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.)

Isaiah 45:1-3

“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:

I will go before you

and will level the mountains;

I will break down gates of bronze

and cut through bars of iron.

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.


(New International Version)

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.

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.                  

5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;          

apart from me there is no God.

I will strengthen you,

though you have not acknowledged me,

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.

7 I form the light and create darkness,

I bring prosperity and create disaster;

I, the Lord, do all these things.

8 “You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;

let the clouds shower it down.

Let the earth open wide,

let salvation spring up,

let righteousness flourish with it;

I, the Lord, have created it.

9 “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,

those who are nothing but potsherds

among the potsherds on the ground.

Does the clay say to the potter,

‘What are you making?’

Does your work say,

‘The potter has no hands’?

10 Woe to the one who says to a father,

‘What have you begotten?’

or to a mother,

‘What have you brought to birth?’

11 “This is what the Lord says—

the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:

Concerning things to come,

do you question me about my children,

or give me orders about the work of my hands?

12 It is I who made the earth

and created mankind on it.

My own hands stretched out the heavens;

I marshaled their starry hosts.

13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:

I will make all his ways straight.

He will rebuild my city

and set my exiles free,

but not for a price or reward,

says the Lord Almighty.”

14  This is what the Lord says:

“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush,

and those tall Sabeans—

they will come over to you

and will be yours;

they will trudge behind you,

coming over to you in chains.

They will bow down before you

and plead with you, saying,

‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other;

there is no other god.’ ”

15 Truly you are a God who has been hiding himself,

the God and Savior of Israel.

16 All the makers of idols will be put to shame and disgraced;

they will go off into disgrace together.

17 But Israel will be saved by the Lord

with an everlasting salvation;

you will never be put to shame or disgraced,

to ages everlasting.

18 For this is what the Lord says—

he who created the heavens,

he is God;

he who fashioned and made the earth,

he founded it;

he did not create it to be empty,

but formed it to be inhabited—

he says:

“I am the Lord,

and there is no other.

19 I have not spoken in secret,

from somewhere in a land of darkness;

I have not said to Jacob’s descendants,

‘Seek me in vain.’

I, the Lord, speak the truth;

I declare what is right.

20 “Gather together and come;

assemble, you fugitives from the nations.

Ignorant are those who carry about idols of wood,

who pray to gods that cannot save.

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.

22 “Turn to me and be saved,

all you ends of the earth;

for I am God, and there is no other.

23 By myself I have sworn,

my mouth has uttered in all integrity

a word that will not be revoked:

Before me every knee will bow;

by me every tongue will swear.

24 They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone

are deliverance and strength.’ ”

All who have raged against him

will come to him and be put to shame.

25 But all the descendants of Israel

will find deliverance in the Lord

and will make their boast in him.