Dan, Cyrus, Naomi, and Kathy Fiscus
In early 2013, after receiving the life-altering news that our second child, Cyrus, had Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, it was painfully apparent that he was always going to need a significant level of assistance. The thought of him needing to someday live in a group home was terrifying. It was during this time that the idea was conceived to start a farm that would provide a home and community life for Cyrus and others with disabilities. This farm would be a place of peace and joy. It would provide a life that is enriching to the residents. They would help grow their own food; an activity that would be rewarding and nourishing to their bodies and souls. They would have opportunities to create art, work with animals, and engage in various community activities.
Before Cyrus was conceived, Dan was reading through the book of Isaiah in the Bible. As he read the 45th chapter about Cyrus, he felt that God was telling him, “This is your son.”
(The full chapter can be found at the bottom of this page.)
1 “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him
and to strip kings of their armor,
to open doors before him
so that gates will not be shut:
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Though the entire chapter is relevant to Cyrus, we originally focused on these first 3 verses, since in the 4th it says:
Isaiah 45:4 For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
We figured that if our son was to be like Cyrus, accomplishing great things for God, he would certainly be acknowledging Him! We struggled with the whole concept when we realized that Cyrus was disabled; not understanding how God could use him. When we had the idea for Sunrise Village, it all made perfect sense. All of it. Cyrus cannot acknowledge God due to his intellectual disability and his lack of speech. Even the part about questioning the “potter” about what he’s making and why, was relevant. Because of Cyrus and the work that will be accomplished through Sunrise Village, we will be setting the exiles free. Free to have a life full of joy, hope, and experiences that will enrich them, the “hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord,..”.
Isaiah 45:21 Declare what is to be, present it—
let them take counsel together.
Who foretold this long ago,
who declared it from the distant past?
Was it not I, the Lord?
And there is no God apart from me,
a righteous God and a Savior;
there is none but me.
Sunrise Village got its name because it will be like a village, Cyrus means “sun”, “sunrise” elicits feelings of hope, and Isaiah 45: 6 says:
Isaiah 45:6 so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other.