Vocalist Jon Sheptock presented a concert July 12, 2017, during Spruce Lake Retreat’s Family Week in Canadensis, Pennsylvania. Despite his incredible voice and godly charisma on stage, this was no ordinary concert. In the audience sat his biological mother and several other relatives, listening. They had never heard him sing like this! In fact, they had not heard him sing at all since the day he was born 41 years ago.
Jon was born in 1976 with an unusual affliction: no arms and a right leg about six inches shorter than the other. That same evening, his biological parents made the difficult decision to turn him over to the state for care. Six months later, the Sheptock family adopted him into their home.
Growing up with his disability, Jon endured more than any able-bodied person could possibly understand. As a teenager, feeling in total despair, he considered ending his life. But God miraculously caught Jon, helping him discover a special gift: his voice. He could sing!
God also led Jon to his wife, Staci, and opened up amazing opportunities to sing throughout the United States and to be the lead singer for the One Percenters band, a prison ministry that he is part of.
Life had become good, and Jon loved serving the Lord.
In December, 2016, Jon received a most unusual email. It was from the social care worker who had helped place him with the Sheptock family when he was six months old. The worker asked, “Would he be willing to see his mother?”
After several days, Jon responded: Yes, he was ready to meet her. He traveled to New Jersey in March 2017 to meet JoAnn Rand, his biological mother.
It was like they had never been apart all those years.Their bonding was immediate and sure. God had surprised him beyond all expectations again!
And so it was that JoAnn Rand came to Spruce Lake to hear the child she had always loved sing for the very first time.
This story originally appeared in the July edition of Natural Links, a newsletter published by Mennonite Camping Association.
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