Spring time greetings from Shanon's House of Compassion,
Spring time at Shanon's House has been busy. We have had guests from Guntersville, Hartselle, Cullman, Section and Boaz, Alabama. The beautiful covered deck and swing have been used a lot this spring.
Most of our guests have been parents of newborns. I've mentioned before how they remind us of our children. We told our guests the night before that we would set out breakfast the next morning, but we were going on our weekly breakfast date. The next morning a note was left for us, it read "Don't worry about us "Kids" this morning. We will be fine. You two have fun." We do become attached to so many of the guests and this couple was no exception. The father told me his preacher asked him where they were staying. When he told him Shanon's House a ministry of the Mayfair Church of Christ, the preachers response was "Mayfair is known for helping people all over the area." When they got to take their baby home they came by to let us see her. They wanted a picture of the sign and they wanted pictures in the front of the house with us holding the baby. After the pictures were taken Johnny asked if they minded if he prayed with them before they left. The father said "I was going to suggest that." Johnny said "I'll start and you finish." When the father prayed he said "Thank you Lord for Shanon's House, and thank you for the Mayfair church. I know when You planted this church you had my family in mind." There were tears in all of our eyes. We knew God had answered our prayers, because we pray for God to send us guests who can be touched with God's love and compassion. God did this when He sent us this couple.
One of our favorite times to talk with our guests, is in the evening after the last visit at the hospital. I've discovered if there is a cake coming out of the oven about the time they are arriving, it is a relaxing setting for good conversation. We experienced this in March we when had a full house. We enjoyed seeing all the couples catching up with each other asking how their babies were doing. We stayed up later than most nights talking with the couples.
In April we had a couple whose baby was rushed to Huntsville NICU with complications at birth. The father told me how the doctor (who attends Mayfair) had prayed with them and how impressed he was with the doctor. When he found out the Shanon's House was associated with the same church that the doctor went to he knew Shanon's House was where he wanted to be. We enjoyed this couple so much. We are often able to encourage these young couples in their Christian walk. This sweet couple wrote in a note "I promise to pray for you and this ministry on a daily basis. I hope that one day God will open up a door to a ministry for us to help with as special as this one."
We had a different type of guest in April. A mother dove laid her eggs in the flower box on the deck. We joked that even mother doves want to be at Shanon's House. When the eggs hatched we named them Nick and Hugh (NICU.) They eventually flew away but maybe they will come back and visit like a few of our guests have done this month.
Last month I went back to a prayer journal from 2007. We were living in Montgomery. I was looking for a house that year. On October 7th I wrote., "Dear God please provide a house for us where we can serve you." I looked for a house for a year and couldn't find what I wanted. Then in 2008 we decided to take a bold step and move to Huntsville. My prayer request in my journal was "Lord, be preparing a house for us in Huntsville. Help it to be one we can use to serve you." I also wrote "please prepare a work for us when we get to Huntsville." While I was praying for a house in Huntsville, there were people praying for a way to make something beautiful out of a tragedy. There were others who had experienced the ICU waiting room and prayed for a way to help other hurting people. When I think of all those prayers and how God took them and used them to bring about a ministry called Shanon's House of Compassion, I'm amazed. I'm reminded of the children's song "My God is so big, my God is so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do." Yes, God always does everything bigger and better than we can even imagine. Johnny and I will always be grateful to the Mayfair church and it's elders for the vision to seek out a ministry to reach the community. We are so thankful to all of you who help with this ministry. When you help with supplies, food, donations, quilts and prayers you are all part of what makes this ministry have such an impact on the people who are guests here. Above all we are most grateful to our Lord and Savior, the perfect example of love and compassion.
Johnny and Christy