Fair Haven’s mission of sharing Christ’s love truly comes to life through a small group of volunteers from St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Since adopting an apartment in 2013, this special group has served each family staying there as they journey through the challenges of a serious illness. The group’s leader, Kathy Lindsey, was first introduced to Fair Haven when Executive Director Amanda Milner made a presentation at the church to the Stephen’s Ministry group. Immediately, Kathy knew she had to get involved.
Kathy organized a small group of fellow Stephen’s Ministers and empowered them to serve the guests of apartment #124 through prayer and acts of loving service. The group helps guests by providing rides to the grocery store, delivering home-cooked meals, and by offering a listening ear during tough times. As they share each family’s journey, these volunteers have grieved with guests in their pain and celebrated their joys and victories. Often, they form bonds with families that last long after they return home.
As a guest at apartment #124, Jill Phillabaum experienced the group’s wonderful loving care while she recovered following a liver transplant. Volunteers frequently offered to run errands, deliver food, and provide rides to appointments, but the biggest blessing Jill received was their emotional support. Though Jill had outstanding support from family and friends, the journey of healing after an organ transplant can be long and arduous. Having a broad network of support can make a tremendous difference.
Jill treasures two special gifts of encouragement she received from the group, a prayer shawl and a hand-welded cross. They were a great source of comfort during that time. Jill shared, “These provided a constant reminder to stay focused on God and not my circumstances. They were also a reminder of all those praying for me when I was tempted to feel alone.”
Jill’s life is one of many that have been touched by this special group of volunteers. They are a wonderful example of the incredible impact church groups can have simply by sharing Christ’s love.
Learn more about how your church can serve the families at Fair Haven. Both one-time service projects and ongoing service opportunities are available.
Jill and her friends Louise and Lori are shown here visiting Eagle Creek Park. Group co-leader Steve Briggs encouraged Jill to visit the park as she began preparing her body to travel home. Jill shared the visit “was a step towards feeling normal again.”