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