, including 22 complete books of the New Testament, and has also translated two-thirds of the Greek New Testament into English.

"God uses faulty vessels," Sandison says. "He takes our quirks and can use them for his glory."

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