Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

December 2018 E-newsletter: We Are Grateful for Your Prayers and Financial Support

Posted on 12/12/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the latest e-newsletter: We Are Grateful for Your Prayers and Financial Support.

November 2018 E-newsletter: A New Lesson in Encouragement

Posted on 11/14/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the November 2018 e-newsletter: A New Lesson in Encouragement.

A New Lesson in Encouragement

Posted on 11/13/18 by Russ Corley

Hi there! Cynthia Bennett here, Vice President of the Board of Directors for Encouragement Ministries and pinch hitter for this newsletter. My love and respect for Russ and Pat multiplied recently as I joined them for the first time for an Encouragement Ministries visit.

On a rainy morning, the three of us arrived in separate cars in front of the home of a dear woman who was uniquely special to each one of us for different reasons. This beautiful and strong woman of 98 years had been placed recently under 24-hour hospice care. Her thoughtful daughter had moved in with her to help care for her. We were greeted at the door and welcomed in.

I will admit that this visit made me feel very sad and emotional. I mentally kept telling myself, “Get a grip, Cynthia. It will not help anything if you become a blubbering mess.”

We walked down the hall and into the bedroom where the hospital bed had recently been installed. There was our friend. She appeared to be in a deep sleep. I felt uneasy, and I was afraid we would wake her. I wondered if we should offer to come back another time but….

Pat and Russ appeared to be completely at peace, and immediately each of them went to her bedside – one on one side and one on the other. Pat touched this precious woman and spoke soft words of encouragement in her ear. Russ put his hand on her shoulder and spoke the 23rd Psalm over her in his booming yet pleasant voice. (Our friend is hard of hearing.) Pat joined in on the 23rd Psalm, and I choked out a few words while fighting my tears. More kind words were spoken. Russ prayed. Our friend appeared to still be asleep.

We moved away from the bed and started talking with the daughter, but then we heard our friend wake up. Pat went back to her. She calmly talked with her and kissed her on the head. I drew close and talked with her. Russ waited for us to speak and then took his turn to talk with her. He reminded her of deep connections between his grandparents and her and her husband long before Russ was born. He reminded her that two of her grandchildren were friends of two of his children. Then he joked with her! She responded to his joke, and the room filled with unexpected laughter. Finally, we said our goodbyes and assured her of our love.

Before we left, we focused on her daughter. We let her share with us some of what had gone on the last week and how that had affected her. We talked about some of her shared moments with us: Pat’s weekly notes now include her, as well as her mother; Russ spoke at her father’s funeral thirty years ago; and there were other connections. Then we made sure that the daughter knew we are available for any future needs. (Russ and Pat both gave her their cards with their cell numbers.)

Have you ever heard of the 10,000-hour rule? Or the 1,000-hour rule? Some claim it  takes 1,000-10,000 hours of practice to get good at something. What I witnessed during that visit with Russ and Pat makes me believe this statement might be true. How many hours has Russ practiced the art of encouragement over the past thirty years? How many hours has Pat practiced the art of encouragement and heartfelt note writing over the years? Their experience is evident in their comfort and peace in painful and difficult situations. They genuinely feel honored to be invited into this sacred space by the people they visit. We all believe God gifted them and called them to this ministry and that the Holy Spirit strengthens them to do this work on a daily basis.

We currently live in a pain-avoidant and technology-saturated society. When suffering and crisis arrive, we need people to come alongside us who are familiar with pain and who are not afraid to be in the presence of suffering. We need people who enter into the pain, look people in the eye, pray with them, hug them, and encourage them. And this is exactly what Russ and Pat do. Every. Single. Day.

If you have someone in your life that could benefit from a visit from Russ or Pat, please let them know of the need. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Encouragement Ministries, you can do that today and help us in this ministry of compassion. As a member of the Board of Directors, I can promise you that a donation made to Encouragement Ministries is money well spent.

Encouragement Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. We exist through the generous financial support of the friends of Encouragement Ministries. If you would like to make a donation to help our ministry continue, click here. It makes a difference.

October 2018 E-newsletter: God Working in Your Life before You Were Born

Posted on 10/26/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the October 2018 e-newsletter: God Working in Your Life before You Were Born.

September 2018 E-newsletter: Aware of God as We Work with God

Posted on 09/26/18 by Russ Corley

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August 2018 E-newsletter: When Jesus Sends, He Provides

Posted on 08/17/18 by Russ Corley

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Presence and Participation in Someone Else’s World: July 2018 E-newsletter

Posted on 07/24/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the July 2018 e-newsletter: Presence and Participation in Someone Else’s World.

Crisis and the Hope of Reconciling Love: June 2018 E-newsletter

Posted on 06/28/18 by Russ Corley

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Learning from Our Mistakes: May 2018 E-newsletter

Posted on 05/30/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the May 2018 e-newsletter: Learning from Our Mistakes.

The Abundant Life: April 2018 E-newsletter

Posted on 05/01/18 by Russ Corley

Click here to read the April 2018 e-newsletter: The Abundant Life.