Greetings from Shanon’s House,



The last few months we've had guests from, Rainsville, Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Russellville, Hanceville, Al., Louisville Ky., also Maryland & Lawrenceburg, TN.


It's been a busy few months.  In November we had a very sweet lady from Louisville, Kentucky stay with us.  She came to church with us and all of you were so kind to her.  She and her daughter were in Huntsville for a wedding when her daughter became ill.  She learned of Shanon's House from the church service that Mayfair conducts at the hospital each Sunday. We enjoyed this guest so much.  I told her that I would adopt her as my daughter and she said,    "that's it, I am part of your family now!"  Several weeks after she left she called to tell us her daughter was doing good and to tell us again how much she appreciated Shanon's House.



I always enjoy going to the mailbox in the month of December.  We receive cards everyday from guests who have stayed with us over the years.  I save all the pictures and enjoy looking back and seeing how these tiny babies have grown.  This year we received a letter from guests that stayed with us five years ago. They updated us on the family and sent a picture of their family. They were some of our favorite guests and I still had their picture from 5 years ago on the refrigerator.  They wrote "We hope this letter finds you both happy and healthy.  We think and pray for you often, especially this time of year.  We can't believe it's been 5 years since our sweet boy was born.  It was one of happiest and scariest moments of our lives, but Shanon's House helped us through that difficult time more than you will ever know.  We plan to come and visit soon!"



The month of December is a joyful time of the year for most people, but for some it's the saddest time of year.  The last few years we have had guests whose loved ones have passed away during the month of December.  This was the case with a very kind lady and her adult daughter. They were here for a couple of weeks when they had to make difficult decisions. On the day their loved one passed away the daughter came by the house to tell us bye and how grateful she was for Shanon's House.  This is the note she gave us. "Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Our Lord is a present help and He definitely sent Shanon's House to help our family.  God never ceases to amaze. We will never forget God's love shown to us through Shanon's House".



We had a couple with a newborn that stayed with us in December.  This couple was a joy to have as guests.  The couple had been at Shanon's House for a week when the parents learned that the baby would have to stay a few days longer.  The mother said, "I told the doctor it was ok if our baby has to stay longer, I like it at Shanon's House!"  This made our day! This is the note they left us. "Thank you so much for the hospitality you have shown us the past few days.  You have no idea what a blessing Shanon's House has been in our lives.  It is so nice to leave the hospital and come to a house where we feel comfortable and can enjoy great company. Shanon's House is a wonderful ministry and we will always be grateful for this ministry.  It's been a blessing from God."



We had a couple that left this week.  Their baby was born very early and was very sick. They were one of the sweetest families that have stayed with us in all the years.  Every morning the dad would leave me a note thanking me for the breakfast. One day I told him I was experimenting with a dish I served for breakfast. He left this note "Mrs. Johnson, your experiment was a success. Patent it!  Thank you for the wonderful breakfast.  God bless you.  You can never out give God." The dad was talking with Johnny one night and telling him about the baby.  He said, “We believe in the sovereignty of God.  He knows what's best and we will accept it."  We don't ask a lot of questions when our guests come back to the House, but we knew that they were worried and when they said they wouldn't be back for the night, but wanted to stay by the baby's bed, we knew that the baby would pass away soon.  The next afternoon, the grandparents came back to gather the couples belongings from the room.  The grandmother told us the baby had passed away and hugged me and said how much they appreciated Shanon's House.  She said the couple would be back in a few days to see us.  Later that evening the sweet couple came by and said, "We couldn't leave without telling you good bye. We don't understand why this happened but we trust God. We only see the first float in the parade but God sees the whole parade."  Johnny prayed with them before they left.  This part of Shanon's House will always be hard for us. We only knew this family for two weeks but they endeared themselves to us from the very beginning.  The father said after things settle down they would like to come back and go to church with us to tell the church thank you.

 Recently one lady called about staying here and said, "This is wonderful!  What would make a church want to do something like Shanon’s House?”  I was able to tell her about how Mayfair is a very loving and caring and giving congregation.



This month we will start our 8th year at Shanon's House. We've learned a lot of lessons in the past 7 years and one of them is that the Mayfair church of Christ is a very unique Congregation of the Lords people.  They saw a need, stepped out in faith, and trusted God to make it happen.  Because of their vision they have blessed over 600 hurting people. Johnny and I look forward to another year at Shanon's House.   Thank you all for your prayers and support. We wish for all of you blessings in the New Year!



In Him,

Johnny and Christy


 Greetings from Shannon's house ,
 Since our last newsletter we have a guest from Tuscumbia, Florence, Scottsboro, Grant, Boaz, Danville, Athens, Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, Rogersville, Moulton, Haetselle and Anderson, Alabama and Washington & Texas.

