Greetings from Shanon’s House,

This month we have had 14 guests from Madison, Rogersville, Boaz, Ft. Payne, Albertville, Al., North Carolina and Illinois.

When one of our guests arrived at the house she walked in, looked around and said “thank you Jesus, this is such a blessing.” This mother had just been discharged from the hospital and had planned to sleep at the hospital because she didn’t want to leave her baby. This young mother had been through a difficult delivery where her life was in jeopardy and also the life of her baby. She was tired and very emotional. We sat and talked one afternoon and she made the comment that she could tell Mayfair was a very outreaching church. She was so grateful for everything. She commented that Shanon’s house felt like a home away from home. While talking to her she said “I wish I had a good book to read.” We told her about the books that had been donated for guests to read and take with them if they wanted. She said “Your church has thought of everything. God provided even before I knew I needed it.”

During the guests’ stay we try to have dinner with them at least once. This is a time where we really get to know them. Guests will tell us about their lives and struggles. The guests with newborns are all about the age of our children so we can tell them about how God has worked in our lives and brought us through some of the same issues they are dealing with. There have been several times when the guests will come in at night upset and Johnny will ask if they would like to pray before going to bed. They always have said yes. This is such a special time for them and us.

This month we had our first guest who was from out of state. An older couple was traveling from Florida back home to Illinois when they had a wreck. The lady was injured and her friend found himself in a strange town with no family. Cindy Bradley told him about Shanon’s House. This guest has been such a pleasure.

When we pray each day we ask God to send us guests, so each guest that comes to stay here is an answered prayer. We are learning that even though they may look different and come from different back grounds, everyone is touched when kindness is shown to them. We heard a statement once that said “the ministry of Jesus was the person standing in front of Him.” We try to remember this for every guest we have. There have been challenges with this ministry, but with every challenge is a chance to grow and learn. We see God molding us and helping us look at every person as a child that our heavenly Fathers loves.

Johnny and I have come to realize that this ministry is a picture of the parable of the sower. The Mayfair family is helping to preparing the soil for others to come along and plant and water. The words of one of our guests best describes how we feel about the work at Shanon’s house, Thank you Jesus, this is such a blessing!

In Him,
Johnny & Christy
Hello From Shanon's House of Compassion,

It's been a short month but Shanon's house has been busy. We have had 4 families stay with us this month. We had families from, Anderson, Al, Killen Al, Ft. Payne, Al and Russellville, AL. One family was here with the birth of their second set of twins. We enjoyed visiting with them and the grandmother also. The triplet's parents are regular visitors on the weekends. Their babies are all doing good and gaining weight. They hope to be able to take at least one home in the next couple of weeks.

The guest who stayed with us from Russelville was originally from Guatemala. This young mother really touched our hearts. We got a call from the NICU last week about a young mother who did not speak any English. She had a baby girl who was in critical condition. The language barrier was difficult. We felt so sorry for this young mother. Johnny found a computer program to help with his Spanish and could communicate a little. Every night he would tell her in Spanish “we are praying for your baby.” She would smile and say “gracias”. We invited Benjamin and Patti Colunga and their family over to visit with her. Benjamin lead a prayer and prayed for her baby and he and Patti talked with her and encouraged her. Johnny and I could understand how lost she felt because we couldn't understand anything that was said during their conversation.

On Monday night around 9:30 we received a call from the NICU. They told the young mother to come to the hospital immediately. Johnny and I had been talking the week before about how we knew that not every guest would leave Shanon's house with a happy ending. We didn't know how and what we would say to them. We prayed that God would give us the words to say when that time came. The young mother went to the hospital, but her baby died before she could get there. She never got to hold her baby until the little girl had passed away. When the mother came back, we didn't need words, all we could do was hug her and let her cry and cry with her. God answered our prayer. We learned that hugs, tears and smiles are the universal language. When she left, she hugged us and told us through an interpreter, “Thank you for the food and everything you did for me.” This is a guest we will never forget. During the first part of her stay we were a little discouraged. We felt like there would not be a way to reach her and comfort her. Looking back we see things differently. She had a beautiful, comfortable and safe place to stay, plenty of food and she knew that people cared about her. We pray that some time in her life she will look back on this time and remember the prayer that was prayed and the care she was shown and want to know more about our Lord and His church.

Through this ministry we are learning that it does take a church family to keep this work going and all of the family at Mayfair is helping that happen. The 4th and 5th grade classes provided gift bags and notes for each of the families. The young married life group provided books. The Tree of Life quilters have made quilts for all the newborns. Ladies have brought food for the freezer,and many have contributed supplies. Those who come by and encourage us and those who keep this work in your prayers are all a part of this ministry. Johnny and I are thankful for those who had the dream of this work, those who contribute financially and all of you who come and work along side us as we all strive to be Ambassadors for our Savior.

In Him,
Johnny and Christy Johnson