1. Some people in Jolene’s family saw her deafness as a handicap. What are some ways we can help others who have physical limitations to see that they can live a useful life?
2. When Lonnie lost his hearing he became bitter and angry at God. Why do people often blame God for the bad things that happen to them? If God can prevent bad things from happening, why doesn’t He?
3. Everyone deals with death and other tragic losses in different ways. When Ella’s father died, Ella dealt with her grief by staying busy and looking out for other’s needs instead of her own. Is there ever a time when it’s okay to hide our true feelings when going through grief? Is it healthy to overlook one’s own needs in order to minister to others?
4. When Jake returned home after his father was injured he did his best to help out, even though he didn’t enjoy shoeing horses. Why then, didn’t Jake’s father seem to appreciate the sacrifice Jake made? Have you ever felt that a sacrifice you made went unappreciated? How did it make you feel?
5. When Jolene’s family realized that they needed to learn how to communicate with Jolene, everyone in the family made an effort to learn how to sign. Has there ever been a time in your life when you’ve had to learn something new in order to help someone with a disability? Did it make you feel closer to that person?
6. A lot of misunderstandings occurred in this story. Misunderstandings are the biggest cause of dissension among family members and friends. What are some ways we can deal with misunderstandings that occur between us and our friends or family?
7. Lonnie was afraid of making a commitment to Jolene because he thought their hearing loss would be a determent to marriage. Have you ever been afraid of doing something because you felt as if you were hindered by something else? Did you shy away from it, or did you decide that with God’s help you could overcome any obstacle?
8. Too often children tease others with a disability. What are some ways we can teach our children and grandchildren to have more understanding towards someone who is physically or mentally challenged?
9. Were there any verses of scripture in this book that spoke to you personally? Did any of the verses help you see things in a different light? Without being preachy or pushy, how can we use scriptures to help someone who’s going through a difficult situation?
10. While reading A Cousin’s Challenge did you learn anything new about the Amish way of life? How might we want to incorporate some of the things the Amish do into our own lives?