Our guests from Washington were a couple adopting a baby. The husband was in the Navy and they were in the process of being transferred to Memphis, Tn,  when they got the news that the baby they were adopting was born in Huntsville. We enjoyed this family so much.   The grandmother from Texas came to stay with her daughter. Adoptions always touch our hearts. This couple had waited for over 10 years for baby and had come very close several times with adoptions it didn't work out. The baby was able to  go home sooner than they thought would happen. The couple had to stay in state for certain amount of time. She went to a hotel but came back to visit with the baby.

We had a guest from the ICU this past fall.    While we enjoy having couples we also enjoy the older guest. This guest was so kind. We enjoyed visiting with him each day. Once while watching TV, he asked me if the TV was too loud. I assured him  it wasn't. Then he said, " well it would make me feel more  at home if you would holler, turn that TV down!"   We still laugh and remember how much we enjoyed this older gentleman .

 The month of December is one of  our favorite months.   We received cards almost every day during the month.   Here are a few of the notes we received .

" We stayed with you in June of this year while our son was in the  NICU.   I am writing to say thank you for being there for us during such a difficult time. We cannot find the words to tell you how grateful we are to you and your church. We wish for you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Please extend the same wishes to your church as well as the women he took the time to make our son's quilt.   If there is anything we can ever do for you or your church please let us know.

"A special thank you for the kindness you extended to me during my husband's stay in the hospital.  It was a very stressful time in life because he was so sick .  Thznk you for all the prayers that were sent up to our Heavenly Father.   I also want to thank Shanon's  parents and the Mayfair church of Christ. This is a wonderful and much needed ministry. May God bless you all ."

"I want to apologize for taking so long in writing and thank you for your hospitality while our granddaughter  was in the Huntsville Hospital  and for the beautiful quilt you sent to us. Since the accident the last year has been a blur.  Our granddaughter was flown to Children's Hospital the day of the accident and has made a full recovery.  Our  other granddaughter who was at Huntsville Hospital has made a lot of progress While she is still unable to speak, eat and walk, her smiles and laughter brighten the darkest days. Our precious grandson went to be with Jesus the day of the accident and we miss him so much. The holidays are still very difficult for us.   Thank you again for  providing such a wonderful service for people like us who are in the midst of crisis ."

During the month of December we had two families with twins  stay with us.  One family had twin girls born a few weeks early and the other family had twin boys born very early. It is a roller coaster of emotions for parents when their babies come into the world so early and weigh  just over 1 pound.   Both of these couples were very thankful for Shanon's  house. The couple with the baby boys had one of the babies pass away just a few days after coming to Shanon's house. They were brokenhearted but held out hope for the other baby. One morning everyone was  sitting at the table eating breakfast. The mother was planning to do some Christmas shopping, when their phone rang and  they left immediately for the hospital.   We were  away from the house that evening when we got a call from the couple who had the twin girls, telling us that the other couples baby boy had passed away .   We
left to come home and on the way home the baby boy's father called us to tell us the sad news. They
had friends come and clean out the room, but they didn't want to leave until they told us goodbye. This touched our hearts. Even with their broken hearts they were thankful for Shanon's  house .   When we walked in  they were in the living room and we just hugged them and cried with them. The father said " we had such big plans for our boys ."   We do come to care for the families and hurt with them when they lose a loved one .

 In February we were  blessed to have a couple with a tiny baby born at 25 weeks gestation.  The baby weighed 1 lb. 6 oz. Soon after our guest arrived  she invited me to go see her baby. I never ask to go see the babies but if the guests ask me I always say yes!   Our daughter is expecting a baby and this baby girl was the size of our unborn grandchild at 25 weeks gestation. It's amazing to see how everything was so perfectly formed with this tiny baby that wasn't even supposed to be born yet. Our guest commented on how she couldn't understand how anyone could not  believe in God when they see this precious baby! We enjoyed this family so much. After 11 weeks the baby weighed 5 pounds and was going home. Here's the note she left for us .

" I have been here for 11 weeks and two days. I have enjoyed getting to become part of the Shanon's  house family.   The Sharon's house has been such a blessing to me. I love you both and thank you for the prayers for my baby and for my family."

 While this family was with us they became friends with another couple staying with us. One night the mother came in and was upset, her little boy had a setback that evening. It was a sweet moment when the other mother hugged her and Johnny ask if he could pray for her and her baby.

 Here's the note she left for us .
" we are so very thankful for the Shanon's house. Staying here has made  this journey  so much easier. I truly believe  God put you in our path for a reason. Thank you so much ."

 Both of these families became so very dear to our hearts. One night they came in and said "  we met some people from your church, they came by and prayed with us."  This made  a very good impression on them.   They commented on how they would be coming to visit Mayfair when their babies were older to say "thank you to all of you ."

