“I’m sorry, there’s no room at the Inn.” Over the past few months, I have received calls from individuals, Hospice Niagara, Bethany’s Pastoral staff, and referrals from community agencies who have requested the care and support of a Stephen Minister. There was the single mom going through a painful divorce and caring for a sick parent who just needed someone to talk to. There is the widowed senior going through exhausting chemotherapy treatments and is afraid of death who doesn’t know the Lord. There was a heartsick mom who can’t do anything to help her wayward adult child other than to give her over in prayer. There was the single professional woman who after a lifetime in the church was beginning to question her faith. My heart goes out to each and every hurting individual who has the great courage to call and ask for help. It is so difficult then to have to tell them, “I’m sorry, I don’t have an available Stephen Minister at this time, but I will put you on the list.”
The need for trained individuals with a heart for the hurting is great. If you are one of the people who has read of Stephen Ministry in the past and thought, “I would love to do something like that,” the time to consider Stephen Ministry is NOW! If you are blessed with the gifts of mercy and compassion, you have an intimate relationship with the great Comforter, Physician and Saviour, you care deeply for those in need, and desire to be used by God in a way that brings glory to Him and comfort to others, then the time is NOW! If you are hesitant because, although you feel compassion for the hurting, you are afraid you won’t know what to say, trust God and our training to provide what you need, when you need it. The time is NOW!
Over 50 hours of training and continuing education every two weeks will train you in listening, reflecting, asking good questions, and supporting those who are grieving deep and heavy losses. Your gifts and skills are needed for just such a time as this. A new training session will be offered in 2015 on Thu Feb 5 to May 21, 7-9:30 pm at Bethany. Sign up at the kiosk on Dec 13/14 or 20/21 OR contact Kendra Broadley at 905-937-2024 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Stephen Ministry at stephenministries.org.