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