Recently we had a guest come by from Texas who had stayed with us four years ago.   Her husband had been in Huntsville on business and became ill with the staff infection and was in very serious condition for several weeks. She and her husband were in town last week and she wanted to bring her husband back to see the house. We enjoyed meeting him and visiting with both of them .

 Two years ago a family stayed with us that had a baby in the NICU.   It was during the winter months. They had an eight year old that was out of school because of the snow. While we don't have children stay with us, we made an exception for this family. We enjoyed getting to know this little girl. Her mother contacted me a few days ago and told me her daughter had to do a school project and she chose to do it on Shanon's  house. She won second  place in the district  and was going to  Montgomery to compete at the state level. Her mother sent a message telling me she had won first place in her category in Montgomery and that her judge was very impressed with Shanon's  house!

 This January  we began our seventh year at Shanon's  house. The years have gone by so fast. Shanon's  house is been a blessing to guests as far away as Washington state any one  overseas guest  from Germany.   Shanon's  house has also been a blessing to us.   We have met so many guest who we now call friends. Johnny and I are very grateful to all of our Mayfair  family.   We still tell our guests how all of you are part of the Shanon's  house ministry and how Mayfair is a very loving and giving church. We know that we could not do this without God's help and the support of our church family.
 Thank you again for your prayers, financial support and continued interest in this ministry. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless all of you as you have blessed us and all who have and will come to Sharon's house of compassion .

 In Him,
Johnny & Christy


Greetings from Shanon's House,
Since our last newsletter we've had guests from Florence, Boaz, Phil Campbell, Baileyton, Blountsville, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Waterloo, Al, Nashville, Tn, and Columbus Ga.
 
 During the winter months Shanon's  house was an extra blessing to couples with newborns. They didn't have to worry about icy roads because of Shanon's house being right across the street from their babies. On the night it snowed the young couple staying with us built us a snowman in the front yard.  We always enjoy the energy young couples bring to us. During this same time we received a referral from the ministry of  Manna meals. This guest was  from Nashville.  While we enjoy young couples we also enjoy having guests who are our age.  We discovered while talking with this guest that we had mutual friends. These  two families stayed at the same time and enjoyed getting to know each other.

We had guests with twins in the NICU recently.  When I gave them the quilts from the tree of life quilters they said "we will tell our babies that Shanon's house was their first home." This couple called several weeks later and needed Shanon's house again, one of their babies had been admitted to the hospital.  While we don't usually have small children at Shanon's house, we made an exception for this family.  This was a very caring mother and father who didn't want to be away from either of their babies. Getting to hold a new born baby that night was a special treat for me!

It's always a special time when a couple adopting a baby comes to stay at Shanon's house. When this couple arrived the first thing the adoptive mother said was "I want to hug your neck because you took care of my brother and his wife when their baby was born two years ago."  We remembered her brother and still had their family picture on the refrigerator.  This couple had waited a long time for a baby and they were so excited. It was so touching to hear how they were so concerned for the birth mother and father. They commented how they have been given the most precious and unselfish gift from this birth mother and father.  While sitting in the kitchen eating one night they said " this feels just like my Mom's  house especially when I look over and see my brother's picture on the refrigerator. " We laughed and talked about how Shanon's house is everybody's house.

 Here are a few of the notes we received.
"Thank you so much for the kindness you've shown.  Your Church and the family of Shanon are truly such a blessing to those of us in need.  Such an awesome testimony to all believers in Christ.  May God richly bless you for that you do and continue to do."

 "Thank you so much for allowing us to stay at Shanon's  house while our son was in NICU.  Your kind words and gifts and prayers go along way. Thank you for being so kind and helpful during this rough time. Please pass along our thanks to the Mayfair church of Christ for making Shanon's house possible."
 "Words cannot begin to express how grateful we are for allowing us to stay at Shanon's house. This is a wonderful ministry. Thank you so very much."

 Recently we visited a church in Florence where several of our guests went to church. They wanted us to tell the Mayfair church thank you again for Shanon's  house.

 We had a guest stay with us that was going to have surgery the next day.  We didn't have any other guests at the time and offered for her family to stay also.  This was a very sweet family. Usually we give the family the quilt from the Tree of Life quilters but this time we were able to give it to the patient.  I always tell them that a quilt means they are covered in prayers.  The Tree of Life quilters have made such an impact on people's lives with the beautiful quilts they make for each of our guests.  Here's the note we received from this guest.

"It's very hard to put into words my deep appreciation of being able to stay at Shanon's house. Myself and my children felt very comfortable there. It was as if we had known you for a long time.   I hope to return when I'm ready for my treatment. Shanon's house is a great ministry.  People at the hospital were amazed by my quilt and the story behind it. May God continue to bless the Shanon's  house ministry."

