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A Testimony for Stephen Ministry

Stephen Ministry is a nationally recognized listening, caring ministry of our church. The most important thing Stephen Ministers do is listen and maintain a supportive presence during difficult or uncertain seasons. 

{Story offered and used by permission - Stephen Ministry relationships are always confidential}

A couple from our church, both Stephen Ministers (SM), were devastated when they learned their daughter was suffering from a potentially fatal disease: 

“Last year our daughter was diagnosed with liver failure and a liver transplant was not an option. She lived in Florida so we were unable to visit frequently and the sadness was overwhelming. But we knew that the big burden of healing rests on the shoulders of our gracious God who knew his plans for her even when our own hopes failed. As Stephen Ministers ourselves, we decided to search in her area for a church with a Stephen Ministry. We located a local Presbyterian Church with a Stephen Ministry. We first had to see if our daughter would be receptive to having a SM. As our son-in-law was her caretaker, we asked if he would also be interested in one. Eventually, they both agreed though our son-in-law was first reluctant. (Both Believers but not strong Christians.) 

We contacted the Pastor in charge of the Ministry who quickly responded and listened to the needs of our daughter and son-in-law. Within a week they each had their first visit. The Holy Spirit had a hand in that selection because over a year later our daughter and son-in-law waited eagerly for the weekly SM visit. My daughter’s words: ’Sometimes I’m too sick to talk so my SM just sits by my bed and holds my hand for an hour…but my favorite part of our visits are the prayers she prays for me.’ My son-in-law’s words: ‘My favorite time of the week now is my SM visit. I never thought I’d have anyone to talk to about what I’m going through; especially someone who cares and listens like he does.’

They praised the Stephen Ministry and we praised God for His guidance. 

Sadly, our daughter passed away in February. She was very much at peace in her final days and prepared for what awaited her in heaven after her wonderful visits with her SM. And though we still grieve; the results of the SM program continue to be displayed through our son-in-law. He has grown considerably as a Christian and continues to work through the grieving process with his SM. The words from our daughter’s SM: 'Having been a SM to your daughter has forever changed my life.' ”

This story was volunteered as a witness to the healing power of God through the Stephen Ministry program. We have Stephen Ministers ready to meet one on one - all information requests for pastoral care are confidential. We are always open to people interested in becoming Stephen Ministers. 

If you need assistance or would like more information about either giving a hand, or taking a hand while in need, contact shell@rbcpc.org