Updated: Apr 15, 2019

While most coffee fanatics would venture to say, tongue-in-cheek, that coffee is “life-saving,” these two cups of Joe might actually qualify for that.


Exhibit “A”:

Meet best friends Skip and Mike (a police officer for the Siloam Springs Police Department). It was a routine visit to the local gas station that turned these strangers into friends. Morning after morning they would run into each other near the EZ-Mart coffee pot, both there to get their morning fill-up. It didn’t take long for the two to strike up a friendship!


Skip (left) and Mike (right)

Seven years have been kind to their friendship; however, the years have not been as kind to Skip when it comes to health issues. The recent need for open-heart surgery has shed light on the urgency for additional assistance; specifically a wheelchair ramp and other home modification needs.


Like most things, however, help comes at a cost — $1600 in fact. And while we make it a practice to ask Neighbors to contribute something toward the cost of their project, it was pretty apparent that Skip was unable to contribute toward the cost of materials or labor.


But his need was not going away . . . and neither is Mike.


Mike asked the Fraternal Order of Police to consider donating toward Skip’s wheelchair ramp. They were quick to help! Other community members have also stepped up to meet the need, proving that sometimes it really does take a village.


Exhibit “B”:


It’s not uncommon for Wayne, our Founder/Director, to meet with local pastors and share about our mission . . . over a cup of coffee. This scenario played out the first time he met Terry Scott, a pastor at First Assembly of God in West Siloam. Wayne decided to share about Skip’s need with Terry and asked if his church would consider helping Skip. They didn’t hesitate to love their Neighbor in big ways!


With the project fully funded, we were able to gather up the materials and build Skip a ramp before his day of surgery. There’s something truly incredible about seeing multiple community groups/members come together to make this happen; to meet a BASIC NEED for someone many of them have never met.





That’s the power of a loving community!


While Skip may not be making a trip to the gas station for his morning cup of coffee anytime soon, he can have confidence that, thanks to the support of his community, he can return home to a place modified to meet his needs . . . with coffee maker close by and friendship by his side.


 

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT A PROJECT FOR A NEIGHBOR IN NEED OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.KINDATHEART.ORG/FUNDAPROJECT



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As a realtor with Weichert Realty, Mike understands the value of “Home” for individuals and families. He was initially drawn to the industry because of his background in construction and his desire to help folks find a home that meets their need. “I like being of value to someone . . . and I get to meet lots of different people from all walks of life.”



While he may not have been able to predict it when he moved here from Miss in Oct 2017, Mike has been of more value than he might realize. As one of our newest Maintenance volunteers, he came to Kind at Heart at a time when the need for maintenance support was outgrowing our ability to readily meet the need. If you wonder if God really answers prayer, take our word for it. He answered them when he brought us Mike. In fact, He EXCEEDED our expectations! With a background in construction, Mike is able to meet Neighbor needs with ease. And as part of the team, he follows up on several of our bi-annual Handyman Assessments and takes care of any home maintenance/repair needs that are discovered at that time.


There’s something to be said about a person who’s willing to trade in their comfy office chair and business attire for jeans and work boots once a week . . . for the sole purpose of serving their Neighbor.


At 52 years old, it might surprise you to hear him say, “I was never involved in missions growing up. So this is all new to me.” And yet Mike is a natural when it comes to fixing ceiling fans and comforting a family who is facing terminal cancer. Or showing up on a Saturday to make a bathroom more accessible for a gentleman who is reliant on a wheelchair. And yet if you were to ask him about how he feels about serving, he would be the first to tell you that HE is the one being blessed. “I leave every time filled up.”



When asked what advice he’d give others who are considering volunteering with Kind at Heart (or with another nonprofit), he was quick to respond:


“Just step into it!”


You never know how God will use you to answer the prayers of his people.

 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7)

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(This story originally appeared in our Fall 2017 newsletter)

 

Wesley, now 8, is having increasing health challenges, and his mom has requested prayer from those who know him and his story. So we share a small part of the story that we were able to see first-hand in Fall 2017 and ask you to join us in lifting him and his family up in prayer.

 

When asked what Wesley thinks of his new ramp, his mom shared that she will often find his Power Wheels Jeep parked at the top of the ramp by their front door. A little boy, often anxious and unsteady, is obviously enjoying life a little more fully because of a ramp that gives him permission to safely access his “daredevil side.”


When we received a phone call from Circle of Life Hospice recently, we had no idea the request that was about to be made or the kind of story that God was inviting us to participate in. The hospice team had been working hard to secure the resources this family needed, and we weren’t about to turn them away (even if they lived outside our normal service radius).


Wesley was diagnosed with Hunter Syndrome (MPS, Type 2) at age four--an extremely rare, inherited genetic disorder caused by a missing or malfunctioning enzyme. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Hunter syndrome, only management of symptoms and complications. Needless to say, a parent shouldn’t have to hear the words “terminal” when it comes to their child.


Due to ongoing changes in Wesley’s mobility (both good and bad), his family was hesitant to apply for assistance. Because of ongoing pain and balance issues, however, they decided to trust the Lord’s timing and provision “because we don’t know what winter holds.”


This ramp was made possible by the Ladies Auxiliary of Circle of Life Hospice

And as the Lord so often does, He stirred in the hearts of several individuals to provide financially for this need. From the Circle of Life Ladies’ Auxilliary to a Kind at Heart client with a few extra dollars in his pocket, Wesley’s ramp was fully funded! That’s the Kingdom at work . . . that’s His people being the Church!


“He is going to change the world,” said a family friend upon holding Wesley in her arms soon after he was born. Now six years old, young Wesley is most definitely living out that calling and is inspiring others to be warriors for a condition that many of us have never heard of . . . until now.

 

If you would like to learn more about Wesley and/or Hunter Syndrome, you should check out his Facebook page, “Wesley’s MPS Warriors” or visit the National MPS Society website at

www.mpssociety.org.

 

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