 One of the highlights of the year was the five year guest's reunion.  The week before the reunion it rained every day. I was a little stressed because we had planned to have lunch served in the garden for the reunion. On the day of the reunion it was a beautiful  day!  There were around 60 former guests and their children in attendance .  It was heartwarming to see the children playing and seeing former guests, some of them who stayed with us five years ago. One father stood looking toward the hospital and said with tears in his eyes " I still remember looking out my window and praying for my  little girl.  We will always be thankful for Shanon's house. "

One family that stayed with us 4 years ago wrote a note saying "when I walked in the house that day at  the reunion it was once again like home to me. We will forever be grateful and feel that staying at Shanon's  house was laid out before hand by God."

 Some of our board members helped out with the reunion and seeing all the couples talking and laughing commented how they all acted like they knew each other.  I told them  that they were all part of the Shanon's house family.  Several of our guests refer to us as their Shanon's House Mom and Dad and this warms our hearts.

The reunion was a beautiful reminder how God has blessed this ministry and how Johnny and I have been blessed to be a small part of this ministry.  I asked God for a beautiful day and sweet memories for everyone. God said "yes " to both of those requests.  We had guests who came that day that had left Shanon's house with broken hearts and there were guests who came whose lives had been changed in an instant.   Yet they didn't give up.  They have shown us what praising God in the storm looks like. They have increased our faith.  There were babies who were born so tiny and now were running around playing and laughing.  They were testimony to the world of how every life is precious no matter how small.

When we moved to Huntsville  I asked God to send me friends. Through  Shanon's house we have met some of the sweetest families.  They were our guests but now we call them friends.  We are so thankful for the Shanon's  house Board of Directors, they are our support system.  We are grateful to Shanon's parents for carrying on the legacy of their son, who while on earth cared for and served others.   We along with our guests are grateful to the loving brothers and sisters at the Mayfair Church of Christ for making Shanon's house possible.  Most of all we are thankful to our Heavenly Father who takes our small requests and answers them in the most amazing ways.

In Him,
Johnny and Christy


Greetings from Shanon's House,

The summer and fall months have brought us guests from Athens, Hartsell, Florence, Albertville, Falkville, Danville, and Scottsboro, Alabama as well as Texas and Kentucky.

It's been a busy few months at Shanon’s house.  A knock at the door a few days ago brought us one of our first guests. His baby boy weighed less than 2 lbs when he was born. Now he is almost 5 years old and healthy. The next week a family that stayed with us two years ago stopped by to see us. This last family has been especially encouraging to us. Every few months we will get a card from them just saying they were thinking of us. They told us every time they look at the quilt from the " Tree of Life Quilters," they remember Shanon's house. They told us to tell the Mayfair Church "thank you" again.

Fortunately most people who stay with us leave with a happy ending. But of course that's not always the case. The summer months brought us two families with newborns. One baby was born very early and the other baby was born only three weeks early. Both families were here at the same time and so appreciative of Shanon’s house. The baby who was born three weeks early only lived four days. This family touched our hearts. Up until the time they came to the hospital they were expecting to take a healthy baby boy home. We got word that the baby was not expected to live and they would not be coming in that night. The next morning we saw their car and thought maybe the baby had made it through the night. When they came in the kitchen I knew from their faces that their precious little one was now in the arms of Jesus. I said, "I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do to make it easier for you." They said, "we don't understand why this happened, but we know God does and we will never stop serving the Lord." They wrote in a blog about Shanon’s house and how it was a blessing. They said "we were staying at Shanon's house right next door to the hospital in fact you could see the house in the window where our baby’s bed was. This was a "God thing." Shanon’s house is a ministry of the Mayfair Church of Christ. The house was beautiful and immaculate and welcoming and the blessing of it all was it was free of charge. God is so good!"

The other couple with the tiny baby touched our hearts also. They had a six-year-old little girl while we don't usually have children stay with us we made an exception for this family. She needed them and they needed her. While she was here she was a delight and she brought smiles to her parents and to us. Their baby lived two weeks and then he passed away. Like the other couple they came back to Shanon’s house for the night. The next morning the little girl told me "my baby brother got to go see Jesus last night." Her sweet parents are heartbroken but even in their grief they were thankful for Shanon's house. They wrote "thank you so much for the kindness and love you have shown us. Staying here was an answered prayer. You will always hold a special place in our hearts." Both families mentioned Mayfair and Shanon’s house in the obituaries.

One of our guests found out about Shanon's House through Manna meals. Her son had been in ICU for three months. She also went to the Church service that Mayfair provides at the hospital. After spending over 100 days in the hospital, her son was able to go home. He called Johnny to personally thank him for letting his mom and fiancé stay here.

"This feels just like home" is a comment we hear so many times from our guests. One guest wrote "Thank you so much for all your kindness and generous hospitality. What a wonderful service you provide. It is truly a home away from home."

