The story of Fair Haven is a story of redemption and of God’s faithfulness in the midst of a storm. At age 30, I was diagnosed with cancer. It was a shock, not just because I’d always been healthy, but also because of the timing. Just four weeks earlier, my husband had walked out the door, leaving me with two young children, ages 2 and 1. I was devastated. I didn’t know how I was going to make it as a single mom. With a million questions racing through my mind, I happened to notice a hard lump on my neck. I knew it was something serious when the doctor called me at home late one evening. He told me I had cancer… Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
All of a sudden, I was caught in the middle of a raging storm. I needed to start chemotherapy right away. But while I was sick, who was going to help me take care of my children? With no family in Indiana, how would I get to my treatments? And then there was our mortgage… it was almost due. But as a stay-at-home mom without any income, I had no way of making the payment. I knew we would have to move. But where would we go? And how in the world would I pay for it?
A window of hope
In the midst of all my fear and uncertainty, God was there. One by one, I saw Him take care of my needs. A faithful friend volunteered to drive me to chemotherapy appointments. People from the church brought us meals. Neighbors called regularly to check on me. My parents and my brother took time off work to come to Indiana and take care of my children. A friend hired someone to help me around the house. And when we had nowhere to go, my father graciously sacrificed his retirement to provide a home for us.
It was a long and difficult road, but I didn’t walk it alone. Jesus was there, my Refuge in the storm. Now it is a privilege for me to serve other patients and families in the midst of a storm by providing housing and compassionate support, the very gifts He once gave to me. This is the story of the cross and the hope of His resurrection. My prayer is that those we serve will receive this help in a time-of-need as a gift from Him, a reminder of His never-ending love and of His presence with you in the midst of whatever storm you’re facing.
Amanda began working at Indiana University Hospital in 1995. After taking some time away from her career while her children were young and during her illness, she returned to work at the Stem Cell Lab in IU’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program for nine years. It was there that she met patients and families who needed a place to stay near the hospital. Inspired by the love that she had been shown, Amanda founded Fair Haven in 2007. Since then, Fair Haven has provided more than 16,000 nights of lodging to over 500 patients and families.