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