Another guest wrote in a blog, "We were staying at Shanon's House.  The house is lovely and very accommodating. Just when we thought it could not be any nicer they gave us a beautiful quilt. The quilt is to remind us that we are covered in prayers. The house is a ministry of the Mayfair church of Christ. This place is so special and we feel blessed to be here."

Here are a few notes we received. "Thank you so much for allowing us to stay here. You were an answered prayer. I pray that God will bless you and the church for all you do to help people in our situation. I know you have blessed us."

"I have enjoyed my visit at Shanon's House. I appreciate all you did for me. The hospitality was wonderful. May God bless you in your work. You made my stay so much easier."

 When one family was leaving they said with tears in their eyes, " how can we ever repay you? When we add up how much it would have cost and how hard it would have been to be so far from our baby, we are so thankful for this ministry."

One day two couples who stayed with us almost two years ago came by to visit with their babies. They call us their Shanon's house mom and dad. I took a picture of all of them and posted it on facebook. The grandmothers of both of the couples commented, and one of them said "Thank you and Mayfair Church of Christ for what y'all are doing to help families. I was so proud that my kids had a Christian place to stay so close to my grand baby while she was in the NICU. May God bless you in this mission. In Christian love, a grandmother." The other commented, "Yes, Thank you Mayfair Church of Christ for what y'all did for my kids and all the parents who stay there, it's truly a blessing from God."

Shanon’s House is a unique ministry in that all ages can help with different projects. The 4th grade class bought paper supplies and came over to deliver them. Several couples in the Life Savers class used Service day to host a luncheon at Shanon's house for the widows in the class and their service project was to bring supplies of paper products. The teen group did a great job doing yard work this fall. It is such a blessing to work with all these groups.

It's hard to believe that we have been here five years. I think back to 2007 when we received a call about my nephew who was in ICU in Little Rock, Arkansas. We rushed to be there with my sister and brother-in-law. We witnessed people sleeping in chairs and eating out of machines. We saw how the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ reached out to my sister and brother-in-law. They provided food and an apartment for them to stay in. I remember us saying, "The ICU waiting room is an untouched ministry. We wish there was some way we could help with a ministry for hurting people." Then in 2010 God answered that prayer with Shanon's house. We have learned so much from this ministry. We have met so many sweet people. Many have become friends that we will always cherish. We have had close to 500 people stay with us over five years. Our prayer is that other congregations will use Shanon's house as a model and more houses will be opened for hurting people.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Shanon's house and this is the season the world is focused on giving. Johnny and I appreciate the Mayfair church for giving to so many hurting people all year long through Shanon's house. We are so thankful for all of you who support this ministry financially and for those who pray for this ministry. We are very humbled to be able to work in this ministry along side all of you. We truly receive more than we give. God has been so faithful to provide everything we need. We tell our guests that while they may only see us, there is a whole congregation of loving people that makes this ministry work. We appreciate so much your kind words and encouragement. Johnny and I, as well as our guests, wish all of you a Merry Christmas and many blessings in the New Year.

In Him,

Johnny and Christy 


Greetings from Shanon's House,
The winter and spring months bought us guests from, Guntersville, Florence, Athens, Tuscumbia, Flat Rock, Hartselle , Scottsboro and Birmingham Alabama.  We also had guests from, Fayettville, TN, Woodstock, Georgia, Meridian, Mississippi and Pineville, Kentucky.  We also had a guest from Germany.

We never know who will show up at the door at Shanon's house.  A few weeks ago we had a full house and everyone was eating breakfast when I saw a man dressed in a suit at the back door.  When I opened the door the first thing he showed me was his badge.  He told me he was with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and asked if I lived here or if I was a guest.  I was frightened for a moment but then he told me he was inquiring about the wife of one of his fellow ABI agents staying with us. The injured Agent had been in a very bad accident and the Agents  were looking after her.  He came in to check out Shanon's house.  That afternoon five of the injured man's fellow agents  came over to the house to bring the wife's belongings. When we told them how Shanon's house was a ministry of the Mayfair church of Christ they said they had heard of  Mayfair from Manna meals at the hospital earlier that day.  The wife stayed at the hospital at night but would come over in the morning to shower and have a few hours of quietness.  She was so grateful for Shanon's House. Often it's the little things that mean so much to people, a cup of coffee, and a quiet place where you can be by yourself to gather your thoughts.  The Agents took turns staying with her 24 hours a day.  They would bring her over to Shanon's house and park in the back for a couple of hours and wait on her.  We were very impressed with their compassion for this family.  One of them told me they think of their fellow Agents as their brothers. One morning several ABI agents  came to the door, and we knew then that it was probably sad news.  The injured Agent passed away later that day.  I didn't have a quilt for her when she was here but the "Tree of Life" quilters went to work making a special quilt for her and a friend took it to her.  A few weeks later the wife came back to bring a gift basket to share with the other guests at Shanon's house.  She told us how even in the midst of tragedy she could see Gods hand at work.  It always touches our heart when our guests loved ones pass away. In one way we feel helpless because the guests are hurting and there is nothing we can do or say to make the situation better.  But when our guests tell us how Shanon's house was a comfort in their storm, we see how God can comfort them through this ministry and they leave knowing that people care and are praying for them.

