Champions Club now open for special-needs kids - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Champions Club now open for special-needs kids

Mila, 3, enjoys hanging out at the Champions Club (Source: Raycom) Mila, 3, enjoys hanging out at the Champions Club (Source: Raycom)
LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KVHP) -

Michelle Freeman and her husband have three children together. The youngest is Mila, a three year-old with Down Syndrome.

Even though it was tough for her parents to deal with, they knew they weren't alone in caring for Mila. Regular attendees of the Christian World Ministries Church in Lake Charles, they heard about am new program that would benefit not only Mila, but the entire family.

"When we found out our little girl Mila had Down Syndrome, I cried a little bit," said Freeman. "Then I thought God is never going to give us more than we can handle. I found Champions Club right here at Christian World. Our children's pastor's father founded it at Lakewood (Houston), Joel Osteen's Church.

"I just had a conversation with God. He stopped me and said, 'Look at what you're going for typical kids,'" said Craig Johnson, the founder of Champions Club. "It looks like Disneyland. Look at what you're doing for special needs kids. Those kids deserve the very best - just like every other child.

Champions Club is a designed developmental area for kids, youth and soon, for adults with special needs. They help kids like Mila spiritually, intellectually, mentally and physically. The program was founded by Johnson, who has a child with autism. The club began at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston.

The latest one is now in Lake Charles. The highly anticipated grand opening was this week - and families are excited.

"When you hear about Champions, you never know what it all entails (until) you have a special needs kid that is actually in it," said Freeman.

"Having this Champions Club is amazing," said Johnson. It's a huge blessing. Just having them go to an environment that will meet their needs of physical and spiritual I don't even know if I have words to describe it."

Even with 41 chapters (including the one in Lake Charles), Johnson and his staff are not satisfied. They plan to build Champions Clubs across the globe.

"We want this to be something that could help no matter what their situation is, no matter where they live," said Cory, Johnson's son, who is a children's pastor at Christian World Church. "They don't have to live in a big city. They can live in a remote place and still be impacted and still be cared for."

Copyright 2016 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Catching up with former KPLC senior reporter Flora Roberts

    Friday, May 25 2018 11:21 PM EDT2018-05-26 03:21:37 GMT
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    (Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)
    For 16 year viewers learned the ins and outs of seniors here in Southwest Louisiana thanks to our stations very own senior reporters.  A few weeks ago, we caught up with one of them, but where are the rest?  7News  found Flora Roberts, and discovered just what's keeping her busy these days.  "They always tell me they recognize the voice," said Roberts. The voice behind the stories of Southwest Louisiana seniors belonged to that of Flora Roberts.&...More >>
    For 16 year viewers learned the ins and outs of seniors here in Southwest Louisiana thanks to our stations very own senior reporters.  A few weeks ago, we caught up with one of them, but where are the rest?  7News  found Flora Roberts, and discovered just what's keeping her busy these days.  "They always tell me they recognize the voice," said Roberts. The voice behind the stories of Southwest Louisiana seniors belonged to that of Flora Roberts.&...More >>
  • Time capsule buried to mark end of Lake Charles Sesquicentennial Celebration

    Time capsule buried to mark end of Lake Charles Sesquicentennial Celebration

    Friday, May 25 2018 10:55 PM EDT2018-05-26 02:55:05 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)
    The city buried a time capsule at the final event of the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration in Lake Charles. A time capsule was buried on the grounds of 1911 Historic City Hall. The items buried include letters from various officials, a video message and highlight video, a McNeese football mini-helmet, and several books on the city's history. The capsule is slated for opening at the city's bicentennial celebration in 2067.  The burial of the time capsule official...More >>
    The city buried a time capsule at the final event of the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration in Lake Charles. A time capsule was buried on the grounds of 1911 Historic City Hall. The items buried include letters from various officials, a video message and highlight video, a McNeese football mini-helmet, and several books on the city's history. The capsule is slated for opening at the city's bicentennial celebration in 2067.  The burial of the time capsule official...More >>
  • Send us your Memorial Day pictures

    Send us your Memorial Day pictures

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:41 PM EDT2018-05-26 01:41:00 GMT
    (Source History.com)(Source History.com)

    Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.

    Send us a picture of the veteran you wish to honor and we'll feature it on our website.

    More >>

    Memorial Day is Monday, May 28.

    Send us a picture of the veteran you wish to honor and we'll feature it on our website.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly