As you scroll through the Columbus Fellowship blog, the following quote seems to appear in almost every reflection, “It’s hard to believe that I have only been working with this organization for 3 weeks”…well folks, my experience with Hope Hollow thus far, provokes the same feeling.
I mentioned in my last blog how Kevin and Jane Clark, the founders of Hope Hollow, have welcomed me with open arms, and I could not be more grateful for the hospitality I have received. Additionally, these past two weeks I have been in awe over the fact that the individuals we serve have also allowed me to enter into their lives. Jane reminds me almost everyday of the sacred grounds we have the honor of walking on when these “strangers” allow us to be a small part of their journey while battling cancer.
I would like to share a little insight into some of my experiences by sharing a story:
A little over a week ago, I attended my first board meeting. As the night wrapped up and the board members left, I was debriefing the details of the meeting with Kevin and Jane when Kevin’s phone rang. A man, whom Kevin had met earlier in the week while dropping off a gasoline gift card, called to ask for advice and to simply speak to someone. His girlfriend of over 20 years was dying of cancer. The couple also had a 10 year old son, and the man was unsure of how to approach telling the little boy that is mother was most likely not going to recover from her illness.
I listened intently to the phone call, as Kevin and Jane consoled and advised this stranger on how they suggested he approach this delicate situation. Two weeks have passed since this phone call, and it has not left my mind since. Hope Hollow, aka Kevin and Jane, opened their hearts to a total stranger by offering him emotional support when he needed it most. By sharing personal experiences of their own, shedding tears with him, and offering reassurance of the strength he could find, they talked to him on the phone for over an hour. His girlfriend passed away days after this phone call but the man continued to thank Hope Hollow for the courage that phone call gave him. He was able to have those difficult conversations with his son and partner so that no regret was felt and nothing was left unsaid. I am so humbled by the fact that so many individuals feel comfortable enough to call Hope Hollow during their time of need.
The story above is only one testimony of Hope Hollow impacting the lives of strangers, who ultimately become friends.
3 weeks down, and 7 more to go! I am beyond eager to continue contributing to Hope Hollow this summer.
Week 3, you have taught me a number of things:
- That hope is crucial during times of struggle.
- The relationships you build with individuals and families you serve, can impact you even more than you are impacting them.
- If you work with Kevin you will most definitely receive a million phone calls, and possibly an occasional Skype call (Hi Kevin!).