We took a few days off and stayed at our other house but I needed to come over to Shanon's  house to get a room ready.  While I was cleaning the door bell rang and it was guests from a couple of months ago bringing their baby and two year old to see us.  This makes our day when we have guests come back to see us. We tell them this is the best gift they could give us.   They brought breakfast goodies to share with the guests and a picture of their baby for the refrigerator.

A few days later I got a text from a guest who stayed with us a year ago asking if we were home.  This family lost their 17 year old in an accident and their 14 year was in critical condition for several weeks while they stayed with us.   They came by with their daughter to visit.  This was the first time we had met the daughter.  This family will always be a beautiful example of staying faithful to God even in the saddest of times.  They asked us to tell all of you thank you again for Shanon's House.

The snow days were beautiful here.  We had guests here with a new baby in NICU and their 8 year old was out of school and was missing her mom.  We told them that she could stay with us if it would help them out.  We enjoyed her being here. She wanted to build a snowman one day so we went out to help her.  These were sweet memories for her and for us.  A  thoughtful sister at church made pillow cases with Bible verses on them to give to our guests.  I gave one to  the 8 year old.  Her mother sent me this message "I wanted to let you know when the weather was stormy the other day
and we were gathering our things for our safe place, my daughter brought her pillow that has the
pillow case you gave her.  It is the one she sleeps on every night.  She said she brought it with her that night because it has a "God saying" and that made her feel safer.  Thought you would enjoy hearing that."  It's the little things that all of you do that leave a lasting impact on our guests.

One Sunday evening we were on our way to Church and Johnny commented " we have two rooms full but not a full house."  I said " well, the nights not over yet."  We laughed about how we never know what a day will bring.  After church Johnny gets a call on his cell phone.  The caller says "hey brother Johnny we are here in the Pediatric ICU with our baby.  Do you have a room for us at Shanon's house?"  This was a couple who stayed with us a year ago. They had recently sent a new family picture that was on the front on the refrigerator.  We told them we did have a room and enjoyed seeing them again.  They wanted us to tell you "Thank you."

Often guests will ask us how they can repay the Church for Shanon's house.  We tell them to pay it forward.   A year ago we had three couples here who became close friends.  Recently they asked us to a dinner they were  preparing for the NICU parents at the hospital.  This was their way of " paying it forward."  This was so encouraging for us. So many times we only hear of the bad news but one of the many blessings we receive at Shanon's house is being able to see so many good deeds done by young couples like these who are reaching out to others. We enjoyed visiting with them at the dinner and catching up with what's going on in their lives.

Here are several notes we have received- "Dear Mayfair church, thank you so much for everything you have done for our  family.  What a blessing it is for sleep deprived, displaced from home mamas to be able to find respite here!  Thank you Mayfair church for supporting this wonderful ministry.  Shanon's house was an answered prayer in my time of need.

" Thank you again for your hospitality to our family.  We are forever grateful and blessed by this ministry."

"Thank you so much for your generosity and most of all for your prayers.  Shanon's house has made these past few weeks easier to bear and we will be forever grateful."

We received a call about a couple and their daughter needing a place to stay.  The mother and father were from Kentucky and the daughter lived in Germany.  This was a sweet family and they were very thankful for Shanon's house.  This is the note from them. "Dear Mayfair Church of Christ, Thank you for your kind hospitality during our stay in Huntsville. The peace and solitude of this home here have fulfilled our needs during this difficult time.  We hope you will accept a small token of our appreciation. Your kindness, consideration and prayers were invaluable! Thank you very much

The spring time at Shanon's house is one of our favorite times of the year.  The dogwood trees and the Azaleas blooming are so pretty.  The garden is coming back to life after the winter months. Service day brought several from the Life Savers class to help put out mulch. The garden was the perfect setting for a luncheon for the Mayfair graduating senior girls and their huddle leaders.  It was a sweet memory for everyone.

 Recently we were telling some one about Shanon's  house and when we said it was a ministry of the Mayfair Church of Christ her response was " that Church is known for helping people all over this city."  Johnny and I are thankful to all of you for the way you come along side of us to help make a difference in hurting peoples lives. We know we couldn't do this work without The Lord's help and the help and encouragement from our church family.

We are so thankful for everyone who stops by to visit, who ask us about Shanon's house, and those who contribute in any way.  Shanon's house through your support is continuing to bless others all over Alabama and beyond.  May God bless all of you as you are blessing those that are our guests at Shanon's house.

