The following post is from Fayth Steensma who serves as Client Coordinator at Streams of Hope. We are grateful to have her passion for helping others at our ministry.
The vision of how a community center could reach out to our neighbors was shared several years ago when I served on the Hillside Community Church council alongside the task force led by Paul Holtrop (since then, Paul has become the Streams of Hope Executive Director). How that dream has blossomed with the help of 11 partnering churches!
It is rewarding and exciting to now be involved as Client Coordinator. My role supports the NOW (Nutritional Options for Wellness Program) clients, partnering with Access of West Michigan, a non-profit organization promoting solutions to poverty. Our NOW group participates in healthy living classes focusing on nutrition, exercise, stress management, etc. We have a special section of healthy foods reserved for them along with our regular supply of vegetables and fruits.
During the winter several members walked inside our activity center before shopping and have since then formed a support group. They visit and discuss recipes and other resources for managing diabetes, renal disease, or cardiac disease (the scope of participation). It is fun to experience their creative ideas for activities and topics. Every Tuesday morning our regular volunteers join in prayer for requests that our general pantry clients submit during their shopping visits. This is a good way to connect and get to know the needs of our neighbors.
We are always open to recruiting new members for NOW. Ask your doctor to fax the form (including current Lipid panel) found here to 616-988-8714. Each participant must be available to shop weekly on Tuesday mornings at our Food Center.
And here is a a fun fact about me. While visiting New York City years ago I was able to join the audience of the Johnny Carson Show. Is anyone old enough to remember this late-night talk show host? Featured that evening were Carson’s Kooky Follies, humor at its best. What I love about Streams is not only our serious business of helping folks, but also the fun times. Genuine camaraderie with the staff, our faithful volunteers, and our clients is shared through contagious giggles, big smiles, genuine hugs, good food off the shelves, and kooky humor to lighten life. Thank you, Lord, for this amazing ministry!