In Him,
Johnny and Christy


Greetings from Shanon's House,

The  Spring and Summer months were busy here at Shanon's House.  We had guests from Russellville, Athens, Bryant, Moulton, Arab, Tuscumbia, Sheffield, Town Creek, Killen, Guntersville, Scottsboro, Elkmont, Florence and Muscle Shoals, Al.  We also had guests From Michigan and North Carolina.

In May we had a couple who became very dear to our hearts.  Their two daughters were in a car accident.  The older daughter passed away and her sister was in  critical condition. The parents were faithful Christians who taught us so many life lessons as they were grieving for one daughter while praying for the other to be healed.  The father told us "we will get through this by trusting God."  We listened while they told us stories about their daughters and our hearts grieved with them.  We also had the grandparents stay with us and their lives were a testimony to us and others of living out your faith when heartaches come.  They told us the words they found in their daughters Bible-"Everything works for the better, that's why I'm happy."  They told us how she was a very giving and unselfish person and how she touched so many in her short time on earth. The grandfather told us that when he arrived at the scene of the accident he prayed "Lord, let something good come from this tragedy." Several days later several of her friends were baptized. These friends saw through this tragedy how this life is fragile and really is a vapor. Please continue to  keep this family in your prayers.

We enjoyed guests from Michigan this summer.  This was the first time they had been to the south for an extended stay. The wife was so relieved when she walked in and saw the house she said she felt like this was home.  She commented on how she noticed Christians in the south showing hospitality  and caring for one another and how she wanted to do this when she got back home.  She told us how she would often say "well I'm going home now." She was referring to going to Shanon's House.

We received a call from a Doctor who attends Mayfair about an older lady whose husband was in the hospital.  She only stayed one night because she didn't want to leave him.  She arrived she told us "This must have been God looking out for me because I've had never had a doctor ask me if I  had a place to stay."  When I gave her the quilt from the Tree of Life Quilters she said with tears in her eyes. "I just said a few days ago, Lord nobody cares.  I know God heard my prayers, I will treasure this forever."   This is the card we received a card from her a few days ago. "Thank you so much for all the love you showed to me when my husband was in the hospital.  He passed away and I miss him greatly.  You were there when I needed help going through this valley.  This ministry is a blessing to people like me.  When I see the quilt you gave me I smile and ask God to bless all of you as you bless others."

We received a card from a couple who stayed with us one year ago.  Inside were donations to Shanon's House with a note telling us they had requested donations instead of toys for their baby's first birthday.  This warmed our hearts.  We meet so many guests who enrich our lives when we see how they want to give back to say "thank you."  We often tell guests the best way to thank us is to pay it forward. 

A special surprise came when we had a former guests call and see if they could stop by.  They arrived and a few minutes later another couple arrived.  We were visiting with them when the door bell rang and it was another couple.  All of them had stayed with us at the same time.  They had planned this visit to surprise us.  Their babies were all doing good and we sat and visited with them for a couple of hours.  It always so rewarding when we see how people bond with each other while they are staying here.  This is one of the reasons we enjoy having a full house! These couples will be lifetime friends because of Shanon's House.

Here's a note we received from one of our guests. "we are unable to find words to express our gratitude to all who make it possible for the use of Shanon's House.  We appreciate everything so much.  We will never forget during our hardest time that there are  people that we have never met that are willing to be there for you.  I wish I could tell you just how touching that is to us."

There are so many blessing that we receive being here at Shanon's House.  One of the blessing is seeing how God works in this ministry. It has been a faith builder for us.  We will have guests who will come and find out they know the other family here or we will have guests who don't know anything about the Church of Christ and we have the opportunity to tell them.  One guest told me of a client of hers that was collecting items to send to Africa she said "Come to think of it, she was a member of the Church of Christ.  You sure do have a lot of nice people in your Church."  All of these incidences remind us that God is working in this ministry and has been from the beginning.  It was this time of the year 4 years ago that we were asked to be here at Shanon's House. We didn't really know what to expect or do, but God has provided everything for us to do this work and it has been a blessing to us.  We have grown in our faith and in our love for all of you who help us in this ministry. We feel as our guest wrote, May God bless all of you as you have blessed others.

With very grateful hearts,
Johnny and Christy



Greetings from Shanon's House,

The months of February, March and April have been very busy. There have been very few nights where the house was empty. We have had guests from Guntersville, Elkmont, Ardmore,Muscle Shoals, Town Creek, Russelville, Killen, Scottsboro, Sheffield, Tuscumbia, and Hartsell, Alabama.

One of our guests received the honor of staying with us the longest. Their baby was 1 lb 6oz when she was born. This couple really did become like family. Each night when they came in the father would say “Mom and Dad we're home now.” They became friends with the other couple who were here. It's always encouraging to us when families will share their life stories with us. Most of of the time this happens at the end of the day. After more than 80 days in the hospital their baby got to go home. The first place they stopped by was Shanon's House. This always touches my heart.

Every new mother and father are excited when they have a new baby. We witnessed a different kind of excitement recently. We received a call about a couple adopting a baby. When the adoptive mother called about staying here she said with excitement in her voice “Mrs. Christy we have a baby!!!” This couple had waited 10 years for a child and they were overjoyed. She told me how she had several babies waiting for her in heaven and how the call from the agency had come unexpectedly. She told me how they wanted to raise this child to give back to the community and she told me that this child would be dedicated to the Lord. Her story reminded me of the beautiful Bible story of Hannah and Samuel. This couple endeared themselves to us from the first time we met them. When they left they came by to show us their little one. We were all teary eyed. Johnny and I are happy when guests get to take their babies home but we do miss them when they leave.

Every year Huntsville Hospital has a NICU reunion for the parents and babies who were preemies. For several years it has been held at Mayfair. This year they invited us to the reunion. We enjoyed seeing several of our former guests and their babies. The speaker thanked Mayfair for Shanon's House and thanked all those involved in this ministry.

Here's a note we received from the parents of triplets that stayed with us.

“We could never thank you enough for the hospitality that you provided to us while our three little blessings were in the Neonatal Unit. We also want to thank the Mayfair Church of Christ, Shanon's family and everyone involved in providing this house of compassion through ministry. It was truly an honor and blessing from God to place us in such a caring “home away from home” while the triplets were receiving the care they needed. Although we could not be with the babies all the time, we found comfort in knowing that we were within minutes of the hospital and could be actively involved in taking care of them. Shanon's story is very inspirational and teaches us to always reach out to others and touch their lives in a positive way as the Lord would have us to do. As we sit here tonight writing this while hearing the sweet little whimpers and cries of our babies, we know that it is truly a miracle and gift from God that they are healthy and progressing as they should. We will keep you updated through photos and letters as we look forward to telling them about the House of Compassion that was provided to their Mom and Dad during their stay at Huntsville Hospital as well as sharing Shanon's story with them to teach them to always reach out to others.”

The quilters made special quilts for this family. I often think about down the road when the babies are grown and their parents tell them about Shanon's House. When they show them the quilt that was made for them by the “Tree of Life Quilters” with the tag that says “Made with love, Mayfair Church of Christ.” Our prayer is that Shanon's House will be like the pebble thrown in the pond, the ripple effect will go on and on years later in the lives of those who hear the story of a group of people at Mayfair that showed compassion to their loved one.

It always brings a smile to my face when I see the guests all sitting around the table talking and laughing with each other. One guest brought his guitar and would sit out in the swing and play and sing. We know our guests feel at home when they will use the other rooms in the house and enjoy the garden.

One of the many blessing we see at Shanon's House is how God is so faithful. We see His hand at work not only in the lives of our guests but in our lives also.

Very seldom do we get discouraged at Shanon's House and even rarer do Johnny and I get discouraged at the same time. Several weeks ago we were both a little discouraged. We talked about it and considered that maybe God was telling us that it was time to consider another way to serve. I decided to spend some extra time in the Word and in prayer. My reading that day was in the first chapter of Deuteroronomy. Verse 31 spoke very loudly to me “You saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness just as a father cares for his child. Now He has brought you to this place but even after all He did for you, you refuse to trust the Lord your God.” When I came to this verse I realized that's what I needed to remember. We would trust God to lead us. I wrote down in my prayer journal “Lord please guide us and show us if this is where you want us to be.”

Later that afternoon a car drives up that I don't recognize. A lady comes to the door and when I open up the door she says “Hi, do you remember me?” I panicked because I didn't remember her, but I said “Lynn?” She said Yes! You do remember me!!” She said “I had to stop by and see my friends. I was hoping you had not turned this over to someone else, because you know this is where God wants you to be!” She had stayed with us in 2010. She was from Knoxville, TN. She stayed and visited with us for about an hour. She said “I don't know what I would have done without Shanon's House. I was scared, and tired and alone. I will never forget what this house and ministry meant to me.”

This encounter still amazes us every time we think about it. God answered had answered or prayer! Our spirits were lifted. The problems we were having with guests improved and our energy was renewed. God is so good! When we need encouragement we will receive a card in the mail or a visit or phone call. When we need rest He provides for the house to be empty for a few days. Thank you to all of you who keep this ministry in your prayers. Thank you for all who support this ministry financially and thank you for the encouragement that you give to us. Shanon's House is very dear to our hearts and all of you are dear to us. We are blessed to be able to work along side all of you in this ministry.

In Him,

Johnny and Christy Johnson